Managing MAG London’s Treasury Risk

By Christopher Nye August 23rd, 2018

MAG London

MAG London established itself as an Italian Lloyds Broker 25 years ago. During that time, it has helped feed Italian insurance businesses into the London market. We are proud to say that we have managed MAG London’s FX requirements for almost ten years and recently helped them receive the first of many R&D tax credit rebates.

Marine Aviation & General (MAG) London was founded in 1993 and became the first independent Italian Lloyds Broker in 1997. Through open market placements and facilities such as binders and line slips, the company has developed a strong relationship with the London market and understands the needs of its Italian consumers.

Over the years, the business has grown organically and with an increased focus on incorporating modern technology, it has managed to reduce admin time and costs, thereby enabling the team to focus on the needs of its clients and improve the quality of the service it provides.

Hedging to maintain budgets and afford peace of mind

Most of MAG London’s international transactions are done in the same currency so they aren’t affected by the risk of market volatility. However, the majority of their income is in euros, while their expenses, as well as their financial reports, are in sterling. “Given the volatility in recent years, good hedging has helped us achieve our budgeted levels,”explains Guy Wilson, Financial Director at MAG London. “This has given us peace of mind and enabled us to focus on our core business.”

Since its inception, MAG has used a variety of companies to manage its foreign exchange requirements, but joined forces with Smart Currency Business in 2010. As is standard, the company conducts a review on an annual basis, where they look at three or four different providers.

“Generally, we find little difference in the pricing offered by Smart and its competitors, but the reason we have remained loyal to Smart over the years is the strength of our working relationship and the flexibility they offer,” says Guy. “We need to work with people we can trust and be able to contact them as and when required. Ultimately, Smart take the pressure off us by removing the foreign exchange risk.”

That is one of the reasons working with MAG London is such a pleasure. They realise how critical it is to protect their budgets through our budget, risk, solution approach. Having calculated their budgets, they know what they need to achieve, which is where we come in to de-risk their business through tailored treasury management solutions.

MAG London

MAG’s portal: a gateway to a rebate

In addition to the risk management services we provide to our clients, we also offer a wide range of business services which are designed to maximise the opportunities out there. After extending our product offering to include R&D tax credits, we saw that MAG London’s embracing of technology might qualify them for a claim. We mentioned it to them and although they were initially hesitant, they decided to investigate further.

Historically, for a local Italian Broker, placing business into Lloyd’s of London is an arduous and time-consuming task. So the team at MAG London decided to work on developing a portal that could tackle these issues. “We went from clients having to wait 20 days to 20 minutes which allowed us to capture a bigger part of the Italian market,” says Guy. “It means that our time can be more focused on the relationship with our brokers as opposed to generic quoting.”

A successful claim and substantial surprise

Ultimately, the research and development that went into the portal meant that MAG London were able to make a successful claim for a rebate. “Smart introduced us to a R&D tax credit specialist to make a claim. We were quite skeptical initially, but we felt it was worth making the call,” explains Guy. “We arranged a meeting, gave them the required information and they did the rest. The rebate we received was a substantial surprise.”

We continue to work with the team at MAG London who have their own dedicated Smart trader, as well as access to the wider team as and when required. Managing FX risk is always our primary aim, but the fact we were able to get them a lump sum back for their R&D investment was pleasing too.

If you want to know more about how Smart Currency Business can help your business remove uncertainty and mitigate the risks of foreign currency exposure, then email us at or give us a call on 020 7898 0500.

If you’re interested in determining whether you have legitimate grounds for a R&D tax credit claims, then email us at or give us a call on 020 3170 6067.