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EC News (27th September 2018)

September 27, 2018

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Pioneer, Axa XL, Swiss Re and more.

Greensmith succeeds Jardine as UK CEO of XL Catlin entities

Axa XL has appointed Paul Greensmith as UK CEO for Catlin Underwriting Agencies and XL Catlin Insurance Company UK.

He succeeds Paul Jardine who, as previously announced, will be leaving XL Catlin later this year following the completion of Axa’s $15.3bn acquisition of XL Group earlier this month.

In his new role, Greensmith will be responsible for developing and delivering the strategy for both Catlin Underwriting Agencies and XL Catlin Insurance Company UK while maintaining their effective operations, in particular ensuring that regulatory responsibilities are met.

In addition, he will hold the position of regional leader for the UK in project mode, where he will be charged with helping define the activities of Axa XL in the UK as the division takes shape.

Greensmith joined Catlin in 2014 as co-chief underwriting officer (CUO) for Catlin’s London underwriting nub.  Following XL’s acquisition of Catlin, he was appointed to the role of UK country leader and director of London market wholesale in January 2017.

He began his career at RSA as a property underwriter on multinational programmes business. In 2001, he moved to become the group strategy manager.

In 2003, Greensmith joined Lloyd’s as manager of its strategy and planning department.

He then re-joined RSA in 2005 as the strategy and marketing director for its UK commercial division, before stepping up to manage the multinational and speciality lines division three years later.

Kelly Lyles, chief executive, client and country management at Axa XL commented: “Paul has a proven track record and the ability to balance both the long-term strategic view with the day-to-day requirements needed to fulfil the role of CEO for these entities.”

McMellin appointed Pioneer CEO

Pioneer Underwriters has named Andrew McMellin as its new CEO.

McMellin joins Pioneer following a career at XL Catlin stretching back nearly two decades, most recently serving as CEO of UK & Ireland Insurance and having been a longstanding member of the insurance leadership team and the Catlin Group executive committee. 

Previous roles have included CEO of Catlin US, CEO of Catlin UK, deputy group chief underwriting officer, casualty product group leader and casualty class underwriter. He began his career in insurance as a broker at Willis in 1987.

The appointment, which takes effect on 8 October, follows the departure of former Pioneer CEO and founder Darren Doherty earlier this year, who has since become vice chairman and commercial director at Dual.

Dane Douetil - CEO of Pioneer’s parent company Minova Insurance Holdings - who has been acting CEO of Pioneer since Doherty left, will become chairman of the business. 

Pioneer said that Max Taylor, who has been chairman of the company since 2013, will retire following a transition period, during which he will retain a consultative role.

Douetil said: “Pioneer has grown significantly since formation, launching a Lloyd’s syndicate at the beginning of the year and expanding both in scale and in the scope of its underwriting. 

“Max has been absolutely key in guiding the development of the business, and his industry expertise has been invaluable. The board and I thank him for his significant contribution.”

He went on to add that McMellin’s appointment as CEO is a statement of intent. 

“His considerable experience and proven leadership ability will be important as Pioneer continues to grow and develop its unique business proposition. His track record in delivering world-class underwriting results will further strengthen what is an already outstanding team, and I am very pleased to welcome him to Pioneer,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, McMellin remarked: “Pioneer already has an outstanding reputation, with market-leading specialists, an innovative product offering and long-term, strategic capital backing. I look forward to leading Pioneer on the path of smart, results-driven profitable growth.”

Berger to replace Galvagni as Swiss Re Corporate Solutions CEO

Swiss Re has tapped Allianz’s Andreas Berger as the new CEO of its Corporate Solutions business.

He succeeds Agostino Galvagni, who the reinsurer said had decided to step down from the role at the end of the year having led the Corporate Solutions unit since October 2010 and having been at Swiss Re for more than 30 years.

Swiss Re said that Galvagni will remain as an advisor to Swiss Re until Berger takes the reins on 1 April 2019.

Berger moves to Swiss Re from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty where he most recently served as chief regions and markets officer and a member of the board of management, focusing on growing the business across Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, Mediterranean and Africa.

Before that, he held various leadership positions at Allianz Group, including CEO of its London region unit from 2009 to 2011 and global head of market management and communication from 2006 to 2009.

Swiss Re chairman Walter Kielholz commented: “We regret Agostino Galvagni's decision to step down, and I would like to thank him on behalf of the Swiss Re board of directors for his substantial contribution to Swiss Re throughout the years.”

“Under his leadership, Corporate Solutions has grown significantly and evolved into a fully-fledged commercial insurer with global presence. Thanks to its recent entrance into the primary lead market-segment, Corporate Solutions is also ideally placed for further growth.”

He added: “With Andreas Berger's appointment, we are pleased to have attracted a very capable candidate with a strong track record in the insurance industry to continue leading our Corporate Solutions' business and further improve its international business capabilities.”

Aquiline exploring potential ERS sale

Lloyd’s motor specialist ERS has announced that its majority shareholder and private equity firm, Aquiline Capital is assessing “strategic options”for the business.

In a statement issued on 21 September, the carrier said that Aquiline has engaged investment banks Macquarie Capital and Evercore to evaluate these options, which could include a potential sale of ERS and a change in ownership.

