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EC News (11 April 2019)

April 11, 2019

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

StarStone Group’s leadership changes to drive profitable growth

Speciality insurer, StarStone Group has announced several new appointments to its global leadership team.

The reshuffle includes Ed Noonan as group chairman; Dick Sanford joins as president while Chris Rash has been promoted to chief executive officer of StarStone International and Deputy Group CEO.

Noonan most recently served as chairman and CEO of Validus Group from 2005 to 2018 where they experienced significant growth under Noonan’s leadership and ultimately was acquired by AIG in 2018. He has held multiple senior roles and is a recognised marketing leader who brings over 30 years industry knowledge to his new position.

Sanford joins StarStone Group from PartnerRe US where he held the position of chairman and president. Starting his career in 1984 as a casualty underwriter at AIG he brings with him over 3 decades of insurance market experience. In his new role he will oversee the group’s global underwriting and reinsurance strategy.

Meanwhile, Rash is promoted to deputy group CEO as well as chief executive officer of StarStone International. He joined in August 2018 and will be responsible for leading StarStone’s international business and operational strategy at Group level. Rash has over 20 years of industry experience, having held several leadership positions, including 15 years at RSA and group chief financial officer at MS Amlin.

John Hendrickson, group chief executive officer, said: “This is a pivotal moment for StarStone. As we reposition StarStone to deliver profitable growth, Ed and Dick bring a wealth of knowledge. Their respective contribution, together with Chris’s financial and operational expertise, will prove invaluable as we continue to provide highly professional, bespoke specialty solutions to our clients, locally and globally.

Ariel Re announces new head of marine & energy

Ariel Re, a member of Argo Group has appointed David Martin as head of marine & energy, reinsurance, effective immediately.

Martin brings more than 30 years of industry experience to Ariel Re. He joins the business from Tokio Millennium Re where he served as senior marine and energy underwriter most recently, head of UK underwriting.

Martin will work closely alongside Emily Leitch, senior specialty reinsurance underwriter, to build out the business. He will report to Matthew Wilken, deputy global head of reinsurance at Ariel Re. 

Wilken, deputy global head of reinsurance commented: “David has a consistent and exceptional track record of growing successful books of business from the ground up. His knowledge and wealth of experience in the marine and energy market are valuable to us as we build out the portfolio and provide a broader product offering to our customers. We are thrilled to have David as part of the Ariel Re team.”

Gallagher names John Thompson CEO of UK speciality & wholesale businesses

Global insurance brokerage Gallagher, has announced the appointment of John Thompson as CEO of the UK’s specialty London market and wholesale businesses, having held the position on an interim basis since September 2018.

He joined Gallagher in 2014 as a managing partner for construction and in 2017 after the division got substantiality bigger his role expanded to include responsibility for the energy division.

Thompson brings 38 years of industry experience with him and will be responsible for overseeing all London market specialty operations and work with the business’ divisional directors to further build out the company’s growing specialty offering and specialist broking teams.

Thompson will assume UK executive committee level responsibility for both the Gallagher London market specialist broking business and the separate Alesco wholesale business.

Simon Matson, CEO of Gallagher’s UK broking and underwriting business, said: “John is an outstanding broker, exceptional people leader and operates with absolute integrity at all times, all of which make him the perfect candidate for this role. We have an enviable London Market specialty offering and under John’s leadership I know our teams will continue to grow and achieve even bigger and better things in the future.”

Chubb appoints new head of financial institutions for UK & Ireland  

Chubb has announced the appointment of Jonathan Kennett as head of financial institutions for UK & Ireland and Chubb Global Markets (CGM), the insurer's London Market wholesale and specialty arm.

Kennett’s appointment is with immediate effect and will report to Matthew Shaw, division president, Chubb Global Markets and Hilda Toh, financial lines manager, UK and Ireland.

In his new role, Kennett will be responsible for the leadership, strategy and performance of Chubb's Financial Institutions business in the UK and Ireland and CGM after a restructure merged the two underwriting teams.

Kennett was previously financial institutions manager for the UK and Ireland, joined Chubb in 2017. Before that he held a number of senior leadership roles at several insurers and reinsurers including AIG, Munich Re and Zurich.

Shaw, division president, Chubb Global Markets said: "I am delighted to welcome Jonathan to this new and important role. The restructure of our underwriting teams has been untaken to enable the seamless delivery of our Financial Institutions offering, focused around broker and customer needs. Jonathan has a broad knowledge and depth of experience across the financial institutions business and is well placed to further develop our products, coverage and service in this area."

Munich Re’s Ergo Group sells three entities to Generali Group

Ergo International AG has signed the agreement to sell its entire insurance portfolios of its Life, Non-life and Composite portfolios in Hungary and Slovakia to Generali Group subject to regulatory and anti-trust approvals.

The sale comes as part of its international business optimisation strategy. Premium income across all three ERGO entities totalled €20.6mn (GWP) in 2017. The change of ownership of the portfolios from ERGO to Generali will have no effect on the obligations towards current clients.

Alexander Ankel, CEO of ERGO International AG, commented: “The agreement clearly shows that we consequently stick to our core strategy consolidating our international business alongside defined minimum requirements. We are headed in the right direction which gets us into an excellent starting position to give new and well-aimed impetus for sustainable growth in an international business context.”

Luciano Cirinà, Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) & Russia regional officer and CEO of Generali CEE Holding, Austria, stated: “The projected acquisition of Life, Non-Life and Composite portfolios in Hungary and Slovakia is another step forward to our successful journey of growth and investment into Central and Eastern Europe area and fully aligned with our Group´s strategy to further reinforce our leading position in Europe, in particular in the CEE region. It will enable us to utilise cross-selling opportunities through the customer base as well as to reach a broader base of clients. We are convinced that every client of ERGO will benefit from our high-level expertise and extensive offer of products and services.”

Everest Insurance appoints Dane Lopes as chief commercial officer

Everest Insurance, the speciality insurance division of Everest Re Group has named Dane Lopes to the expanded position of chief commercial officer.  

Lopes joined Everest Insurance in June 2015 as head of sales and distribution. Since then, he has expanded his responsibilities to include all aspects of sales, marketing, communications, and distribution management across the organisation. 

Jonathan Zaffino, president and CEO, comments: “Lopes has done an outstanding job of connecting our clients to the ever expanding Everest Insurance organization. This appointment recognizes Dane’s significant prior contributions and the increased scale of his responsibilities over the past four years. Under Dane’s leadership Everest Insurance has developed a world-class distribution platform that positions the firm for continued profitable growth across our chosen markets. Dane is a talented and seasoned industry leader who will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future of Everest.”

MS Amlin partners with clinical psychologist to increase awareness of mental health  

Global (re)insurer MS Amlin has partnered with Dr Bill Mitchell, a clinical psychologist to prioritise health and wellbeing of staff and increase awareness for World Health Day.

Ms Amlin have invited Dr Mitchell on 16 April 2019 to meet staff and host live interactive sessions for all employees with the aim of giving them practical skills to develop their personal energy and resilience which will encourage employees to bring their ‘best self to work’. He treats work-related psychological difficulties and recognises that many people work in circumstances that can easily lead to the loss of work/life balance.

The session will aim to help build and enhance control in their lives by understanding the pressures and dynamics of the modern workplace, benchmarking their energy and resilience and supporting psychological fitness.

Martyn Rodden, chief risk officer and executive sponsor of a programme of wellbeing activities across MS Amlin, commented: “Looking after our health and wellbeing is of upmost importance and should be an active processThis is especially important during periods of change, and it’s integral that we feel our best selves at all times both in our personal and professional life.”