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EC News (15th February 2018)

February 15, 2018

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from ArgoGlobal, Cunningham Lindsey, LSM and more.

ArgoGlobal reveals first Lloyd’s market consortium for motor treaty business

ArgoGlobal has launched the first Lloyd’s Market consortium for motor treaty business.

Supported by Barbican Insurance Group, the consortium was established in time for January renewals and will allow the carriers to write up to 10 percent of a motor placement.

International casualty treaty class underwriter Stuart Dale will spearhead the consortium, which will bring new capacity to the market, enable its members to underwrite significantly more premium and consolidate Lloyd’s markets with an interest in writing this class in London, ArgoGlobal said.

Dale commented: “By challenging the status quo and developing an innovative solution, we can better deploy our expertise, leverage our underwriting experience, and bring new capacity to the market for the benefit of both clients and brokers. We are now ideally placed to operate alongside the leading players in London and across Europe.

He added: “This is a scalable initiative we aim to potentially grow with new capacity. It will also allow us to realise further opportunities created by changes in the rating and regulatory environment. We have been particularly pleased with the response from our broking partners to our new consortium with Barbican and are grateful for the market’s support. There are presently clear opportunities in this sector.”

Barbicans underwriting manager for international casualty reinsurance, Tim Mackenzie remarked: “We are very pleased to support Stuart and ArgoGlobal in this new initiative. The motor market offers a good opportunity to diversify our portfolio and there is clearly scope for the consortium to carve a niche in this area and to challenge the traditional markets in Europe.”

Cunningham Lindsey appoints CEO for Sweden

Claims management firm Cunningham Lindsey has appointed Claes Frick as its CEO for Sweden.

In his new role, Frick will be responsible for driving new business growth and leading the operations in Sweden.

He will also be part of the overall Nordic management team, supporting the operation of Cunningham Lindsey business spanning the Nordic countries.

Frick joins Cunningham Lindsey from a position as managing director and Nordic business development manager of Crawford & Company, having previously held claims management roles in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland.

Frick has over 32 years of experience in the insurance industry with expertise in general insurance, claims management, and business development in Sweden and across Scandinavian insurance market.

His appointment will enable a dedicated focus on Swedish clients, providing tailored services in claims management and specifically major & complex loss adjusting, the company said.

CEO of Cunningham Lindsey Nordic region, Christian Leif Hansen said: “Claes has the ideal combination of skills and expertise, which I know he will apply to lead the team to new levels. His leadership experience is essential to help us strengthen the company’s ability to deliver first-class services to insurance companies in Sweden and across the Nordic region.”

LSM creates electronic trade credit insurance trading platform

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has announced the launch of Toredo, a web-based platform for transacting specialised trade credit insurance for banks, corporates and commodity traders.

The new electronic platform will allow underwriters, brokers and clients to buy and sell insurance capacity with greater speed, visibility and efficiency. 

Beyond operating the platform, LSM will provide capacity to Toredo with other capacity coming from a soon-to-be announced consortium.

Head of LSM’s global financial risks team, Peter Sprent said: “Our aim in launching Toredo is to improve customer experience by making the purchase of single situation trade credit simpler, faster and more cost-effective.

“Toredo will provide real efficiency savings by giving brokers and clients greater visibility over underwriter risk appetite, capacity and pricing as well as closing transactions with much greater speed.”

Last month, LSM announced that Chris Hall from Lloyds Banking Group was joining the business as senior underwriter in the global financial risks team to develop a new trade finance insurance initiative which the company said can now be confirmed as Toredo.

StarStone unveils crisis management division following trio of hires

StarStone, a specialty insurer and subsidiary of Bermuda-based Enstar Group, has introduced a crisis management division following three new appointments.

The new division will offer war and terrorism (re)insurance and credit and political risks insurance.

James Hannan has been named as head of war and terrorism. Hannan joins StarStone from Antares Managing Agency where he served as class underwriter, terrorism and political violence for the past six years. Prior to this he worked for Travelers Syndicate 5000 as deputy class underwriter, terrorism.

