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EC News (7th February 2019)

February 07, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Lloyd's, Sirius, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and more.

Lloyd’s appoints Burkhard Keese as CFO

Lloyd’s has named Burkhard Keese as its new chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding John Parry who announced his departure in May 2018.

Keese will take up his new role on 1 April 2019. As Lloyd’s CFO his responsibilities will include financial reporting for the Corporation and the market, capital setting and capital adequacy, tax, treasury and investment management.

Keese joins Lloyds from Allianz Deutschland AG after seven years as CFO, during which he successfully implemented the internal models for Solvency II, introduced a value generating growth strategy and initiated several large transformation programmes.

Before this he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the global finance function of Allianz. 

Commenting on the appointment John Neal, CEO of Lloyd’s, said: “I am delighted to welcome Burkhard to Lloyd’s. He is an accomplished Chief Financial Officer with leadership experience across financial, capital and investment management as well as proven expertise in business transformation.

Burkhard joins Lloyd’s at an exciting time. We are working with all our stakeholders to significantly improve near term profitability and to ensure Lloyd’s can remain at the forefront of commercial, corporate and specialty insurance and reinsurance for years to come.”

Burkhard shared: “It has been a tough decision to leave Allianz Deutschland, but I’m excited to join Lloyd’s in 2019 as its CFO. For me, it is an incredible opportunity to play a part in Lloyd’s success.

For 330 years Lloyd’s has been taking on the world’s risks and that longevity demonstrates its enduring relevance. As one of the oldest and most respected insurance brands in the world, there is nothing else like it, and I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity.”

Sirius appoints new CEO and CFO

Sirius International Insurance Group, Ltd., has appointed Kernan Oberting as CEO of Sirius Group, succeeding Allan Waters, while Ralph Salamone replaces Oberting as chief financial officer (CFO) of Sirius Group.

Both appointments are effective 9 February 2019, and comes after the company’s board of directors implemented its succession plans.

Waters, who is stepping down as a director of the company will be staying on after 9 February to provide advisory services to Oberting and other senior executives at the firm.

Prior to becoming CEO of Sirius Group, Oberting served as president since September 2018, CFO of Sirius Group and president of Sirius Capital Markets since April 2016. Before this, he was a senior partner at White Mountains Capital, Inc.

Speaking of his appointment Oberting said: “I am honoured and privileged to be the next CEO of Sirius Group, and I appreciate the confidence that Allan and the board of directors have placed in me. I also want to thank Allan for his constant support, and am fortunate to have him as both a mentor and friend. This is an exciting time for Sirius Group, and I look forward to working with Ralph, our Management Committee and the rest of our colleagues all over the globe to grow our franchise and create value for all stakeholders.”

Prior to becoming CFO of Sirius Group, Salamone served as president and CEO for Sirius Global Services, LLC, a role he held since 2010. He also served as the senior vice president, CFO and treasurer at Sirius America Insurance Company since 2012.

As well as the appointments of Oberting and Salamone, Meyer Frucher, chair of the nominating and governance committee of the board of directors, has been appointed interim non-executive chairman.

Frucher, said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Allan for his remarkable leadership as CEO. Allan has left a significant legacy and made lasting contributions to Sirius Group. Under his leadership, Sirius Group was publicly listed and diversified its shareholder base with four globally recognized investment firms as cornerstone investors.

“Today’s leadership announcement is part of a thoughtful succession plan culminating in Allan’s existing management team being appointed to continue to lead Sirius Group into the future.”

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions unveils cyber offering for SMEs

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has launched a new risk management solution to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) manage their cyber and digital risks.

CyberSolution 360° was developed in collaboration with French cyber security insurtech company Ozon, and combines insurance with cyber attack protection services.

The solution is targeted at SMEs with 10 to 250 employees and covers cyber incident management, including costs such as data recovery fees, legal advice fees or administrative penalties; first party losses including the loss of income; as well as third party claims, such as damages under an SME`s privacy liability.

According to Swiss Re Corporate Solutions the offering will be available in France from 6 February and rolled out to other European markets throughout 2019.

François Brisson, head of cyber technology EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions commented: “By combining cyber insurance with protection services, we’re able to help European SMEs better manage their cyber risk,”

Adding: “CyberSolution 360° reduces both the likelihood and the impact of a cyber attack, and therefore gives SMEs better protection for growing their business safely,”

Regis Rocroy, CEO and founder of Ozon, said: “With CyberSolution 360°, we are making a paradigm shift, moving from the one-time assessment of cyber risks to the integrated and continuous management of cyber and digital risks for SMEs. This innovation is our first step into the Insurtech market.”

Hyperion X names Baptista as chief data officer

Hyperion Insurance Group has appointed Miguel Baptista as chief data officer of Hyperion X, its recently launched business targeting key areas of data, analytics and digital platform delivery.

In his new role, Baptista will oversee Hyperion X’s collection, use and analysis of data, providing insight for the ongoing development of a range of digital products of appeal to clients and business partners at every point in the insurance distribution chain.

He joins from biopharmaceutical company MSD where he served as senior director of Information Platforms.

Hyperion X will also manage Hyperion’s third-party insurtech investments, as well as incubating its own start-up ventures.

