Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from RFIB, Acord, Swiss Re and more.
RFIB appoints Stephen Warwick as CEO of Reinsurance, Asia Pacific
RFIB has appointed Stephen Warwick as CEO of Reinsurance, Asia Pacific - effective 1 February 2019.
Warwick will be based in Hong Kong where he will create a new RFIB office, subject to relevant regulatory approval.
He will report to Kevin Stratton, managing director of the broker’s Specialty division.
Warwick brings over 35 years of industry experience to the role. He started his career with Aon in 1980, where he held a number of senior positions. In 2016, he left Aon Benfield, the reinsurance arm of Aon, to become the co-founder of Hong Kong-based reinsurer, Nine Merchants Re.
Speaking of the appointment Stratton said: “We are delighted to welcome Steve to RFIB. Steve’s wealth of knowledge and experience in the global market and APAC region is a great strategic fit for RFIB’s international growth plans in reinsurance.”
Group CEO Steven Beard, added: “Warwick’s appointment follows a strategic review of the region and seeing through on a commitment to building the leading independent broker in the fastest growing region in the world. I look forward to working with Steve and to him playing a pivotal role as part of our global leadership team.”
Dennis Mahoney, executive chairman of RFIB, commented: “Having worked with Steve in the past I’m delighted to welcome him to the Risk Transfer Group. Globally recognised talent such as Steve continues our firm’s strategy of attracting the very best in the business. This appointment follows recent senior Group hires including Craig Douglas, Simon McCrum, Elizabeth Jenkin, Kevin Stratton and Duncan Urquhart.”
Acord unveils 2019 Board of Directors
Acord, the industry data standards body, has announced its new 2019 Board of Directors, as well as a number of returning members.
J. Spero Zacharias will continue as chair of the Board of Directors, which consists of 27 members, including nine new directors.
Acord president and CEO, Bill Pieroni, said: “Acord’s efforts in 2019 will be driven by execution, results, and most importantly value to our members. The expertise and leadership of our Board are invaluable in fulfilling this mission and improving the global insurance industry.”
The new directors include;
Steven Beard - CEO, Risk Transfer Group & RFIB. Beard was appointed as Risk Transfer Group CEO and RFIB CEO in May 2018. He joined the Group in December 2017 as its CFO and CEO of George Yard Services (a newly created central services company). Before this, he most recently served as Group CEO of technology and professional services company, Agilisys. Beard has also served as CO of Redwave plc, the UK based venture capital business. He started his career working for a series of Lloyd’s managing agents including Navigators, Brockbank and XL Capital. Beard is a Fellow Chartered Certified Accountant.
Kirk Behrens - global chief operating officer, Aon Health Solutions. Behrens is responsible for developing and executing the strategic direction for global technology and operations at Aon Health Solutions. In addition, Behrens chairs Aon’s Global Operations & Technology Council. Before this he held a number of senior leadership positions within Aon’s Commercial Risk Solutions business and its global technology organisation during his more than 10 years with the firm. Prior to that, he held strategy, operations, and technology leadership positions at Marsh and was a management consultant at Accenture.
Helen Crooks - chief data officer, Lloyd's of London. Crooks has 30 years’ experience setting data strategy and creating data insight solutions spanning a range of markets including; FMCG / retail, telecoms, publishing, travel and financial services. She was the chief architect and technical director for Dunnhumby, and has subsequently enabled several major European organisations to effectively manage and utilise their customer data. Crooks started at Lloyd’s in August 2015, leading developments around data governance, AI and cognitive Intelligence, new data technology and a data literacy program designed to ensure Lloyd's has skills and expertise for the future.
Kevin Kennedy - chief information officer, Prudential Financial. Kennedy is vice president and chief information officer of various corporate centers; inclusive of law, compliance, business ethics & external affairs, global marketing & communications, long-term care, investor relations, operational risk, audit, and electronic records. Before joining Prudential, he served as managing director and chief technology officer at Jefferies, where he was responsible for the technology supporting the Investment banking division’s OneJef platform. Kennedy was also chief information officer for the Prudential Bache.
Patrick Molineux- managing director LIMOSS, London Insurance Market Operations and Strategic Sourcing. Molineux previously worked at CSC Computer Sciences Corporation, where he was most recently general manager responsible for CSC’s insurance business in the UK. Over his 20 years with CSC Molineux held roles including running CSC’s global insurance strategy, management consulting, sales and program management.
Dr. Ralf Schneider - executive vice president and head of global operations, Allianz. Dr. Schneider has been the Group CIO of Allianz since October 2010 and is also a former Board Member for IT of Allianz Technology SE. He also acted as the CIO of Allianz Deutschland AG, and holds various mandates in different Cyber Security related organisations such as the Cyber Security Sharing & Analytics e.V., the Deutsche Cyber Sicherheits Organisation and the Digital Society Institute of the ESMT in Berlin. He is the vice chairman of the Federal Association of IT users, a curator at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology, a senator of the National Academy of Science and Engineering, a founding member of the Industrial Data Space e.V.
