You may think that eBay, Amazon and Airbnb were the pioneers of the electronic marketplace; the first to ride the Wild West waves of growth unleashed by the ‘World Wide Web’ and Smartphone Apps.  

Not so! 1971 saw the birth of one of the first truly disruptive electronic marketplaces: NASDAQ. 

It was the late 1960s when a group of securities dealers got together to create an automatic, computerised, stock quotation system.  Sure, packet switching networks started to appear in the late 1960s but the Internet was not invented for another decade and the ‘World Wide Web’ for another two decades. So how on earth then in 1971 did this small group of brokers successfully manage to challenge a large, traditional, paper based marketplace (the New York Stock Exchange: NYSE) with an electronic marketplace, before the birth of a true global computer network?

Much like eBay and Amazon, NASDAQ was not the brainchild of a large existing market player but was pioneered by a small, independent party who attracted existing market players to trade on their marketplace. The advantage of their independence was that the large investment banks and other market participants were more inclined to trade on it, safe in the knowledge that they were not giving business to another market competitor. 

Their belief that an electronic marketplace would create efficiencies where there was commoditisation, empower people to create new and more innovative products and unleash a wave of market growth, has been resolutely validated. 

More than 40 years later, NYSE and NASDAQ are much larger venues than anybody would have predicted in 1971. NYSE has evolved to be more electronic and is still the larger marketplace (by market cap) with NASDAQ not far behind and continuing to drive change, growth and innovation.

It is well known that the physical marketplace of Lloyd’s of London is facing many challenges, however, it is unlikely that an electronic marketplace will lead to its demise. The creation of an electronic insurance marketplace for the transfer of risks would help drive growth, create efficiencies and stimulate innovation across the market, benefiting the insurance industry as a whole. 

With help and support from across the insurance industry, AkinovA is building an electronic marketplace for the transfer of re/insurance risks. By taking an inclusive approach, AkinovA is bringing together all parts of the insurance value chain to enable the creation of a truly electronic marketplace.  

If you would like to find out more about AkinovA or how you can get involved, please contact and we look forward to furthering our discussions with as many of you as possible at the Rendez-Vous in Monte Carlo, where we will be from 11th – 13th September.