News and Insights

Celebrating 125 years of The Group's Pooling Arrangements

The Group welcomed many leading shipping industry organisation and other distinguished guests at a celebration on the 125th anniversary of the International Group of P&I Clubs on 10 April, International Group Chair Andrew Cutler, who is also CEO of the Britannia P&I Club, commented on the recent DALI incident and bridge collapse in Baltimore:

“I confirm that my thoughts and condolences remain with all involved and that Britannia P&I and its Member continue to work closely with, and co-operate with, the US authorities.” 

He added:

 “Whilst recognising the challenges ahead, I feel this will be another example of the strength of the International Group system and the unparalleled cover it provides to the world’s shipping community.”

Lloyd’s CEO, John Neal echoed the same theme, commenting on the 75 year relationship between Lloyd’s and the International Group, and saying that the recent Baltimore event provided

“a very real and poignant reminder of the crucial role our industry plays in responding to loss, recovering from disaster and rebuilding resilience.  Our collective response provides us with a rare and important opportunity to reinforce the global insurance industry’s value proposition.”

In the more difficult geopolitical climate Andrew Cutler reminded those present of the role of the Group in supporting the international regulatory framework that helps underpin global maritime trade:

“We must also continue to engage with our shipowner boards, reinsurers and regulators especially at IMO and in maritime states.  The latter is to ensure that we have a fair, balanced, and harmonised regulatory framework within which all countries and shipping can operate to create a safe and sustainable shipping industry to the benefit of all.”

In terms of facing the challenges of evolving market risks Neal commented that:

“For Lloyd’s and the International Group of P&I Clubs, our shared history has seen us through some monumental world events, from the post-War period to the Cold War détente, to the conflict in Ukraine today.  It has given us the opportunity to team up to protect against the most pressing issues of our time – including some timely and creative work on cyber in recent years – to make sure our coverage matches our capital. And it’s seen us get to a place today where the IG continues to play a significant role in Lloyd’s marine liability business, which stood at around £880m in 2023.  So it’s a tried and tested relationship, and I think that resilience bodes well for the challenges that lie ahead."

Final words came from UK Chamber of Shipping President JB Rae Smith, who commented on behalf of Shipowners, (who are the ultimate stakeholders of the P&I Clubs and in turn the  International Group): 

“The events in Baltimore have made me reflect much more on the business model and the obvious benefits of an industry sharing the pain…the challenge for the current and future generations it to keep making sure that the system is fit for purpose.  This will require much more careful thought and innovative thinking.

I’d like to finish my remarks by firstly thanking the founding fathers on their foresight in setting up the International Group. There is no doubt that the longevity of the International Group is a sign of the enduring quality of the services provided.  The pace of change is speeding up and the next 125 years are fraught with challenges.  However, I hope that my successors will still have the same degree of confidence that I had had in running a ship business with a P&I Club watching my back.”

Enabling maritime trade for 125 years and into the future 

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