ERS highlighted that Aquiline were at a very early stage of this process. “We will continue to keep Lloyd’s, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority informed as the process develops,”it added.

The carrier said that the news follows a record half year profit of £5.6mn on premiums of £212.6mn and a combined ratio of 96.6 percent.

Aquiline acquired ERS from IAG for £87mn in 2013, ending a bidding war between Aquiline and city entrepreneur Edi Truell.

Fidelis backs new upstream energy MGA Kersey

Fidelis has taken an equity stake in a new energy-focused manging general agency (MGA) Kersey Specialty, which will be run by Paul Calnan.

Kersey will focus on upstream energy subscription market insurance and will be managed through Pine Walk Capital, Fidelis’ subsidiary MGA platform.

Fidelis will be providing underwriting capacity to the MGA.

Calnan joins from Ironshore, where he most recently led the carrier’s international offshore energy expansion. He began his career at Lloyd’s in 1988 with Octavian Underwriting and subsequently developed upstream accounts at Navigators, CV Starr before moving to Ironshore.

Philip Vandoninck, executive head of partnerships, said “Paul brings extensive knowledge and experience of the energy market, including operational, construction and casualty

“Paul’s excellent underwriting track record comes with strong reinsurance support and Fidelis is pleased to collaborate with Paul’s historical relationships. We are pleased to support this new MGA and welcome Paul to the Pine Walk group.”

Calnan added: “I am delighted to be partnering with Fidelis and Pine Walk in creating this new MGA. Our proposition is to provide thoughtful and comprehensive solutions that are appropriate to the genuine needs and wishes of buyers. We look forward to providing a flexible, consistent and prompt service to all of our customers.”

Fidelis launched its MGA incubator Pine Walk towards the end of 2017. There are now four MGAs running on the platform, Radius, Oakside, Aware and Kersey.

Dolphin promoted to COO of Hiscox Re

Hiscox has promoted Andrew Dolphin to the position of COO for its reinsurance business, Hiscox Re.

In his new position, he will be responsible for leading the whole of the Hiscox Re International teams across London, Paris and Bermuda. 

Dolphin will begin his new role and join the Hiscox Re & ILS executive team with immediate effect. Prior to his promotion, Dolphin most recently served as chair of international business at Hiscox Re.

He will report to Hiscox Re & ILS CEO, Mike Krefta, and will continued to be based in London.

Since joining the London-listed carrier in 2000, Hiscox said that Dolphin has helped grow the business capability on different fronts, from analytics and underwriting to our underwriting platform development and ensuring pricing rigour across multiple lines.

Krefta commented: “Andrew’s proven track record of success and strong reputation made him a stand out candidate for this position. We are delighted he is now part of the Hiscox Re & ILS executive team.”

StarStone CEO resigns

Demian Smith has resigned from his position as StarStone CEO, it has been announced.

In a statement, the company said: “StarStone can confirm that Demian Smith has resigned as group CEO of StarStone. We are in the final stages of recruiting a successor who we expect to announce in mid-October. In the interim, Chris Rash will lead StarStone in his role of executive chairman to support a smooth transition.”

The news follows shortly after the specialty carrier’s parent Enstar announced that it was no longer exploring a sale of StarStone and fellow active underwriting business, Atrium.

Smith was appointed to the role of group CEO in December 2016, leading its global business across StarStone’s three main regions of the US and Bermuda, Lloyd’s and the London market, and Continental Europe.

He previously served as CEO of StarStone’s international operations from 2014, overseeing Lloyd’s and the London market and Continental Europe operations. He joined the company in 2010 as global head of marine.

More than half of market sign up to LMG’s delegated authority platform

The London Market Group (LMG)’s delegated authority platform is set to go live this week, with over half of Lloyd's managing agents said to have signed up.

Named the Delegated Authority: Submission, Access and Transformation Solution (DA SATS), the platform provides a central service to standardise the collection, validation, processing and supply of delegated authority data across the market.

DA SATS represents a core part of the London Market Target Operating Model (TOM) which aims to make London an easier place to do business.

The LMG said that data will be flowing through the platform from go-live and this widespread market adoption will enable a quick and convenient submission of risk, premium and claims data in the London market.

“By uploading data directly into a secure central platform, coverholders will no longer need to email unsecured spreadsheets, all of which will reduce cost, help protect our customers’ data and increase efficiency by eliminating effort and duplication,” remarked Beazley COO and market sponsor for the delegated authority solution, Ian Fantozzi.

The LMG highlighted that market take up from brokers and underwriters has been strong and, at launch, half the underwriting and broking businesses that focus on delegated authority business had signed up for the service, with four of the five largest managing agents on board to use the platform.

“We are delighted to be launching this service to capture the right information at the right time to make underwriting and claims processing as efficient as possible for everyone in the value chain. This will help brokers and underwriters to attract coverholders to London and means that coverholders and TPAs will only have to send data once,” said Fantozzi.

“We are pleased that so many market participants have already signed up for the service. DA SATS delivers economies of scale and a simplicity of process, these are the benefits of widespread adoption of a single solution,” he concluded.