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EC News (16 May 2019)

May 16, 2019

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

Markel names new head of North American property reinsurance in London

Specialist insurer Markel International has appointed Nick Lazarus as managing director of North American property reinsurance, based in London.

Lazarus already leads the existing and established London team and will now work closely with Peta White and her teams in Bermuda and Summit, New Jersey, to strengthen Markel reinsurance offering to cedants worldwide.

Prior to joining Markel, Lazarus held the position of senior underwriter at Hiscox and was actively involved in the fronting of the Hiscox Re ILS funds and the marketing of its outward reinsurance relationships. He brings 12 years industry experience which has been spent entirely in the North American property re-insurance business.

Andrew Barnard, head of London reinsurance for Markel, said: “As a top 40 global reinsurer we need a strong, active and visible presence in London, to support our international positioning and source business from this important market. We have a lot to offer and Nick’s established knowledge and contacts in London will help us make best use of that.”

Lloyd’s approves A&P Worldwide Solutions as broker

(Re)insurance broker A&P Worldwide Solutions has received the status to operate as a broker at Lloyd’s.

The broker explained that registering with Lloyd’s will allow A&P to expand its brokerage business internationally while continuing to provide its current levels of service.

The broker is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association, London & International Insurance Brokers' Association (LIIBA) and the African Insurance Organisation (AIO).

Antish Ramrup, chief executive officer, said: "We are delighted to achieve Lloyd's broker status. This will help us to grow our insurance and reinsurance brokerage business worldwide."

Managing director Sabrina Ramrup added: "We are incredibly proud and privileged to be approved as a Lloyd's broker. Lloyd's financial strength is derived from its unique capital structure, and this will help us provide world class service to all our customers."

THB Group announces new treaty director for Europe

Specialist (re)insurance broker THB Group announces the appointment of Zamira Thurnim as treaty director for the company’s European operations, effective immediately.

Based in the Netherlands, Thurnim will work extensively in THB’s growing markets throughout Africa. She has over 15 years’ experience and will report into Ricardo Borges, managing director, THB Europe.

Prior to joining THB, she most recently held the role of senior casualty treaty underwriter, Sub Saharan Africa at Munich Re.

Borges, managing director commented: “THB Europe is already well known for its Treaty expertise, and we’re making it a strategic objective to grow our business in this area. I’m delighted to welcome Zamira Thurnim in this newly-created role to head the strategy, demonstrating our commitment to Treaty both throughout Europe and in our target African markets.”

Adding: “THB Europe is embarking on a path of long-term growth, with an entrepreneurial team ready to drive expansion. Our business has gone from strength to strength in recent years and as part of the AmWINS Group, the largest wholesale broker in the United States placing some $15bn in premium, we continue to attract the very best talent in the market.”

Guy Carpenter names a number of International analytics and advisory appointments in London

Global (re)insurance broker, Guy Carpenter has announced a series of hires to expand the firm’s advisory and analytics capabilities across its international platform.

Richard Rodriguez will join the company in a newly created role as head of analytics and advisory for the UK and Global Specialties, effective 17 June 2019.

Based in London, Rodriguez will report to Robert Bentley, CEO of Global Strategic Advisory. He will serve on both Guy Carpenter’s London operating committee and the global strategic advisory executive committee.

Rodriguez brings more than 3 decades of insurance consulting experience and leadership to Guy Capenter. Prior to joining the firm he served as chief actuary at Lloyd’s where he was responsible for developing the Lloyd’s capital model, establishing and working within the Lloyd’s regulatory environment and coordinating with agencies and syndicates.

Additionally, Guy Carpenter has also announced the appointment of two insurance consulting experts in its London office to enhance the firm’s capital, volatility and growth advisory capabilities in London and internationally.

Yuriy Krvavych has joined the business from PricewaterhouseCoopers where he provided insurance consulting services to Lloyd’s and London market companies. His experience and expertise includes enterprise risk modelling, risk and capital modelling, model validation, predictive modelling, and also governance and compliance.

Vasilka Bangeova joins Guy Carpenter from Grant Thornton, LLP to enhance the company’s international accounting advisory capabilities, with a focus on IFRS 17. She brings extensive accounting and insurance consulting expertise, advising clients on insurance audit, capital management and financial and risk reporting challenges.

Bangeova previously held senior roles in Lloyd’s and London company markets at Swiss Re, Prudential Assurance and Aviva plc.  

Peter Hearn, CEO of Guy Carpenter, said: “We are excited by these hires, which support Guy Carpenter’s strategic imperative to enhance our analytics and advisory services to support our clients who demand ever more sophisticated advice and solutions.”

James Nash, CEO of Guy Carpenter International, added: “Our clients are facing unprecedented regulatory, accounting and reinsurance challenges associated with Solvency II, IFRS 17 and Basel III. We are committed to building expertise to help clients navigate these challenges and succeed.”

