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EC News (28 March 2019)

March 28, 2019

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

John Farley joins Gallagher to lead cyber practice

Gallagher the global (re)insurance brokerage appoints John Farley as managing director and leader of the broker’s cyber practice.

He joined the company in March 2019 to lead its Cyber Practice where it will see him develop executive strategy for cyber insurance and related business lines across the U.S., London and Australia.

In his new role he will also be responsible for client retention, product, market and business development, peer review of select client programmes, as well as recruitment, training, development, mentoring, and the retention of broker colleagues.

Farley brings 27 years of insurance industry experience to the role, providing extensive knowledge assisting clients across all industries in understanding and navigating cyber market dynamics.  His experience also includes offering guidance on emerging regulatory risk, cyber-attack techniques, cyber risk prevention and data breach cost mitigation strategies.

Prior to Gallagher, Farley was vice president, cyber risk consulting practice leader at HUB International.

Coverys appoints head of claims from Brit

Lloyd’s managing agent Coverys appoints Caitlin Crist to the newly created role of head of claims of Coverys Syndicate 1975.

Crist joins Coverys from Brit Global Speciality where she was previously responsible for managing and adjusting complex casualty claims and providing US legal advice on contentious issues. She brings over a decade of liability claims experience to the post and will start her new role in June 2019.

Robin McCoy, CEO of Coverys Managing Agency said: “Coverys has built its market leading reputation by ensuring better outcomes for clients, from risk mitigation and patient safety to improved analytics. Superior claims management is also core to this ethos. How we handle claims in Lloyd’s will be crucial to maintaining our growth trajectory in the market. Caitlin is an expert in medical professional liability claims and will play a key role in ensuring that the best-in-class reputation which Coverys has developed is maintained as we continue to strengthen our position in London and internationally.”

Hamilton reveals executive developments

Hamilton Insurance Group has announced a number of executive shake ups including the departure of Dermot O’Donohoe as chief executive officer (CEO) of Hamilton at Lloyd’s.

O’Donohoe joined the company in 2015 and was responsible for overseeing the acquisition and development of Sportscover Managing Agency and Syndicate 3334. No further departure details have been provided only that it has been agreed O’Donohoe would stay until the definitive agreement with Liberty Mutual was signed earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Hamilton Insurance appointed Peter Barrett, former chairman of Lloyd’s broker, Bell & Clements, to a newly created position of global head, speciality insurance. Barrett will report to Hamilton Group CEO, Pina Albo and will be based in London. He will be responsible for overseeing the integration of Lloyd’s and non-Lloyd’s operations that are being acquired by Liberty Mutual.

As well as Barrett, Christi Garber, former tax director of the Americas at Validus Group, has joined Hamilton insurance to the newly created position of senior vice president (SVP), Tax. Garber will be based in New York and report to Jonathan Reiss, chief financial officer (CFO) and be responsible for all taxation compliance.

Albo comments: “Following the announcement earlier this month of our transformative deal with Liberty Mutual, I’m delighted to welcome Peter Barrett and Christi Garber to the Hamilton team. Their impressive skills and valuable experience are going to be critical as we complete our transaction and plan for the subsequent integration of the operations we’re acquiring.The establishment of these two new positions are key developments in achieving our goal of establishing a leading diversified global specialty insurance and reinsurance company,”

Adding: “Tempering our welcome to Peter and Christi is our regret at losing Dermot. He’s been with Hamilton at Lloyd’s from the beginning and has steered our agency and syndicate with a steady hand. We’re grateful for all that he’s contributed to Hamilton and wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Hamilton announces departure of chief risk officer

Hilary Weaver chief risk officer (CRO) is set leave the organisation at the end of March 2019 after 16 years. She joined Lloyd’s of London in 2004 as head of internal audit and became chief risk officer in April 2016, joining Lloyd’s Executive Committee.

Weaver’s responsibilities included risk management, compliance, international regulatory affairs, government affairs and US Regulatory Affairs. She also served as chairman for the Lloyd's Diversity Group and as a founding member of the market-wide Inclusion@Lloyd's committee.

