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EC News (25 April 2019)

April 25, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aviva, Sompo International, Lloyd's and more.

Andy Briggs steps down as chief executive officer of Aviva

Aviva has announced the departure of CEO of UK insurance Andy Briggs, which follows the recent appointment of new group CEO Maurice Tulloch.

Briggs will depart from the position of director at Aviva plc but will remain with Aviva until 23 October 2019 to ‘support orderly transition.”

He joined the board of Aviva in April 2015 to lead Aviva’s enlarged UK Life business following the acquisition of Friends Life where he was group chief executive. During his time at Aviva, Briggs has brought together the businesses in the UK, built a strong leadership team and delivered solid financial results. He has also played an important role as chair of the Association of British Insurers and the Government Business Champion for Older Workers. 

Meanwhile, Angela Darlington, who is currently Aviva’s group chief risk officer, will become interim CEO of UK insurance.

Following the departure of Briggs, Tulloch will lead a review of the UK businesses to ensure the appropriate management structure to build on that success for the future.

Tulloch will focus on bringing more business unit leaders on to the group’s senior leadership team in an effort to broaden it. As a result Aviva will not seek to appoint a new international CEO, the role filled by Tulloch before he became group CEO.

Colm Holmes CEO of Aviva Canada and Global Corporate & Speciality and Patrick Dixneuf  who became CEO of Aviva’s European businesses and remain as CEO of Aviva France will be the latest to join Aviva’s leadership team.

Tulloch, CEO of Aviva commented: "These appointments are an important first step to bring greater energy, pace and commercial thinking to Aviva. Andy Briggs will be missed. Andy is a brilliant leader and a good friend. Aviva has benefited enormously from his extensive industry experience and his integrity and we wish him well for the future. I look forward to working with him during the transitionary period."

Adrian Montague, chairman of Aviva, added: “Andy has made a great contribution to Aviva’s business since he joined the Group following the acquisition of Friends Life in 2015. On behalf of the Board, I would like to pay particular tribute to Andy for his conduct throughout the process to select a new CEO and afterwards, and Andy will leave with our best wishes for his future career.”

Sompo International names new CEO of European unit

Speciality (re)insurer Sompo International Holdings has appointed Thomas Brazil as the new CEO of SI Insurance (Europe), subject to regulatory approval.

Brazil is currently senior vice president, and head of Europe property catastrophe reinsurance at Sompo International. In his new role, Brazil will relocate from Zurich to Luxembourg, where SI Insurance is headquartered.

He joined the company in 2012 as a senior property catastrophe reinsurance underwriter for Sompo International’s European portfolio, as well as Africa and the Middle East. In 2016 he was promoted to his current role.

Christopher Gallagher, executive director and CEO of Sompo International Commercial P&C said: “I am very pleased that Thomas has assumed the role of CEO of SI Insurance (Europe). He brings to this role extensive underwriting expertise, a commercial perspective and broad pan-European experience. Europe is a strategic market for our commercial P&C business and SI Insurance (Europe) provides Sompo with a core foundation for additional growth in this region. Thomas will work closely with colleagues in London and across the Continent as we continue to enhance our product offerings to our EEA clients.”

Canopius and AmTrust Lloyd’s sign definitive agreement to merge  

Canopius AG (Canopius) has announced the signing of the definitive sale and purchase agreement that will see the merger of its Lloyd’s business with that of AmTrust at Lloyd’s, a division of AmTrust Financial, subject to regulatory approval.

The completion of the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, will result in the establishment of a top-five Lloyd’s insurer with combined premiums of roughly £2.2bn.

From 1 January 2020, Canopius will merge its Syndicate 4444 with AmTrust Syndicate 1861 under the management of Canopius Managing Agents.  As part of the deal, AmTrust Financial Services Inc. will become a significant minority shareholder in Canopius.

Canopius chairman Michael Watson said:  “I am delighted at the prospect of welcoming our talented new colleagues from AmTrust at Lloyd’s.  Today’s announcement marks a transformational step in our determination to build a leading Lloyd’s franchise.  The AmTrust at Lloyd’s business brings significant underwriting expertise, product diversification, and scale to the Canopius portfolio.  Together we will broaden the product and service proposition we offer our highly-valued clients and distribution partners.  Quite simply, this is a unique and exciting opportunity which places us amongst the top five businesses at Lloyd’s and we welcome AmTrust as a significant minority shareholder in Canopius.”

Barry Zyskind, AmTrust Financial chairman and CEO said: “The sale of AmTrust at Lloyd’s to Canopius is a significant step in the AmTrust Forward vision to be a leading specialty commercial P&C insurer focused on local markets and niche products where we can add significant value.  This transaction joins AmTrust with a great partner in Canopius through our minority stake in a top-five Lloyd’s syndicate. Our Lloyd’s clientele and employees will be well served by the new, larger, Canopius operation.”

Liberty Specialty Markets appoints Emmanuel Silvestre to support European growth plan  

Liberty Specialty Markets, a member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has announced the promotion of Emmanuel Silvestre to deputy general manager of its French operation.

Silvestre will retain his responsibilities as continental Europe underwriting manager for financial lines and will report to Richard Deguettes, general manager for France.

In a recent press release Liberty says that the role is dedicated to non-financial institutions and supports Liberty’s European growth plan. It also promotes the development of new products with dedicated services, the visibility of Liberty’s offering in Continental Europe, and the matrix management of teams within each of the business’ branches.

He joined the business in 2004 when Liberty Specialty Markets opened its Paris Branch. He developed all business lines related to the financial risks department, including directors officers, crime, cyber, and kidnap and ransom.

Deguettes, general manager for France said: “Financial Lines have spearheaded our development in France and enabled us to achieve a level of expertise and experience welcomed by our brokers and clients. Emmanuel’s promotion strengthens our senior management team at a key moment in our growth. Our product innovation capabilities and constant search for the best possible quality of service will allow us to improve customer satisfaction across all product lines.”

Generali Asset Management appoints new CEO

Generali Insurance Asset Management S.p.A. Società di gestione del risparmio (GIAM) has appointed Francesco Martorana as chief executive officer, effective 1 April 2019.

Martorana will keep his current role as head of investments at GIAM which he has held since October 2017. He will replace Santo Borsellino, who becomes chairman of the Board of GIAM as well as head of Generali’s asset and wealth management business unit.

He joined the Generali group in November 2013 as the head of group asset liability management & strategic asset allocation (ALM/SAA) for the general account assets and prior to Generali, he held several management positions at Allianz Group, both in Italy and Germany.

BIBA appoints new head of general insurance

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has appointed Alastair Blundell to the newly created role as head of general insurance.

Blundell has been appointed to further boost BIBA’s policy team and will be responsible for management of general insurance policy work, representing and progressing issues to the Government and media, particularly BIBA’s Manifesto campaigns.

He has spent more than 35 years in the insurance underwriting industry both in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining BIBA, Blundell held to position of head of distribution at Tokio Marine Kiln Group.

Commenting on the appointment, Graeme Trudgill, BIBA’s executive director said: “Alastair has a wealth of experience in the market working with brokers. His knowledge and experience will benefit BIBA and its members. There are more insurer focused Manifesto points this year and Alastair is the ideal person to help drive these forward.”

Steve White, BIBA’s CEO, added: “We welcome Alastair on board. He will help to progress the Manifesto points that our members have raised. As a senior employee from an insurance company he can add to the rich mix of the BIBA team.”