Simon Squires - senior operations Lead, UK & Ireland, International & Premium Collections, Middle Office XL Catlin, AXA XL. Squires has been the chairman of Ruschlikon UK for the past seven years, helping to facilitate implementations of Acord Standard messaging across a wide community of brokers, insurers, and reinsurers. Squires has previously held roles at IBM HUON, implementing insurance systems, RSA, in operations and finance, and PWC, working in London and internationally for insurance and financial services clients.
James (Jim) Tyo - Chief Data Officer, Nationwide. Tyo is responsible for overall strategic vision, planning, execution and management of all activities related to operation of the Enterprise Data Office (EDO) for Nationwide. Jim formerly worked at BB&T, one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S., where he was their first enterprise CDO, and USAA, a member-owned association dedicated to providing financial services to the military community and their families, where he began their first chief data office. Prior to USAA, he held senior positions within GE Capital and Key Bank.
Rafal Walkiewicz - CEO, Willis Towers Watson Securities. Walkiewicz joined Willis Towers Watson in 2014. He brings over 20 years of international experience working with financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, and in particular insurance companies. Walkiewicz began his career at BMT Brokers, where he managed one of the first Polish independent stockbrokers, asset managers and investment banking boutiques. Walkiewicz earned his M.Sc and Ph.D. in applied economics from Warsaw School of Economics and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
The organisation also announced the following returning members of the Board of Directors:
Spero Zacharias, Board Chair, senior vice president, Chubb.
Tony Mattioli, Board Vice-Chair, chief information officer, Assured Partners, Inc.
John M. Artesani, executive vice president & chief operating officer, Lexington Insurance Company.
Christoph Carus, head of central division, Reinsurance Accounting, Munich Re.
Mark Cook, global chief information officer, Marsh.
Mark Esposito, senior vice president and CIO, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
Sue Figueredo, senior vice president, Business Insurance Operations, Travelers.
Alessandro Iuppa, founder & principal executive, Global Insurance Perspectives.
Robert Kelly, managing director, CEO, Steadfast Group Limited.
Mark Knipfer, chief operations officer, Zurich North America.
Dave Matcham, CEO, International Underwriting Association of London.
Gray Nester, ADS Insurance Business Information Officer/SVP, BB&T.
William Pieroni, president & CEO, Acord.
Robert Rusbuldt, president and CEO, IIABA.
Markus Schmid, division head IT & member of the group management board, Swiss Re.
Christopher B. Smith, executive vice president & head of global operations, MetLife.
Conor Whelan, chief information officer, JLT Group.
Carol Zacharias, SVP, underwriting counsel, QBE.
Swiss Re opens new capital markets unit in Luxembourg
Swiss Re has opened a new capital markets unit in Luxembourg, Swiss Re Capital Markets Europe, S.A., to ensure continuity of service for its derivative contracts following Brexit.
The unit will focus on the weather and energy risk transfer space, in which Swiss Re uses financial derivatives to service its corporate clients and facilitate its weather hedging needs.
It will also provide continuity for Swiss Re’s insurance-linked securities (ILS) operations, where derivatives can be utilised in transactions which are then fully collateralised and backed by third-party investor capital.
Stuart Brown will lead the new unit in addition to his current responsibilities as head of origination, Weather & Energy EMEA Asia-Pacific for the Corporate Solutions division.
Brown has spent the last nine years leading the Corporate Solutions sales team for weather derivatives and other insurance protection products, with a particular focus on the needs of the energy markets.
In 2018, Swiss Re CEO Christian Mumenthaler said the company was “not afraid” of the effects that Brexit may have on the economy or Swiss Re’s ability to do business.
However, with the outcome of Brexit negotiations still unclear and the March 2019 deadline fast approaching, establishing a European hub in Luxembourg will provide Swiss Re with a stable base from which to transact sophisticated financial instruments such as derivatives and ILS.
Luxembourg for Finance recently reported that a total of 11 new global insurance and reinsurance companies have decided to move their European headquarters to the country in preparation for Brexit in 2018.
Axa reveals new entity to increase innovation
Axa Group has launched a new entity, Axa Next, to build new services and business models beyond insurance.
Each year, Axa will invest €200mn in its innovation vehicle as it aims to speed up the pace of innovation through Axa Next.
The company said its new structure will allow it to benefit from a dedicated organisation and resources as well as new ways of looking at business developments.
