Consultancy of the year: EY
Finalists: Crowe Horwatch, LCP
Throughout 2016, EY's global network of insurance professionals have provided guidance and insight on pivotal areas in the insurance industry, including Solvency II, actuarial and risk management, IFRS and accounting changes, governance, emerging risks, operations and technology.
The insurance team at EY was most recently enhanced by the return of James Tufts after two years as group chief risk officer of Guardian Financial Services. He took the position of UK life and pensions lead partner on 3 May, and has fulfilled senior roles in audit and client relationships alongside Rodney Bonnard, EY's UK insurance leader, and Shaun Crawford, global insurance leader.
For firms across Europe, bedding down Solvency II has been the priority this year. As one key example in the UK, EY has contributed to firms' use of securitisation to repack assets for Solvency II's matching adjustment (MA). Without these securitisations, some assets – including equity release mortgages, which provide insurers with a return of around 5% – would not have been MA-eligible.
Gareth Mee, executive director of the insurance team, has been particularly active in this work and continues to work with asset managers to repackage a wider variety of assets for the matching adjustment. This will be crucial for firms looking for healthy returns amid political and regulatory uncertainty, as well as ultra-low interest rates.