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EC News (3rd August 2017)

August 03, 2017

Cyber Risk: Can you afford not to read this?

Cyber has been a hot topic both here at Eames and in the (re)insurance industry.

As the threat and incidence of cyber-attacks and data breaches continues to grow, businesses are increasingly recognising the importance of purchasing cyber cover. As a result, carriers, MGAs and brokers are on the lookout for new talent to strengthen their cyber proposition or make their move into the market to capitalise on what is a potentially huge opportunity for the industry.

With this in mind, we have has just completed an in-depth analysis of the talent landscape for both the London cyber insurance underwriting and broking markets, aimed at assisting our clients in identifying and accessing top-quartile talent in this rapidly evolving class of business.

A global analysis will follow in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in learning more about this solution or want to find out how we can help you develop other areas of your business, please contact Matthew Eames at matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com or on +44 (0)207 092 3257.

Enjoy the read.

Dale receives ‘in principle’ approval for Lloyd’s contingency SPA

Dale Underwriting Partners has received ‘in principle’ approval from Lloyd’s to establish a new special purpose arrangement (SPA) focused on contingency and specialty property business.

The SPA, managed by Asta, will support a portfolio of contingency and specialty property business and will be led by Tom Phillipson, who joins Dale from Swiss Re in September.

Dale Syndicate 1729 will cede a proportion of the incremental business into the SPA. The planned $22mn of gross premium will be split 40 percent/60 percent between Syndicate 1729 and the SPA for 2018.

Asta and Dale are working towards securing formal approval to commence underwriting business from 1 January 2018.

Duncan Dale, chief executive of Dale Underwriting Partners, added: “The SPA structure provides the ideal platform for this innovative and entrepreneurial team and is expected to be hugely positive for Syndicate 1729, both in terms of underwriting profit and fee revenue.”

Asta CEO Julian Tighe remarked: “I am pleased that Asta could support Dale in its expansion plans and we are always excited to be part of the development of successful businesses”.

In June, Dale announced that it was entering contingency and sports personal accident business with the hire of Martin Lawson and Richard Appleton from Swiss Re.

Towergate launches London specialty business

Towergate Underwriting has launched a new London specialty MGA platform, Geo Specialty, with political violence the first market to go live backed by Lloyd’s capacity.

The underwriting arm of the UK broker Towergate said the new business was a fundamental part of its strategy to become a key player in the specialty market.

We have been talking to the market about our intentions for some time and I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to launch the first element of Geo Specialty,” remarked Towergate Underwriting CEO Paul Dilley.

Political violence, the first market to go live, is led by senior underwriter Marcus Meredith, who joined Towergate from Hyperion-owned underwriting agency Dual International.

With political violence, we have created a market-leading, bespoke terrorism product for both private and commercial clients, backed by Lloyd’s of London capacity,” said Dilley, adding that it gives “far more comprehensive coverage than the Pool Re offering”.

This is our first step towards building a strong London underwriting business. We are identifying markets where we can really add value and make a difference through our underwriting expertise and products,” he continued.

The firm said that more markets will follow throughout the year.

Towergate is part of The Ardonagh Group, a holding group that also encompasses insurance brokers Autonet, Chase Templeton, Ryan Direct Group and Price Forbes.

Alesco makes quartet of energy hires

Alesco Risk Management Services, AJ Gallagher's wholesale arm, has made four appointments in its energy division.

The broker has appointed David Hallows, Rob Neighbour and William Holden as partners, and Charlotte Clayton as an associate partner within the international energy team.

Hallows and Clayton join the firm from Willis, with Hallows reporting to Simon Clarkson, head of Alesco’s energy team.

Hallows will start at Alesco later this month, joining Clayton and Neighbour, who both started in July.

Neighbour joined the business from THB and will focus on upstream and midstream business, predominantly out of the US.

Meanwhile, Holden is set to leave Price Forbes to join the Alesco team as lead broker of US energy casualty.

John Thompson, managing partner of energy and construction at Alesco, said: “Alesco’s energy team is having a record year, and I’m delighted that the second half will see some more incredibly talented individuals from the industry join our expanding independent wholesale business.

I am very much looking forward to working with the new team as we continue our path of growth and develop new and more effective ways to bring our capabilities and expertise to bear for our clients.

Liberty enters bloodstock

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has entered the equine and livestock markets with the appointment of Julian Bowen-Rees as global head of the division.

Bowen-Rees joins from Markel, where he was most recently managing director of equine.

Based in Virginia, he will report to Liberty Specialty Market's chief underwriting officer for specialty, Michael Gosselin.

