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EC News (18 April 2019)

April 18, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Everest Insurance, Shepherd Compello, SCOR and more.

Everest Insurance Ireland launches new UK branch

Everest Insurance Ireland, dac (EIID), a subsidiary of Everest Re Group has announced the opening of a new office in the UK to expand its international capabilities.

EIID was formed in 2017 in Dublin to operate across the European Union (EU) under a single regulatory framework after the UK departs from the EU. Linda Ryan, CEO, leads the establishment and manages the strategy and operational development of the company.

The UK branch has been given authorisation to write general insurance classes including goods in transit, fire and natural forces, damage to property, general liability, credit, suretyship and miscellaneous financial loss.

Ryan, CEO Ireland said: “After a successful launch in Dublin, we are looking forward to expanding to the United Kingdom. We are confident that our innovative products, flexibility and knowledgeable underwriters will be a great asset to our new United Kingdom clients.”

Vincent Vandendael, CEO of Everest Insurance International, also commented: “This is an important step as Everest continues to expand our international capabilities The United Kingdom is a strategic choice and a logical location for our next branch,” he added. “We’re intent to prove ourselves a valuable asset to the UK insurance community.”

Shepherd Compello opens new hub in the Netherlands to support European growth strategy

Specialist insurance broker Shepherd Compello has announced the opening of their international company, Shepherd Compello B.V. in Assen, the Netherlands to support their plans to expand its operations in Europe.  

Shepherd Compello B.V. received a licence to trade as an insurance agency from the Netherlands AFM on 31st January 2019 with the support of the business partners in the company. Subsequently the new subsidiary received passport permissions to service clients across continental Europe from 15 March 2019.  

The opening of the new hub allows the existing European client bases of Shepherd Compello Limited and EPG Administration Services to be handled by a fully authorised Insurance Agency irrespective of the UK’s exit from the European Union.

John Shepherd, CEO of Shepherd Compello, said: “Opening the Assen office is an important milestone in our growth strategy. This enhances our global footprint and enables Shepherd Compello to focus on the identification and development of European opportunities regardless of what happens with Brexit.”

SCOR Global expands its Property & Casualty team with four new appointments

SCOR Global announces changes to its Property & Casualty (P&C) ventures team to optimize the value delivered to SCOR and its portfolio companies.

Adrian Jones, who is based in Paris recently was head of strategy & business development, is now fully focused on leading ventures & strategic partnerships in the P&C division.

Previous innovation leader at SCOR's Channel Syndicate, Will Thorne, is now leading P&C ventures in EMEA, at Lloyd’s, and for Specialty lines. Based in London, he maintains responsibility for Channel’s Innovation Team, focused on product innovation and InsurTech underwriting partnerships at Lloyd’s.

Paris based Pierre Favennec, formerly deputy head of strategy & business development in the P&C division, assumed full responsibility for that department on 1 April. He continues to be active in P&C ventures & strategic partnerships, particularly in EMEA with a focus on French-speaking markets. 

Will Bird has joined SCOR P&C ventures as an associate and will support ventures activity primarily in the Americas. He is based in Chicago.

Howden acquires a majority share ownership in Norwegian Insurance Partner 

Howden Broking Group’s Norway business, Howden Forsikringsmegling AS (Howden Norway), has announced the acquisition of a majority share ownership in Employee Benefits broker, Norwegian Insurance Partner (NIP) located in Bergen, Norway.

After the acquisition, together Howden Norway and NIP will become a top-five broker in the country and the market leader in Employee Benefits.

Founder and CEO of NIP, Geir Nygaard, will continue to lead operations in Bergen and work closely with Anders Kvan, CEO, Howden Norway, who is based in Oslo.

José Manuel González, CEO, Howden, said: “After the acquisition of Punter Southall in the UK earlier in the year, our global Employee Benefits practice continues to go from strength to strength. Not only are we bolstering our capabilities for clients, but we prove ourselves once again to be the preferred home for independent, entrepreneurial talent.”

Kvan, CEO Howden Norway added: “NIP aligns perfectly with our ambitions in the market. This partnership strengthens our local business and positions us to provide existing and prospective clients with a complete offering in Norway across Affinity, Employee Benefits and all Property & Casualty classes better enabling us to serve our clients going forward.”

