Former Dual International CEO, Talbir Bains, has launched Volante Global, a new multi-class and multi-territory international managing general agent (MGA) platform that is set to commence underwriting in 2018 having secured equity investment from ILS manager Nephila Capital.
The UK-headquartered global MGA platform will launch and begin trading in the first quarter of 2018, subject to Lloyd’s coverholder approvals. The firm plans to underwrite specialist portfolios of insurance and reinsurance business, including property and casualty, professional and financial lines, motor, space and aviation and marine and energy.
Led by Bains, founder and CEO of Volante, the specialist MGA platform benefits from the robust security of A+ and AA+ rated capacity and backing of principal equity investor Nephila, with the Volante management team participating as minority shareholders.
The group is establishing an international network of underwriting teams located in key territories to deliver local market service with a global perspective, culture and ethos.
Volante plans to begin underwriting commercial motor business with its first cell – Edison Motor – in February 2018 with AA+ rated company paper secured on a 5-year binder agreement. Edison will offer a range of niche motor insurance products and will write a portfolio including public sector business, hazardous goods and haulage.
Also in early 2018, Volante will launch Horizon Managing Agency AG (Horizon), a P&C reinsurance MGA headquartered in Zurich focusing exclusively on the continental European market. The MGA will be led by former Sompo Canopius executive Eric Gutiérrez and will offer extensive capacity across property catastrophe XL, property catastrophe aggregate XL and property per risk XL.
Volante’s UK MGA business will be incubated by Vibe MGA Management, which will provide turnkey compliance and appointed representative services. Volante’s international business will launch during 2018.
Commenting on the news, Bains said: “We are delighted to be launching a new and unique underwriting business, following investment from Nephila Capital and capacity support from our panel of A+ and AA+ rated carriers, intermediated by Aon Benfield”.
“Volante will deploy upper quartile underwriting capabilities dovetailed with local and specialist distribution strength, supported by an optimised operational platform. All of this will be highly enabled by a leading-edge, in-house technology centre which resides at the origin of our business, driving an innovative and disruptive research & development approach to deliver fully bespoke, cost-effective product and distribution solutions,” Bains explained.
“Our mission is to create sustainable, balanced portfolios of business, each developed by empowered underwriting teams composed of leading practitioners in their particular market specialties – they share the same entrepreneurial spirit that pervades our Volante culture. Our objective is to achieve superior underwriting and financial margin with zero compromise on delivering target returns to our sponsoring carriers and investor, driven by a philosophy of group culture predicated on transparency, empowerment and accountability,” he concluded.
Key hires to the Volante executive team include; Jim Donnet, CFO (formerly MD in the FIG investment banking teams of KBW, FPK and ABN AMRO); Damian McNamara, chief distribution officer (formerly head of international business development at Artex and Kane and experienced in insurance-linked securities (ILS) and collateralised reinsurance business) and Adrian Williams, chief legal officer (formerly general counsel (EMEA) at Swiss Re and head of legal for QBE European Operations).