Bowen-Rees is supported by Emma Leslie-Miller, who joins LSM as an underwriter from Brit.

Furthermore, Liberty announced that Markel bloodstock underwriter Jeremy Chappell will join the London team in early 2018 to lead the London market equine unit.

LSM’s equine and livestock teams will write business globally with a focus on US, UK, Ireland, Europe, South Africa and Australasia.

Liberty said that the equine book will offer a number of products including mortality, liability and farm package and will include a wide range of breeds and their associated uses.

Meanwhile, livestock will include both animals in situ and in transit, with LSM able to offer cover for exotic animals ranging from pedigree cattle to giant pandas.

Gosselin said: “Julian, Emma and Jeremy’s appointments introduce LSM to a new and exciting product area, in which our unique perspective will create considerable opportunities. 

“We’ve been able to create a powerful combination of experience and expertise framed by our analytical abilities which will be highly attractive to both our broker partners and their clients.

Ascot to form standalone MGA platform

Ascot has announced plans to establish a standalone managing general agent (MGA), hiring former AIG executive Greg Wolyniec to assist with the formation of the platform.

Wolyniec joins Ascot as head of global strategy effective 31 July, having most recently served as senior managing director at AIG where he was responsible for overseeing strategic and innovation efforts for the carrier’s global commercial business.

In his new role Wolyniec will lead strategic and investment initiatives and assist with the formation of a standalone MGA platform.

Ascot said that the MGA platform will trade as a separate entity to the Ascot Underwriting (Syndicate 1414 at Lloyd's) and Ascot Underwriting Bermuda divisions.

Commenting on the announcement, Ascot CEO Andrew Brooks said: “We are delighted to have Greg join Ascot in this critical role.

As head of global strategy he will be invaluable as Ascot expands organically and through acquisitions.

The MGA plans come seven months after the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) completed its $1.1bn takeover of Ascot.

Argo names Kirby as head of managing agency

Argo has appointed Dominic Kirby as managing director of Argo Managing Agency.

The speciality (re)insurer said that Kirby will replace David Harris, pending regulatory approval.

This comes after the company announced last September that Harris, who has led Argo's Lloyd's business since 2013, would begin transitioning into a new group-level role of head of performance, reporting directly to Argo Group CEO Mark Watson.

Kirby has more than 25 years of industry experience, which has included his prior position of head of Ariel Re UK - the Lloyd's business Argo acquired earlier this year.

Before joining Ariel Re in 2015, he was managing director at Torus Underwriting Management Limited. From 2007 to 2011, Kirby served as deputy managing director, and ultimately managing director at Flagstone Syndicate Management Limited.

Separately, Argo said it had appointed Matt Harris to lead the company's Europe and Asia operations with immediate effect.

He will report to head of international Jose Hernandez.

Prior to joining Argo, he led AIG's Southeast Asian country operations, having previously served as CEO of the carrier’s businesses in Malaysia and New Zealand.

Before joining AIG, he served as chief representative for IAG in Mumbai.

JLT Re builds cyber team with Gray hire

JLT Re has appointed Ben Gray as a partner within its London & International Markets team, focusing on cyber treaty business.

Gray joins from wholesale and speciality broker Ed, where he was a cyber treaty broker, having previously served as a direct cyber broker at Marsh.

He will be based in the reinsurance broker’s head office in London.

Commenting on the appointment, Bill Bennett, head of JLT Re's London & International Markets division said: "We have seen growing demand for our cyber-related services, not just with regards to our cyber treaty offering but also working with the programmes and binders team within JLT Re and with JLT Specialty.

"Ben's knowledge in both insurance and reinsurance will be of real value to the team as we continue to build out this area of specialist expertise for JLT Re."

BHSI opens Dublin office

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) has established a new office in Dublin, it has been announced.

The new office will be led by Cormac McNamara, who has been named P&C manager of BHSI Ireland and will responsible for building a local team in the country and bringing BHSI’s Southern European underwriting capabilities to Ireland.

McNamara moves over after a six-year stint at MS Amlin, where he most recently served as Ireland underwriting and distribution manager. Prior to that, he served a number of underwriting positions at Chubb.

BHSI UK and Southern Europe division president Tom Bolt remarked: "We are excited to further expand our geographic footprint in the region as we steadily grow our underwriting capabilities as well."

The company did not state whether the move was related to Brexit or if the office will be a capitalised entity.

BHSI joins both Beazley and Chaucer, which have both chosen to establish Dublin offices in recent months.

While this serves as a boost for the Irish capital, the Benelux states have remained a popular location for (re)insurers seeking to establish post-Brexit hubs, in particular Luxembourg.