US-listed carrier Markel has announced plans to establish a new European subsidiary in Germany in response to the UK's exit from the European Union.
In statement issued last week (18 May), the company said that it is planning to apply for regulatory approval to set up an insurance company in Germany to “ensure that, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, a Markel insurance company will be able to meet the insurance needs of clients in the EU-27 countries.”
Subject to regulatory approval, the carrier intends to have the new insurance company – which would be based in Munich - incorporated and capitalised within the first half of 2018, but no later than the deadline for Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK, which is currently pegged for 29 March 2019.
“We are focused on building upon and extending the global reach of our businesses. That means that we are committed to a strategy of profitable growth of our continental European business. Establishing a new insurance company in Germany will enhance Markel’s ability to do just that,” remarked Markel co-CEO Richie Whitt.
Markel has been doing business in Germany through its wholly-owned subsidiary Markel International since 2012 when it established a branch office in Munich.
Commenting on the announcement, Markel International president William Stovin said: “This is an important, strategic development for us. While we’ll continue to write international business through our Lloyd’s syndicate, we also want to build on the strong foundations of our national market businesses in Europe”.
The insurer’s decision to establish a German subsidiary is in contrast to announcements from other carriers regarding post-Brexit plans, with Hiscox, FM Global and AIG all opting for Luxembourg as the location of their EU bases.
Meanwhile, Lloyd's has said that it will open a European insurance company in Brussels, to ensure access to the single market following Brexit.