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Trump and Brexit just the beginning: Bill Berkley

The political surprises thrown up by the Brexit vote and the US presidential election are just the start of a global trend, with the rest of Europe not far behind, WR Berkley founder and Executive Chairman William Berkley warns.
But Mr Berkley – keynote speaker at the 118th annual meeting of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters in New York – believes the effects have been exaggerated.
“I don’t think Brexit is going to have nearly the impact people are talking about,” he said. “For the most part, London will remain the hub of financial services.”
Mr Berkley was equally unfazed by the US election result.
“I am an optimist. We’ve had two world wars, we’ve had recessions, some almost depressions, we’ve had a Great Depression. We’re all still here and we are doing okay.”
Mr Berkley says the fundamentals of insurance have changed – but it’s still an exciting place to be.
“Investment income has come down because interest rates have come down and returns have declined,” he said. “This business will come back to disciplined pricing and underwriting skill. You need them both.
“The people who are successful have access to capital and expertise. All of us have to figure out how we operate in a world that’s so fast, but our results don’t happen that quickly.”

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