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EC News (2nd August 2018)

August 02, 2018

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

Coverys appoints CIO & CTO

Coverys Managing Agency, Lloyd’s managing agent of syndicates 1975, 1991, 3330 and 1110, has appointed Robert Scott-Stewart as chief information officer (CIO) and Peter Chambers as chief technology officer (CTO).

Both Scott-Stewart and Chambers will join the business in October.

According to a company statement, the appointments will allow Coverys to provide “a market-leading, modern, and scalable platform to support its specialist team in London.”

Scott-Stewart joins the company from Brit Insurance where he served as CIO from 2012. Before this, he held the role of group CTO at Catalina Re.

Chambers has worked as a consultant to businesses spanning the insurance sector including; AXA, Amtrust, Brit Insurance, and Canopius, for almost 20 years.

CEO Robin McCoy said: “Coverys Managing Agency has a clear ambition. We want to be the managing agency of choice for specialist underwriters at Lloyd’s,”

He added: “We want to work with underwriters with genuine specialist expertise, who are passionate about their chosen sector and who can bring new untapped business, new distribution avenues, and innovative approaches to the market. Coverys Syndicate 1975 is an example of this philosophy in practice.

“We recognise that to realise this ambition, we need a market-leading platform which is robust and capable of expanding to accommodate our and our partners’ growing businesses. Robert and Pete will be integral in helping us achieve this. They are recognised experts in their chosen fields, and I am very pleased to welcome them to the team.”

Liberty looks to expand in Nordic region

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, is looking to expand its reach in the Nordic region, allowing it to underwrite and service more business through its office in the Netherlands.

As part of the strategic change, former general manager for the Netherlands, Rob Groenen has been promoted to the newly created role of head of Benelux and Nordics.

Groenen joined LSM from Zurich Financial Services in 2009 as professional indemnity underwriting manager for Continental Europe.

Kadidja Sinz, LSM’s head of Europe said: “The Benelux and Nordic regions offer us many opportunities to write key lines that can be serviced by our growing team in the Netherlands,”

“This expansion will contribute significantly to our growth plans and our overall European portfolio.

“I am very pleased to promote Rob, who has been with Liberty for almost 10 years. The successful development of this market for Liberty is a reflection of Rob’s excellent business development, underwriting and delivery skills.”

Ed hires Jordan to bolster marine division

Global reinsurance, wholesale and specialty broker, Ed, has appointed Patrick Jordan as divisional director of its marine division with immediate effect.

In his role, Jordan will be based in London and report to Heather Clarkson, managing director of marine.

Jordan brings over a quarter of a century of insurance experience to the team. He joins from Lloyd and Partners, where he served as a partner since 2010, placing hull & machinery, P&I, marine liability, yachts, builders risks and ports and terminals covers.

Prior to this he served in a succession of senior broking roles at UIB and Benfield, having begun his career in insurance in 1991 at Steamship Mutual P&I Club.

Commenting on the appointment, Clarkson said: “Patrick is a fantastic addition to the team, with longstanding and extensive experience in marine lines. We see significant opportunity to expand our portfolio and I am very pleased we have attracted an individual of Patrick’s quality to help coordinate our growth strategy. I am delighted to welcome him to Ed.”

Tokio Marine HCC names Rivera as its next CEO

Tokio Marine HCC has appointed Susan Rivera as its next CEO, effective 1 September 2018.

Rivera is replacing current CEO Christopher Williams as he transitions into a new role as managing executive officer and co-head of international business for Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. 

Rivera has served as Tokio Marine HCC's executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) since April 1 2018. 

From 2014 to 2015, she served as an independent director on the company’s board of directors and served on the audit committee, the compensation committee and the enterprise risk oversight committee.

From 2009 until earlier this year, Rivera served as president and CEO of V3 Insurance Partners LLC.  From 2007 to 2009, she was president of QBE Specialty and chief actuary of the Americas division of QBE Insurance Group Limited.  Previously, Rivera was president and chief underwriting officer (CUO) of Praetorian Insurance Company from 2006 until its acquisition by QBE in 2007.  Before 2006, she spent 15 years at AIG, holding a variety of positions of increasing responsibility.

Commenting on the appointment, Williams said: "We are pleased to announce Susan Rivera as Tokio Marine HCC’s next Chief Executive Officer.  With her extensive experience leading insurance operations, developing business strategies and introducing innovative ideas in a rapidly changing market, she is well suited to lead Tokio Marine HCC into the future,”

Rivera said: "As a Board member and more recently as a member of the executive management team, I have become very familiar with Tokio Marine HCC’s business leaders and lines of business and am excited to be offered the opportunity to lead this outstanding organization with its very talented team of people as we continue to grow the company and build on its past successes."