Barnaby Rugge-Price, CEO of Hyperion X said: “Miguel will be a huge asset to us as he not only has the deep technical knowledge that we require to deliver results but also the creativity and strategic mindset that will drive innovation and growth,”

Adding: “By combining our expertise in international insurance markets with improved business insights from data, we can use technology to lower costs, to enhance our client interactions and to create new market spaces.”

RFIB makes two appointments to African operations and opens new headquarters

RFIB has announced two new additions to its African operations as well as the opening of new offices in Johannesburg.

Fhumulani Munzhedzi joins as head of facultative for Africa and is reunited with Lee Ellis, CEO of RFIB Africa and Neesha Parbhoo, director of RFIB Africa.

Ellis commented: “It is my distinct pleasure to work with Fhums once again. Combining his ten years of facultative broking experience across Africa with the strength of the RFIB Group platform will undoubtedly release significant value for our regional clients.”

Nina Joubert joins as head of client experience, effective 1 January 2019. Joubert was most recently the general manager of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng and has a proven track record in client management, branding and marketing.

Parbhoo added: “Nina’s work at the institute was instantly recognisable as being of the very highest standard. Her unyielding work ethic combined with her passion for brand management and marketing will ensure RFIB clients receive nothing other than the exceptional levels of service they deserve.”

Additionally, RFIB has signed a long-term lease on its new African headquarters in Montecasino, Johannesburg.

“RFIB’s new headquarters underlines the Group commitment to the African continent. The continued investment in both platform and people offers a continually evolving, increasingly enticing proposition for the African reinsurance buyer,” commented Paul Ray, director of RFIB Africa.

Neon Italy appoints claims manager

The Italian business of (re)insurance specialist Neon has appointed Paolo Olivari as claims manager, effective immediately.

In his role, Olivari will primarily focus on Hull claims and report to the CEO of Neon Italy, Sergio Revello.

Olivari brings over 20 years’ experience and joins from Generali, where he ran its Global Corporate and Commercial Marine Hull claims department from 2002, followed by Cargo from 2012 onwards, before being appointed as senior claims manager in 2017.

Prior to this, Olivari was a surveyor at OL.marine and an engineer in the Italian Navy.

Commenting on the appointment Revello saidI am delighted to welcome Paolo to Neon Italy. He has developed an exceptional reputation and is well placed to develop and strengthen our role in the Italian marine market, offering excellent client service, in line with Neon’s global claims philosophy.”

Olivari shared: I am thrilled to be joining Neon. The Italian market needs a new marine-focused player and the presence of an international insurer based directly in Italy is, in its own way, the best method of offering a real alternative. In my opinion, Neon Italy combines the capability of a global carrier with the domestic skills represented by a highly experienced Italian team perfectly.”

WTW appoints Bowser to lead life insurance consulting team

Willis Towers Watson has hired Marcus Bowser to lead its life insurance consulting team in the UK.

Bowser takes over the role from Colin Forrest, who becomes regional leader for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the company’s insurance consulting and technology business.

Bowser has close to 20 years of experience in the life insurance industry. He most recently served as UK life sales and practice leader within the insurance consulting and technology business.

Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson in 2015, Bowser held a number of senior positions with Aviva, S&P and PwC.

Forrest commented: “I’m delighted to announce that Marcus will be taking on the role of UK life leader, with immediate effect. In the last four years, he has successfully led and delivered new and innovative business and technology solutions sought by our life insurance clients in the UK during a time of significant market disruption. Marcus has all the skills, experience and knowledge to lead the UK team successfully over the coming years as the market presents us with ever-evolving opportunities and challenges.”

Speaking of his appointment Bowser said: “Technology is rapidly impacting on all aspects of insurers’ businesses, enabling greater connectedness to the end customer who is in turn demanding ever easier interactions and more from those interactions. This coupled with a need for operational efficiency in the face of brutal margin compression, a challenging economic environment, regulatory headwinds, and increasing complexity in their financial reporting, means there is plenty for insurers’ boards to consider when considering how best to deliver value to their stakeholders. I’m excited to be taking on this new role at time of considerable change and supporting our clients to navigate these challenges.”

Castel adds marine specialty solution

Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited, the club-style MGA formation platform, has included specialist marine coverages to its portfolio with the addition of Seacurus.

Led by Angus Bailey, Seacurus is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Barbican Insurance Group. It underwrites a book focusing on revenue protection and credit default protection insurances for the shipping industry, including marine kidnap & ransom, hull war and seafarer abandonment business.

Capacity is reportedly being provided by both Lloyd’s and company market insurers.

Bailey previously served as an underwriter and account manager for marine special risks at Seacurus.

Mark Birrell, chief executive of Castel, commented: “Angus operates in a dynamic market with growth potential for specialist coverages that address very specific client needs and exposures.  This further expansion in our specialty division demonstrates the appetite we have to support specialist, entrepreneurial underwriters in building their own profitable books of business.”

Bailey said: “Castel Specialty provides the platform and infrastructure which enables us to focus on delivering the responsive underwriting and relevant products that are imperatives in this market. Whether it is coverage in the war and piracy high risk areas or offering a dedicated seafarer abandonment product, we are able to ensure the risks are responded to effectively wherever and whenever clients operate.”