Thomas Buberl, chief executive of Axa commented: "In a world impacted by major technological and societal disruptions, the expectations around protection are increasing dramatically. I am convinced that Axa Next and their great innovations position Axa to meet the needs of our customers, and become a close partner in their lives,"
Guillaume Borie, CEO of Axa Next and group chief innovation officer, shared: "Insurance will remain a core part of our proposal, but we will go beyond insurance by bringing new services and offer a more comprehensive answer to the evolving needs of our customers."
AIG hires global head of A&H, General Insurance
AIG has named Edward Levin as its new global head of accident & health (A&H), General Insurance, effective in February.
In his new position, Levin will be responsible for the global A&H portfolio, including distribution and underwriting strategy as well as developing a global A&H strategy, identifying growth opportunities, and creating a diverse distribution pipeline.
Based in London he will report to Christopher Townsend, CEO of AIG International General Insurance.
Lewin joins AIG from Chubb, where he most recently served as group digital business officer. Prior to Chubb, he spent four years with ACE Europe as executive vice president of A&H, life and personal lines. He has also held positions at Citigroup, and Booz Allen Hamilton.
Commenting on the appointment Townsend said: “Edward’s deep understanding of the A&H business and his experience in building out digital platforms and products will add value as we develop next generation digital capabilities for AIG. I am pleased to welcome Edward to AIG as we position our A&H business for growth in an evolving industry.”
Levin added: “I’m looking forward to joining AIG to build a market-leading A&H business. AIG has a strong heritage of product innovation and distribution leadership in this area; with this renewed focus we will be well positioned to deliver products and services that add value for our customers.”
RSA restructures leadership team
RSA has announced a series of senior appointments within its commercial business divisions - Commercial Risk Solutions (CRS) and Global Risk Solutions (GRS).
The appointments support their growth and development following a refocus of some commercial activities.
Two internal appointments have been made in the GRS business; Calvin Gray takes on the role of sales and distribution director – effective immediately and Anne Mehta will move from her current role as lead auditor, to become head of governance and control – effective in March.
Alex Hardy will join RSA as sales and distribution director for CRS.
After almost six years with RSA, Gray will oversee the team responsible for developing and maintaining productive relationships with customers and broker partners.
Mehta will work with the global commercial leadership team to embed risk management and ensure compliant practice throughout the refocused GRS business.
Hardy joins the team with a wealth of experience having worked across the UK, Ireland and London market.
Tony Buckle, managing director, GRS commented: “I am delighted to announce Calvin’s appointment as director of sales and distribution in GRS. Calvin’s determination to use data to inform our strategy and drive our business forward is first class. He will build out our broker and customer proposition in areas where we can truly differentiate and that will stand us in good stead as we reposition our GRS portfolio.
We are also delighted to appoint Anne as our GRS head of governance and control. Good governance lies at the heart of our business, and Anne will challenge us to maintain that focus as we develop our business, our specialist proposition and our support structure.
These appointments reflect not only the quality of the bench at RSA but our determination to stretch our up-and-coming talent in senior roles.”
Rob Gibbs, managing director, CRS said: "Alex is a great fit for CRS, and his track record of relationship management and innovative leadership will be invaluable as we build on the current momentum and create maximum impact in the market.
Alex joining the team is testament to the quality of talent that our commercial business is able to attract externally."
Allianz partners with PIMCO to launch P&C ILS unit
PIMCO, which is owned by Allianz, has established a new property and casualty (P&C) insurance-linked securities (ILS) business, working in partnership with its parent company.
The new ILS business launch will be led by executive vice president Rick Pagnani who brings over 30 years of ILS market experience to the role, and was previously the CEO of Mt. Logan Re, the ILS division of Everest Re.
Working in partnership, PIMCO and Allianz will source global catastrophe risk in the form of collateralised reinsurance as well as other structured investments, while at the same time keeping independent underwriting and portfolio construction procedures.
According to an announcement, this approach provides PIMCO with flexibility to source risk from the open market.
Emmanuel Roman, PIMCO’s CEO, said: “We are excited to enter the ILS market at a time when volatility has become a mainstay of financial markets and clients want to diversify their investments. Partnering with Allianz will give PIMCO access to a diversified portfolio of global catastrophe risk and the ability to leverage the robust capabilities of a premier global insurance group in our effort to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns for clients.”
Both Allianz Re and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) will support the new PIMCO ILS operation, via global underwriting networks and the deal structuring capacity and experience of its Capital Solutions team.
Amer Ahmed, Allianz Re CEO, said: “We believe that this partnership of PIMCO and Allianz truly leverages the strengths of both companies. With PIMCO we have a partner with access to an investor base that can provide the capital for which Allianz can supply insurance risks, both traditional catastrophe exposure risks and over time other risk classes. At Allianz we are excited that this will enable us to expand our underwriting capacity and generate new fee-based income streams.”