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EC News (19th April 2018)

April 19, 2018

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Marsh, AXA, Volante and more.

Marsh appoints Lay as new CEO of UK & Ireland region

Marsh has appointed Chris Lay as the new CEO of its UK & Ireland region, succeeding Mark Weil who is leaving the carrier to take up a senior role outside of insurance in the private equity sector.

Lay will report to Flavio Piccolomini, president of Marsh International, and he will be appointed CEO of Marsh Limited, all subject to regulatory approval.

Lay will relocate back to London from Toronto, where he has been serving as president and CEO of Marsh Canada.

Marsh named Sarah Robson as president and CEO of Marsh Canada, succeeding Lay. She will be based in Toronto and report to Martin South, president of Marsh U.S. and Canada.

Throughout his 30 year career Lay has held increasingly senior roles including; president of global captive solutions, head of global sales, business development leader for Marsh International and head of the corporate division in the UK.  He also served on the board of Marsh Limited from 2007-2016.

Robson began her career as an underwriter in Canada at Chubb before joining Marsh Canada as financial and professional practice leader followed by specialties leader.

Robson is currently a managing director in Marsh’s U.S. business and serves as global relationship manager in its insurer consulting group. She boasts over 25 years of experience at Marsh, holding increasingly critical client and market facing roles.

President and CEO of Marsh, John Doyle said: “We are excited to appoint Chris and Sarah to lead these important regions for us. They are talented, long-tenured Marsh executives who will bring a strong focus on our priorities of colleagues, clients and growth.”

AXA partners with Insurtech on UK’s first pay-by-mile car insurance

AXA UK has partnered with pay-by-mile Insurtech start-up By Miles.

By Miles is aimed at motorists that drive infrequently, typically under 7,000 miles a year. Rather than paying an annual premium, drivers pay a lower fixed amount each year to cover their non-driving risks, such as theft and vandalism, and then pay for the rest of their cover monthly based on how many miles they drive.

All policies will include no claims bonus protection at no extra cost.

By Miles first policies and driving app will launch next month to members on a waiting list.

By Miles will use a Miles Tracker - a black box device the size of a matchbox – to measure each journey. Using the smartphone app, drivers will be able to access the cost of each trip.

Aswell as giving By Miles members’ transparent access to their own spending and driving data, the company’s app and web dashboard offer chat support and a range of additional features that make owning a car easier.

The partnership with By Miles is part of a wider AXA strategy to work alongside companies looking at innovative ways to price risk, while the move enables By Miles to bring its first pay-by-mile product to UK drivers.

Commenting on the partnership, Neil Mercier, head of motor at AXA UK said: “Our partnership with By Miles fits with our focus on finding innovative ways to reach customers – especially those whose needs differ from the wider market. By Miles will benefit motorists who spend less time behind the wheel, allowing them to pay for their insurance based on their usage and take control of what they pay for their cover.”

Co-founder and chief executive of By Miles, James Blackham remarked: “We created By Miles to help UK motorists take back control of their car insurance, combining smarter and fairer pricing with a better and more personalised service. AXA is one of the most experienced insurers in the world, and welcoming them as our underwriting partner will give our members the peace of mind that they’ll be protected by the best if the worst happens.”

Volante appoints Probert as underwriting and franchise director

MGA Volante has hired Jerry Probert as its underwriting and franchise director.

Probert joins the company from QBE where he served as director of Europe. He has 35 years of underwriting experience. Before joining QBE in 2007, Probert worked for Gen Re.

Commenting on the appointment, Volante founder and chief executive Talbir Bains said: “Jerry is a fantastic addition to the Volante team and brings an outstanding level of underwriting expertise and leadership experience to the role. His appointment underlines our continued commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest standards of underwriting excellence across the group.”

Probert added: “While Volante is still a relatively new operation, the underwriting acumen represented by the teams that are already part of the group is exceptional. I am very much looking forward to working with these teams, Talbir and the broader executive committee as we look to secure the underwriting foundations that will support Volante for years to come.”

Jelf to acquire Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker

Marsh & McLennan Companies’ unit Jelf has reached an agreement to acquire Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker Clark Thomson.

Clark Thomson was established in 1965 and now has over 200 employees. Headquartered in Perth it has offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Kirkwall, Oban, Elgin, Thurso, and Nairn. Clark Thomson provides insurance broking services to small and medium-sized (SME) businesses, with particular expertise in the agriculture, renewable energy, food and drink, and retail sectors across Scotland, as well as providing personal lines insurance for individuals and families.

Jelf is one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies, with almost 3,000 colleagues serving over 250,000 clients from over 75 locations.

On completion, Jelf will combine its existing Scottish operations and Clark Thomson into a single business unit. The combined business will, subject to regulatory approvals, be led by Ben Bailey, managing director of Clark Thomson and a management team put together from both Clark Thomson and Jelf.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of this year. Terms were not disclosed.

Phil Barton, CEO of Jelf, said: “This is a highly significant transaction that underlines Jelf’s commitment to building the leading community based advisory business across the whole of the UK. Through the acquisition of Clark Thomson, we are significantly broadening our geographic reach whilst also building on our capabilities in sectors that are vital to the Scottish economy, such as agriculture, food and drink, retail, and hospitality and leisure.

