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EC News (24th January 2019)

January 24, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Cathedral Underwriting, Axa, Darag and more.

Cathedral Underwriting names Woolley as CEO

Lancashire Holdings has appointed Emma Woolley as CEO of its subsidiary Cathedral Underwriting Limited (CUL), succeeding Andrew Mckee, who is due to depart at the end of the month.

Woolley brings over two decades of experience in the London marketplace, following a number of senior roles across the capital.

She currently serves as CUL’s compliance director and is a member of its board, having joined Lancashire Group in January 2017.

Alex Maloney, Lancashire Group CEO commented: “I am delighted to see Emma assume the role of CEO at CUL. She has already established herself as a valued member of the Cathedral management team and is a respected member of the CUL Board,”

“I would also like to thank Andrew for his contribution to CUL and the wider Group. I wish him well for the future.”

Axa UK announces new COO

Axa has appointed Shali Vasudeva as chief operating officer (COO), Axa UK and Ireland.

Vasudeva will assume the newly-created role on 1 March 2019.

Vasudeva will be responsible for delivering more robust operational stability across the firm, as well as lead a Transformation Office that will be focused on simplifying the firm’s operations.

She joins Axa from Hiscox, where she led group-wide change. Additionally, she spent seven years with Prudential, three of which she worked as executive director, operations.

As COO of AXA UK and Ireland, Vasudeva will join the management committee of the firm, and report directly to Axa UK and Ireland CEO Claudio Gienal.

Speaking of the appointment Gienal said: “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Shali into the newly-created role of chief operating officer. Axa is focused on delivering the best possible service to its customers, underpinned by operational excellence. Her track record speaks for itself and I, along with the rest of the Management Committee, look forward to working with her and taking up future challenges for the benefit of our customers and members.”

BHSI extends transactional liability offering to UK & Europe

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has announced that it plans to expand its North American Transactional Liability Insurance business to the UK and Europe.

BHSI explained that it will now provide warranty and indemnity (W&I), tax, and contingent liability insurance in the UK and throughout Europe.

The company also provides representations & warranties, contingent liability, and class action settlement insurance in the US and Canada.

As part of the move, BHSI has named Ed Martin as head of Transactional Liability, UK and Europe.

He will be based in the insurer’s London office.

Martin joins BHSI from Enstar Group Limited, where he was the lead in-house mergers and acquisitions (M&A) lawyer for Enstar’s dedicated M&A team.

Before this, Martin was Of Counsel at Norton Rose (now Norton Rose Fulbright) with its London Corporate and Regulatory Insurance team.

Robert Underhill, senior vice president, head of Transactional Liability, BHSI commented: “As the need for solutions for the risks and uncertainties in corporate transactions continues to grow, BHSI is pleased to bring to market the local expertise, financial strength, and capacity that will enable companies in the UK and throughout Europe to respond, quickly and strategically, to the exposures of mergers, acquisitions and other transactions,”

Chris Colahan, head of UK and Europe, BHSI, said: “Ed is a stellar addition to our expanding Transactional Liability team worldwide,”

Adding: “Our capabilities in the UK, throughout Europe and around the world continue to expand to help our customers respond to pressing risks.”

He continued: “This latest expansion follows the well set pattern of BHSI’s growth,”

“We grow where and when we can offer outstanding expertise and provide meaningful long-term solutions, backed by our stable capacity and financial strength.”

Darag acquires Italian non-life portfolio from Donau

Darag has purchased a portfolio of Italian non-life business, consisting primarily of motor third party liability from Donau Versicherung.

The transaction is subject to approval by the relevant local authorities.

As well as motor third party liability business, the transaction also comprises a going concern transfer from Donau into the firm’s Italian arm Darag Italia S.p.A.

According to an announcement, the transfer provides Donau with a clean exit from its Italian business and is the first third party transfer into Darag’s Italian business.

Also, Donau’s existing Italian employees and intermediaries will transfer into Darag Italia.

Tullio Ferrucci, CEO of Darag Italia, said: “Italy is a core market for Darag, and our carrier has an unparalleled ability to offer local solutions to local and foreign parties seeking a total or partial exit from their non-strategic operations. We are excited to be a key part of Darag’s expansion and growth, offering legacy solutions whatever the scale and scope required.”

Tom Booth, CEO of Darag Group, shared: “Securing €260mn of committed equity capital from Aleph and Crestview in July 2018 alongside Keyhaven Capital Partners, long term shareholder, and expanding into the US and Bermuda marked an exciting new chapter for Darag. To start 2019 by announcing reaching agreement on this sizeable deal is extremely pleasing and demonstrates our ability to convert an ever increasing pipeline of legacy deals.

Our expertise in European markets remains unparalleled, and we continue to build on our key strength: our ability to deliver flexible capital management solutions for even the most complex legacy portfolios. Italy is an example of a country where our ability to deliver a purely local solution is vital to successful execution and by potential clients. This transaction is significant in that it is the first of its type in the Italian market involving Italian based risks. We look forward to leveraging our unique platform as the market continues to open up to legacy based solutions.”

Swiss Re appoints Kane as non-executive chairman at ReAssure

Swiss Re has named Archie Kane as the new non-executive chairman of the board of directors of its UK-based closed book business ReAssure, effective immediately.

