The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily the views of FTI Consulting, Inc, its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals.
Ian Marshall is a managing director at FTI Consulting and is based in London. He specialises in insurance investigations, arbitration and litigation, insurance accounting expert work, and expert and management roles in Part VII and Scheme of Arrangement processes. He has over 35 years’ experience and has acted as an expert in a number of jurisdictions relating to matters such as reinsurance accounting and damage calculations, and mapping of reinsurance structures.
What motivated you to pursue a career as an insurance and reinsurance expert?
I was interested in the complexities and variety of situations giving rise to disputes and matters requiring in-depth investigation. Another factor was the worldwide nature of the reinsurance sector, meaning the same skills and knowledge base could be used without geographic limitation.
What qualities make for a successful expert in the area?
In addition to the relevant professional qualifications, I have found there are two core qualities that have been essential in many cases; one is communication, both written and verbal, and the other is being able to roll up your sleeves, delve into the detail to identify and distil the important facts.
How has the market changed since you started practising?
Over the more than 35 years that I have been working in the sector, the type of cases and the approach have changed enormously. First, the amounts are much greater as the number of cases involving small amounts has reduced substantially. Second, there is far greater specialisation in the expert field; gone are the days (and rightly so) when some practitioners felt qualified to opine on matters far removed from their professional background.
What kind of influence is climate change having on the insurance and reinsurance market?
The most obvious influence is in natural disasters, such as hurricane and flood. The market response is in its early days. On the capacity side, I would cite the significant growth in securitisation as one response and my view is that this trend will accelerate. We have also seen in the UK greater government involvement to supplement the insurance market, as evidenced by the setup in 2016 of Flood Re and it is not going too far out on a limb to suggest such schemes will need to be expanded in the years ahead.
How has the scope of insurance coverage developed in recent years? What are the most interesting new types of insurance you are seeing?
Insurance capacity is sometimes criticised for not responding with sufficient speed to the changing risk landscape. In the press, cyber insurance has hit headlines as the new kid on the block and it has certainly taken off in recent years. However, it’s not new; I was involved in initiatives to launch this coverage over 15 years ago so it has taken a long time to get to where we are now. Insured industry groups also complain about the slow response of the insurance market to new risk features. It seems to me the scope for developing coverage is exceeding the market’s appetite to offer new types of coverage. Furthermore, the current climate in regulation tends to discourage innovation. In summary, I’m not an optimist when it comes to the insurance market offering interesting new types of coverage.
What makes FTI Consulting stand out from its competitors in the market?
FTI has enormous depth and breadth in the expert services it provides and by combining complementary expert skills we are able to provide expert opinion in the most comprehensive and effective way.
How do you see your practice developing over the next five years?
The key trend I have observed and see continuing is that the application of insurance expert skills is being required and applied in a variety of non-insurance contract disputes. Our practice development will reflect this trend by broadening the range of subject matter experts and increasing collaboration with complementary experts in other FTI practices, such as data analytics, economic valuation and corporate finance.
Ian Marshall garners praise from sources around the world for his standout ability in high-stakes insurance and reinsurance issues. He is a “very, very clear and succinct” expert who “always performs extremely well” when testifying in insurance disputes, according to interviewees.
Mr Marshall has 40 years of international experience leading major projects relating to accounting, auditing and complex reinsurance transactions. He has acted as an expert in a variety of arbitrations and court cases in a number of jurisdictions relating to matters such as reinsurance accounting, timing of recognition of insurance revenue, damage calculations, premium reconstruction, mapping of loss flows and reconstruction of loss amounts subject to reinsurance programmes. He has directed a number of investigatory and due diligence cases relating to loss reserve adequacy, reliability of business plans and assumptions, and acted as special adviser in relation to insurance accounting and auditing to a commission of enquiry into the failure of certain insurance and financial services entities in the Caribbean. Mr Marshall is also heavily involved in solvent schemes of arrangement and Part VII business transfers, recently directing an innovative transaction approved by the Court in England. He is a chartered accountant, CPA and a chartered insurance practitioner.