Nygaard, CEO of NIP commented: “We look very much forward to working closely together with Howden and offering our clients a wider international network. Howden’s expertise in Norway, particularly within P&C and Affinity products, will complement NIP’s strengths in the areas of Employee Benefits and Professional Indemnity insurances, and joining forces will enable us to offer our clients and prospective clients a better overall product. Our two companies share a common approach to customer service and core values, which is fundamental to our future success.”

Tokio Marine Kiln appoints duo to develop Accident & Health division

Specialist insurer Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) has announced the appointment of David Robotham as divisional head of accident & health insurance and Paul De Vido as divisional head of accident and health reinsurance.

Robotham will report to the interim departmental head of A&H division, Holly Strettle. They will be joined by De Vido who brings in-depth knowledge and expertise in all specialist A&H product lines, in particular Treaty Excess of Loss Reinsurance.

They will both join a re-energised A&H team that is building on an established book of business in the global A&H market.

Strettle comments: "David and Paul's arrival completes our refocused and re-energised Department and adds a wealth of new opportunities to follow. Our aim is to continue to develop strong portfolios in A&H, Contingency and Equine by combining our core strengths of quality underwriting, product relevance and claims excellence to serve these complex market areas more effectively than ever."

Aon uncovers historical data insights from artificial intelligence

Global (re)insurance broker Aon has partnered with Groundspeed artificial intelligence (AI) to unlock invaluable insights, helping the business identify the underlying causes of claims.

With the help of Groundspeed’s AI technology they have been able to identify 170 million data points from historical insurance documents

In a recent press release Aon states the manual process of extracting key data led to a loss of 95% of valuable information, unsatisfactory accuracy and bottlenecks in the underwriting process.

By using Groundspeed’s AI technology which includes computer vision, machine learning and natural language processing, Aon can now accurately identify and structure information and store it all in one central place.

The data that was collected from the historical insurance documents represents $142bn in total incurred losses and $1.7trn in total insured values.

Aon Says that the harvested data is helping to identify underlying causes of claims, industry benchmarks and losses versus premiums while also driving opportunities to increase coverage and help businesses reduce their risk costs.

It also enables the business to create new risk transfer solutions and treaties designed for decreasing premiums for clients by developing a better understanding of loss trends within different lines of business and risk segments.

With Aon’s Enterprise Analytics Platform insurers can now also replace manual processes and access Groundspeed’s technology. This initiative is part of Aon’s technological evolution to deliver new products that meet clients’ needs in a transparent and efficient way.

Steve Petrevski, senior vice president of enterprise analytics, innovation & partnerships at Aon, commented: “Aon’s industry expertise and Groundspeed’s technology expertise have combined in this partnership to develop artificial intelligence capabilities that unlock insights that were trapped in a broad range of unstructured files and documents. Insurers will benefit from increased operational efficiency and a higher understanding of risks, while businesses can take advantage of more relevant products.”

Jeff Mason, Co-CEO at Groundspeed, added: “We’ve been very fortunate to work with Aon. They’ve been an incredible partner to Groundspeed. Even as a global powerhouse with over 50,000 employees, Aon’s commercial drive to enhance the value for their clients and improve its partnership with the (re)insurance carrier community is evident in our day to day collaborations and how they seek to utilize our capabilities.”  

Beazley appoints Non-executive director duo

Speciality (re)insurer Beazley names Nicola Hodson and John Reizenstein as non-executive directors (NED) as it looks to enhance board skills in the areas of technology, data and operations, effective 10 April.

Hodson is currently a NED at Drax Group and also vice president of field transformation for Microsoft Global Sales and Marketing has also been appointed to the audit and risk committee. Previous to this she was chief operating officer for Microsoft UK.

In addition, Reizenstein, former chief financial officer of Direct Line Insurance Group has also been appointed to the audit and risk committee and will succeed Angela Crawford-Ingle as Chair when she stands down. He will also serve as NED at Beazley Furlonge Ltd as well as chairman of its audit committee, effective 9 April 2019.

Beazley’s chairman David Roberts said: “I am delighted to welcome Nicola and John to the board of Beazley plc. During the most recent review of board skills, we identified the need to enhance the board’s skills in the areas of technology, data and operations and Nicola has extensive experience in all of these areas and we very much look forward to her contribution. It is also pleasing to appoint a candidate of John’s calibre to the board of Beazley plc and to chair its audit and risk committee when Angela stands down in the coming months.”