Kane will be responsible for providing leadership to the firm’s board of directors, as well as advising management on strategy and to see that communications with stakeholders are conducted in both an effective and timely manner during ReAssure’s expected initial public offering (IPO) in 2019.

Kane is currently non-executive director at Melrose Industries PLC, and has previously served as Governor of the Bank of Ireland from 2012-2018. He also worked at Lloyd’s Banking Group from 1986-2011.

Thierry Léger, CEO of Swiss Re Life Capital, commented: “We would like to extend a warm welcome to Archie Kane as the new chairman of the Board at ReAssure. He brings vast financial industry leadership experience along with in-depth understanding of best practices on corporate governance. I am confident that Archie Kane can provide ReAssure with strategic direction – especially during the important IPO process.”

Swiss Re announced in August 2018 that it is exploring a potential IPO of ReAssure in 2019. In December 2018, the company appointed Mark Hodges as the new CEO of ReAssure PLC.

BHSI enters UK construction and appoints Seamer to lead division

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHS) is expanding into the UK property construction insurance market and has appointed Simeon Seamer to lead as head of property construction, UK & Ireland from the firm’s London office.

Alongside property construction, BHSI’s UK expansion looks set to offer a range of products including Contractors’ All Risks (CAR) insurance, as well as liability and professional indemnity coverages.

Chris Colahan, head of UK and Europe, BHS said: “With the current uncertainty surrounding available capacity for the construction industry in London, BHSI is pleased to provide a stable, reliable solution,”

“We enter the property construction market with substantial capacity backed by stellar financial strength, BHSI’s long-view market commitment, and the expertise of Simeon to lead our growing team.”

Seamer joins BHSI with almost 20 years’ experience in the construction (re)insurance industry. He most recently served as EMEA head of construction & senior underwriter at SCOR Global P&C.

Before that he was senior construction underwriter at Zurich Global Corporate UK.

BHSI’s construction team for the UK and Ireland also includes James Emson, vice president of casualty, who joins BHSI from QBE in Hong Kong, and Farhad Dabestani, senior underwriter, professional indemnity, who comes to BHSI from Axa XL.

Guy Carpenter restructures to accommodate JLT Re teams

Guy Carpenter has established a new global capital solutions group and announced several key leadership appointments.

The restructure will be effective after the closing of the JLT acquisition by its parent Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Guy Carpenter states that the changes reflect continued efforts to both align and integrate its capabilities with that of JLT Re, the reinsurance broking arm of JLT Group.

David Priebe will lead the new unit, working closely with the firm’s analytics, strategic advisory, and broking teams.

The new Group will consist of two units, Global Capital Solutions and GC Securities, both reporting to Priebe.

The CEO of North America at JLT Re, Ed Hochberg, is to become head of the Global Capital Solutions practice, and he will also be tasked with supporting the integration of JLT Re’s North American business with Guy Carpenter.

GC Securities - the company’s insurance-linked securities (ILS) division - will continue to have Shiv Kumar as its president.

As well as appointments within the new Group, the firm has announced a number of other appointments.

In Guy Carpenter North America, Tim Gardner, CEO of GC North America, and John Trace, president of GC US, will both remain in their leadership roles.

Other appointments include Keith Harrison, CEO of UK & Europe, JLT Re, becoming head of London North America for GC.

He will also spearhead the establishment of a new London operation to service and source business non-affiliated with Guy Carpenter, which is to be overseen by president and CEO of Guy Carpenter, Peter Hearn. Harrison is also set to join the Guy Carpenter executive committee.

Simon Keeley, head of London North America, GC, and Mark Higgins, head of London North America at JLT Re, will both report to Harrison, and form part of the senior leadership team.

Within Guy Carpenter International, James Nash is set to stay as CEO of Guy Carpenter International.

At the same time, Jeremy Fox, CEO of JLT Re Asia Pacific, has been named chairman of GC Asia Pacific.

In Guy Carpenter Specialties, Kevin Fisher, CEO of GC Global Specialties, is to become chairman of GC UK & Specialties.

At the same time, current deputy CEO Global Specialties and head of Non-Marine Specialties at GC, James Boyce, is to become CEO of Global Specialties, and also join the Guy Carpenter Executive Committee.

In addition, Bradley Maltese, deputy CEO of UK & Europe at JLT Re, will become vice chairman of Global Specialties, while Richard Morgan, managing director, GC Global Specialties, has been appointed head of non-marine specialties.

The appointments of Boyce, Fisher, and Morgan are effective immediately, states Guy Carpenter.

Lastly, within Global Strategic Advisory, David Flandro, global head of Analytics at JLT Re, has been named global head of Economics and Franchise Risk Advisory. Vice chair of GC Global Strategic Advisory, Vicky Carter, will continue to serve in her leadership role.

Guy Carpenter’s Peter Hearn, commented: “The combination of Guy Carpenter and JLT Re’s capabilities and expertise will create an exciting opportunity to deliver enhanced value to clients across the globe through a structure that is intuitive and aligned with our strategic priorities.

“These roles will be filled by experienced and talented leaders who will have a positive impact on our business. I congratulate them and look forward to working with them in their important new roles.”