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Sompo acquires Novae FI renewal rights

May 30, 2017

Sompo International has agreed to acquire the renewal rights to Novae Syndicate 2007’s financial institutions (FI) portfolio, it was announced earlier this week (30 May).

Under the terms of the agreement, the Bermuda-based specialty (re)insurer of Japanese heavyweight Sompo Holdings will take on rights to the Syndicate's future FI renewals, excluding emerging markets. The book had more than $25mn of gross written premiums.

Novae and Sompo said that they will work together to ensure continuity for Novae’s clients and brokers.

As part of the transaction, Novae FI class underwriter John Richards will join Sompo International as senior vice president and head of London market financial institutions.

He will report to Richard Allen, executive vice president and head of London market professional lines insurance at Sompo International.

Richards joined Novae in 2012 from Zurich Financial Services, where he was a senior underwriter. Prior to that, he served as assistant vice president at AIG.

Richards will be accompanied by fellow Novae underwriter Anthony Hoare who will also join Sompo International’s underwriting team in London, although his new role was not specified.

Commenting on the deal, Allen said: “We are excited to accelerate the growth of our London market financial institutions portfolio with this renewal rights transaction with Novae.”

At the same time, we are gaining two seasoned and highly respected underwriters who will add to our existing strength in the financial institutions sector,” he added.

The renewal rights agreement comes weeks after Novae announced its decision to exit four casualty lines as part of a group strategic rethink.

In a trading update dated 10 May, the carrier said it had withdrawn from financial institutions, professional indemnity, general liability reinsurance and motor reinsurance, citing inadequate future profitability prospects.