Hyperion makes Swiss Re hire to reinforce renewables growth

RKH Specialty, part of the Hyperion Insurance Group, has appointed Deborah Duss as a divisional director in its marine, energy and construction practice.

In the new role in RKH’s power and renewables team, Duss will use her sector knowledge and experience to develop new opportunities, products and services whilst strengthening and supporting RKH’s fast-growing renewables practice.

Duss joins RKH Specialty from Swiss Re, where she was senior underwriter in the renewables product hub.

Duss brings over 15 years’ experience at Swiss Re focusing predominantly on independent power producers and utilities clients worldwide.

Commenting on the appointment, Paul Redgate, managing director of marine, energy & construction said: “Renewables is one of RKH’s fastest growing areas, as the adoption of large amounts of variable renewable energy poses challenges to the management and operation of energy systems. We already provide solutions to clients at every stage of the process and in every aspect of operation and Deborah’s experience and perspective will add a new dimension to our offering, as we look to develop new products and services.”

Darag secures €260mn equity funding for growth plans

Darag, a leading legacy acquirer owned by Keyhaven Capital Partners, has secured an equity funding of up to €260mn from Aleph Capital and Crestview Partners in support of its global growth plans.

In a statement, Darag said the capital commitment follows a period of significant strategic development for the company, during which it grew substantially in the expanding European insurance run-off market and advanced its plans to develop an effective platform for the build-out of its U.S operations.

The company added it has also enhanced its management team with the appointment of Stuart Davies as chairman in 2017 and Tom Booth as chief executive officer on the 23 July 2018.

Stuart Davies, chairman of Darag said: “We have a very clear path to become a leading global legacy insurance business. We have already come a long way in Europe, where we are a market leader, and will now be bringing our expertise to the United States and beyond, where we see substantial demand for skilled legacy acquirers such as Darag. Aleph and Crestview’s significant investment will support our ambitious expansion targets and their strong track-record in the insurance sector makes them an excellent partner.”

Founder and CEO of Aleph, Hugues Lepic said: Darag is on an exciting trajectory in the rapidly expanding and increasingly important legacy segment of the P&C insurance industry. In the coming years we see significant opportunities to drive growth globally and we are very excited to be partnering with Keyhaven and Darag’s management team to support the company in this next important phase of its development.”

Richard DeMartini, partner and head of financial services at Crestview Partners, said: “Crestview is excited to partner with the management team at Darag as we believe the company has significant growth potential and is well positioned to benefit from the positive market dynamics for run-off acquirers.

Claus Stenbaek managing partner of Keyhaven Capital said: Darag is a great success story. With the additions of new equity partners, and an outstanding management team, the business has huge momentum to deliver on its mission to be a leading global legacy insurance business. I am delighted that Aleph and Crestview share the same enthusiasm for Darag and we are looking forward to collaborating closely as we take the business forward.”

Darag Group was advised by Macquarie Capital (Europe) on the transaction, which it expects to be completed towards the end of 2018.

Axis launches InsurTech business unit

AXIS Capital has launched AXIS Digital Ventures, a new unit that will lead enterprise-wide efforts to partner with entrepreneurial companies focused on data and analytics with high value (re)insurance applications, new product opportunities including emerging risks, and new distribution and (re)insurance business models.

AXIS Digital Ventures is also charged with introducing innovative enabling technologies across the company’s businesses.

The launch of AXIS Digital Ventures follows the company’s announcement from earlier this year that it is strengthening its operating model to become more agile and better positioned to leverage change to its advantage, including enhancing its ability to utilize digital technologies and data and analytics.

President and CEO of AXIS Capital, Albert Benchimol said: “With the launch of AXIS Digital Ventures, we are accelerating our efforts to leverage digital technologies and InsurTech more broadly to drive innovation, increase efficiency, enhance profitability and identify new products and solutions that will deliver more value to our clients and partners in distribution,”

“Since our inception, AXIS has been focused on delivering insights that enhance the underwriting and servicing of (re)insurance. With AXIS Digital Ventures, we are building on this by leveraging the powerful tools and data available today to deliver deeper insights and provide our services in the way our diverse customer base wants them, while delivering on our promise to pay as we always have.”

AXIS named Zach Powell as the head of AXIS Digital Ventures and he will report to group chief underwriting officer (CUO) Eric Gesick.

AXIS Digital Ventures is part of the company’s Global Underwriting and Analytics office (GUA), which is headed by Gesick.

Powell previously served as a director of corporate development at AXIS where he worked on sourcing, evaluating and executing acquisitions and strategic investments.

Before AXIS, he worked at Swiss Re in the principal investments group. Before Swiss Re, Powell began his career at SFRi LLC, an investment bank focused on the (re)insurance sector.

Gesick added: “Zach will be a great ambassador for our new AXIS Digital Ventures unit. He knows the AXIS organisation, knows our business, and brings a strong understanding of the InsurTech landscape.”