John Neal, CEO at Lloyd’s said: “Hilary has made a considerable contribution over the past 16 years, most recently in building the corporation’s risk management function. Hilary leaves with our thanks and very best wishes for the future.”

Weaver commented: “Lloyd’s is a strong global brand and I am proud of we have achieved in the time that I have been here. I have served under four CEOs and three Chairman in my time and so think it is time to look for the next challenge. Although I am leaving, I look forward to seeing the Lloyd’s market continue successfully.”

Bank of England set to release new climate risk standards

The Bank of England has announced preparations to release a new set of rules on how it wants (re)insurers and banks to manage the financial risks from climate change.

In a recent statement, Governor Mark Carney said: “insurers and reinsurers are on the front line of managing the physical risks from climate change,” but added that companies need to go further in their long-term plans.

The new rules, due to be published by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), will require (re)insurers to  “embed fully the consideration of climate risks into governance frameworks, including at board level, and assign responsibility for oversight of these risks to specific senior role holders.”

They will also promote further climate considerations in risk management practices, the regular use of scenario analysis to test resilience, and minimum standards for the disclosure of climate risks.

Carney said: “The PRA has found that despite the sophistication of insurers in modelling climate risks, there are still gaps in their own risk management,”

“The PRA is increasingly focused on cognitive dissonance in some insurers whose careful management of climate risks on the liability side of their balance sheets is not always matched by similar considerations on the asset side.”

As part of a market wide insurance stress test next month the PRA will be asking insurers to consider how their businesses will be affected in different physical and transition risks scenarios.

Carney advised that governments will continue to set environmental rules, financial regulators have a key role to play in encouraging firms to implement long-term climate plans and enabling the flow of investment into green technologies.

Carney commented: “Financial policymakers will not drive the transition to a low-carbon economy. Governments will establish the climate policy frameworks, and the private sector will make the necessary investments,”

Adding: “Nonetheless, financial policymakers do have a clear interest in ensuring the financial system is resilient to any transition hastened by those decisions. Our role is to develop the frameworks for markets to adjust efficiently.”

EU commissioner approves Marsh & JLT merge

The European Commission clears the acquisition of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) by Marsh & McLennan Companies’ (MMC) after Arthur J. Gallagher’s recent purchase of JLT’s global aerospace operations. 

The companies both expect the deal to close on 1 April 2019 at $6.4bn subject to courts approval at the UK High Court hearing set for 29 March.

The commission was concerned about the proposed deal, due to the effect on competition in the insurance brokerage markets where the two companies’ activities overlap. This included the speciality sectors such as energy, aircraft operators, aerospace manufacturers and space which could have led to higher prices, less choice and lower quality of services in these markets.

Following the agreement of Arthur J. Gallagher’s acquisition of JLT's aerospace business it has been concluded that all regulatory and competition authority approvals required would no longer raise concerns in the European Economic Area.

Willis Re names new head of London market reinsurance claims

Willis Re, the global (re)insurance division of broker Willis Towers Watson, has appointed Steve Robson as head of London market reinsurance claims, effective from 25 March 2019.  

Claims veteran Robson has 36 years’ experience in the sector and brings impressive client-side knowledge to the role supporting the closer alignment of the servicing teams.

Prior to joining Willis Re, Robson has held several positions including head of claims at Brit, managing director of Syndicate 1884, president of the International Association of Claims Professionals (IACP), and chairmanships at the London Market CAT Coordination Group, and its Reinsurance Claims Practitioner Group. In his new role he will be leading the claims broking team in London and will report into Chris Brook, Willis Re’s global chief operating officer (COO).

Brook, commented: “We are thrilled that Steve will lead Willis Re’s ongoing effort to redefine our claims offering by bringing claims advocacy to the forefront of our business. Steve’s extensive experience as an inwards and outwards claims director for several prominent risk carriers, as well as the senior industry roles he has held in the (re)insurance market has given him a broad and invaluable perspective on claims, and a deep understanding of the depth of service and future positioning that Willis Re aims to deliver to our clients.”