Andrew Summers has been appointed as senior political risk underwriter. He joins from ArgoGlobal, where he was a credit and political risks underwriter. Before ArgoGlobal, Summers worked for AIG Europe as a political risk underwriter.

Amy Henry will assume the role of war and terrorism underwriter. Henry joins from Antares Managing Agency where she most recently served as a deputy terrorism underwriter.

StarStone have said the trio of appointments will enhance its war and terrorism team led by Simon Low.

Low joined StarStone in July 2017 as group head of political risks & crisis management.

Commenting on the newly-formed division and trio of appointments, Demian Smith, StarStone group CEO said: “It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our new crisis management division, which builds on the established strengths of our war and terrorism team, and to welcome James, Andy and Amy. Added to our existing team, they collectively form a considerable capability that will be a significant asset in StarStone’s continued success and development.”

Hiscox announces duo of appointments

Hiscox has announced two senior appointments as the Group evolves its management structure to build on growth momentum in its retail businesses.

Current CEO of Hiscox USA, Ben Walter, will relocate to London to assume the newly created role of CEO Hiscox Global Retail.

Walter will lead the Group's retail operations including; Hiscox UK & Ireland, Hiscox Europe, Hiscox USA and Hiscox Special Risks.

He will focus on driving product innovation and growth across the Group's retail operations.

Present CEO of Hiscox UK & Europe, Steve Langan, will relocate to New York to take up his new role of CEO Hiscox USA.

Langan will focus on driving Hiscox USA's next phase of growth, drawing on his experience of building retail brands around the world, both at Hiscox and previously at Diageo and Coca Cola. He will also remain chief marketing officer for the Group.

Subject to regulatory and immigration approvals, both roles are effective from 1 July 2018.

Hiscox Group CEO, Bronek Masojada commented: "Hiscox's growth in retail markets, particularly over the last 10 years, has changed the shape of our business. We are no longer a Lloyd's player with retail operations on the side, and as our business evolves we need to be able to respond to the huge opportunity ahead.

"Our retail businesses span 12 countries and are at different stages of their journey, but they share similar challenges and opportunities such as brand building, leveraging scale and digitisation. These appointments will help us continue on our path of building a Group which can thrive at all stages of the insurance cycle."

Both Walter and Langan will remain on the executive committee and Hiscox will begin the process of recruiting a new UK & Ireland CEO later in the year.

Sompo International to acquire Italian agriculture insurance company A&A

Sompo International has revealed it has reached an agreement to purchase A&A, S.r.l. (A&A), a leader in the Italian agriculture insurance market.

According to the company, the A&A acquisition aligns with its new initiative, AgriSompo, a global platform to deliver innovative and coordinated agricultural risk management solutions tailored to local market needs.

A&A will complement AgriSompo’s objective of building integrated global capabilities in the crop insurance business, both by leveraging Sompo’s extensive agriculture insurance expertise and acquiring specialty companies in key markets.

Sompo International plans to maintain A&A’s current staff, structure and management team, including Giovanni Giudici as chairman and Guido Passarini as chief administrative officer.

Once the transaction is complete, Sompo International CEO and chairman, John Charman along with other Sompo executives will join A&A’s board of directors.

The transaction is expected to close by March 2018 pending regulatory approvals.

Charman commented: “A&A is an attractive addition to our AgriSompo platform, given the A&A team’s deep technical expertise and knowledge of agriculture insurance, and their significant market share built on long-term distribution relationships throughout Italy. The acquisition of A&A will greatly accelerate Sompo International’s presence in the Italian crop insurance market and provide us with unique opportunities to introduce new products and technologies in the Italian agri-business market.”

Giudici stated: “Through Sompo International’s extensive agriculture insurance capabilities and financial investment in new technologies, we will be able to provide enhanced risk solutions to the Italian agriculture community. We look forward to working closely with the Sompo International team to expand our business and provide additional value to our clients.”