“The transaction brings together two leading community brokers with well-established offices in complementary locations across Scotland. The combined business will offer clients a compelling proposition across a wide range of insurance, risk management and employee benefits services and solutions.”

Bailey commented: “This deal is great news for our clients and colleagues alike. Through Jelf, our clients will have access to a wider range of services and solutions, while colleagues will benefit from being part of Marsh’s wider global network. I look forward to bringing Jelf and Clark Thomson’s operations together, and building the leading advisory business in Scotland.”

Asta bolsters actuarial capabilities with McMaster appointment

Asta has announced the appointment of Laura McMaster as deputy chief actuary.

McMaster takes up her new role on 16th April, reporting to chief actuary Richard Barke.

She joins the company from Lane Clark and Peacock where she was a partner for eight years, having joined the firm in 2003. In this role, she was responsible for managing reserving, capital, pricing, reinsurance, and risk projects across a range of markets, including extensive experience in the Lloyd’s and London market. McMaster brings over a decade of actuarial experience to Asta.

CEO of Asta , Julian Tighe said: “Laura is a skilled and experienced actuary who brings an exceptional track record to Asta. She is the ideal candidate to further bolster both our actuarial function and the wider Asta senior management team and help ensure that we continue to provide an offering that underpins our clients’ long-term success. I am delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Barbican launches Barbican Cyber ‘One-Step-Ahead’ resilience product

Barbican has launched Barbican Cyber ‘One-Step-Ahead’ (OSA), a unique product partnership with leading cyber risk management specialists to provide a series of ‘value adds’, at no additional cost, to help insureds assess and improve their cyber resilience.

Barbican has structured the product to address three areas of cyber resilience; cyber reconnaissance, cyber phishing defence, and cyber intrusion response. It combines software components, onsite and offsite training and detailed evaluation and recommendation reports to support organisations in their efforts to bolster overall cyber security measures.

OSA also offers access to FICO Enterprise Security Score (ESS) Portrait software, a tool that identifies externally visible weak spots and red flag indicators that leave organisations vulnerable to system intruders.

In addition, TSC Advantage, an enterprise risk and cybersecurity consulting firm, will provide phishing simulation training through Barbican’s OSA, which will measure an organisation’s current resilience to phishing attacks, assess the awareness of its staff, and offer detailed recommendations for improvement.

TSC Advantage will also deliver OSA’s intrusion response component, which evaluates an organisation’s response capabilities following a cyber incident, using table-top exercises and in-depth documentation reviews.

Commenting on the launch, Graeme King, business group leader for cyber at Barbican, said: “The cyber threat is growing exponentially spurred on by ever-increasing connectivity and constantly evolving attack strategies. To stay in control, you need to get ahead of the cyber attacker – and that is exactly where we believe Barbican Cyber ‘One Step Ahead’ places our insureds. It brings together leaders in the cyber resilience arena to help our insureds bolster what we see as some of the most critical aspects of their cyber security strategy.”

Beazley hires Fricke to head its treaty reinsurance team in Munich

Beazley has named Martin Fricke as its new head of treaty in the company's Munich office, succeeding Andreas Bergler who has been appointed Beazley's head of broker relations for continental Europe.   

In his role, Fricke is reporting to Patrick Hartigan, team leader of treaty business.  

Fricke began his career at Aon Benfield before moving to Beazley in 2010 where, as treaty underwriter for continental Europe, he has been responsible for building relationships with ceding companies in Germany, Austria and central and east European markets.

Beazley has had a treaty team in Munich since 2008. It underwrites European reinsurance business, with a focus on property catastrophe, property risk and casualty clash lines.  

Patrick Hartigan said: "It is testament to the strength and depth of our treaty team that we have been able to recruit from within for this key role.  I am delighted that Martin will be leading our team as we build on the successes of the past 10 years."

LMG launches permanent body to manage market services

The London Market Group (LMG) has established London Insurance Market Operations & Strategic Sourcing (LIMOSS), a permanent body designed to manage market services.

LIMOSS will be led by managing director, Patrick Molineux.

The new body has been launched to source and manage the portfolio of market services which the London insurance market has built as it modernises its processes.

CEO of LMG Chris Beazley said: “Modernisation is one of the four LMG workstreams, and is focused on making London an easier place to do business. The market services that will deliver on this goal need a professional organisation to source and manage them, and LIMOSS will provide just that.”

COO of Chaucer and chairman of LIMOSS, David Bendle commented:  “As the London Market moves from building market services through the London Market Target Operating Model (LMTOM) to running them for the benefit of carriers and brokers, it needs a single permanent team to define and execute its sourcing strategy, oversee the services, manage the service providers and liaise with carriers and brokers.

“We are delighted to have Patrick on board to build and lead the team. His thirty years’ experience of insurance IT and business process services, as well as his time with CSC where he oversaw the acquisition of Xchanging, is invaluable in establishing LIMOSS and shaping how it can source and operate these key market services.”

Molineux remarked: “The market services which the London Market has and will develop offer a tremendous opportunity for London to lead the world in commercial insurance and re-insurance technology, as well insurance product innovation. Automation of basic processes and the connection of diverse systems will free London’s insurance experts to focus on the value-adding activities such as face-to-face negotiation that make London unique. Whether the services are around placing, data or messaging, LIMOSS’s objective is build a team with the right skills to get the best from service providers and deliver a high quality service to the brokers and carriers for whom these services will be increasingly important.”