May 09, 2017
Hiscox has announced that Luxembourg will be the home of its European subsidiary following Britain's decision to leave the EU.
The two potential destinations were either Luxembourg or Malta. Luxembourg was picked because of its "pro-business position, strong financial services experience and well-respected regulator, as well as being close to many major markets". All future retail business in Europe, a target growth area for Hiscox, will go through the new EU subsidiary.
Hiscox presently employs 350 people across seven EU countries outside of the UK with such operations continuing to “operate without interruption". A new team of 10 people will be bought in to oversee core functions such as compliance, risk and internal audit.
There will be no underwriting function at Hiscox's new EU base. The company’s retail gross written premiums increased 18.6%, on a constant currency basis, to £375.4m.
Bronek Masojada, Hiscox chief executive said, “We have had a strong start to the year thanks to our long-term investment in Hiscox retail, particularly in the small business sector". US operations were the stand out performer and largest retail market. Gross written premiums grew 54.7% to £132.2m, up 33.5% once the impact of foreign exchange was stripped out.
Hiscox Lloyd's of London figures dropped 8.6% on a constant currency basis. But gross written premiums were propped by foreign exchange movements, up 0.4% to £157.7m. Nevertheless, Masojada concluded the London Market "continues to face challenging conditions".