Bentley shared: “Guy Carpenter is committed to understanding the unique challenges our clients face no matter where they do business, and delivering insights and expertise that helps our clients profitably grow their businesses.”

AXIS collaborates with Global cyber security start-up accelerator CyLon

Bermuda-based (re)insurance firm AXIS Capital Holdings Limited announces its partnership with leading global cyber security start-up accelerator CyLon.

The partnership between AXIS and CyLon aims to educate cyber security start-ups on the opportunities and challenges essential in the cyber insurance market around the world and will see the two firms working together with start-ups entering CyLon's cyber security accelerator cohort in London. The two companies will also co-host industry events and produce industry research and reports on the cyber security market.

Since its launch in April 2015, CyLon has successfully supported more than 80 companies globally and has a portfolio of investments valued at more than £400mn. CyLon alumni have created more than 350 new jobs and have raised more than £120mn of follow-on funding.

Dan Trueman, global head of cyber and technology at AXIS said: “We’re pleased to partner with CyLon in the advancement of the global cyber security ecosystem. As firms face an ever-more dynamic cyber risk environment, it’s important that they have access to creative and innovative cyber security resources and services. Through our partnership with CyLon, we will work together to mentor and educate cyber security start-ups so they are accurately aligned to help companies mitigate their cyber risks.”

Grace Cassy, co-founder of CyLon, commented: "We are delighted to welcome AXIS Capital as a new partner to CyLon. AXIS Capital's extensive knowledge and expertise in the cyber insurance market will provide huge benefit to CyLon companies, and will present new opportunities for partnerships and growth. We look forward to working closely with AXIS Capital as we continue our mission to find, grow and invest in the world's best emerging cyber businesses."

Castel launches new e-trading solution to tackle complex and unusual small business risks

Castel Specialty, the division of club-style MGA formation platform Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited has launched a new e-trading platform called Square Pegs to address complex and unusual small business risks.

Square Pegs offers brokers access to a broad range of commercial coverage through a flexible online trading platform, enabling them to quote and bind covers for a diverse spectrum of clients. 

Square Pegs has schemes to accommodate a range of clients with more challenging coverage needs, including those with a complicated mixture of trade activities within a business, those operating in “high risk” locations or with non-standard or unusual product types and firms with prior financial difficulties including liquidation or bankruptcy.

Stuart Dickinson who is the former head of commercial at Chaucer Insurance (now Markerstudy) will lead Square Pegs. Dickinson has over 30 years’ experience in commercial underwriting, including roles with Novae and AXA.

Commenting at the launch of Square Pegs, Dickinson shared: “There are many standard ‘off-the-shelf’ products available for small businesses. These are great for businesses with straightforward insurance needs, what we call ‘round hole’ clients. However, for those businesses with more complex and unusual needs, the ‘square peg’ clients, cover is often difficult to obtain easily.”

Adding: “Our highly intuitive trading platform has been designed specifically with the needs of brokers in mind. It has the flexibility to enable brokers to quote for risks that may not fit the acceptance criteria for other insurers and enables them to easily manage their portfolios online.”

Mark Birrell, chief executive officer of Castel, said: “Square Pegs represents a further development in our capabilities, as our first cell using an online internet-based trading platform. This demonstrates the ability of Castel to utilise technology to maximise the distribution opportunities for brokers working with clients of different sizes and risk transfer needs,”

“Stuart brings a wealth of expertise in commercial insurance and will enable us to provide an innovative and effective solution for far more complicated and challenging risks.”

AFL Insurance Brokers promotes Jonathan Bines as UK CEO

Lloyd’s broker AFL Insurance Brokers had announced the appointment of Jonathan Bines as the new chief executive officer of AFL UK, effective 1 June 2019. His appointment comes as part of the company’s strategic plan for expansion in North America later this year.

In his new role, he will take the lead of AFL’s wholesale and retail operations supported by corporate director Mike Almond and chief financial officer Chris Gagg, as well as the rest of the global leadership team.

Bines has 2 decades of insurance industry experience having previously held roles at Marsh and Integro Insurance Brokers. He joined AFL in April 2018 as chief commercial officer, having previously worked at JLT as senior partner for Specialty Property & Casualty.

His appointment will take place ahead of a new AFL platform in North America, which is planned for later this year.

Bob Finch, AFL Co-Founder and current CEO will relocate to the U.S, becoming CEO of AFL North America, an operation which will support the creation of new independent MGA businesses, and new product lines.

AFL chairman, Toby Esser, said: “Since joining AFL, Jonathan has quickly built a reputation for delivery. His promotion to UK CEO is a reflection of his focus on outstanding service for AFL’s clients and partners, keen eye for commercial opportunities, and commitment to operational excellence; attributes which will be invaluable going forwards. We see excellent opportunities in North American markets, particularly through MGA operations, and AFL plans to expand its presence significantly in this space,”

Adding: “I know Bob relishes the opportunity to lead the North American business, and we look forward to announcing further details on this new platform in due course. For the time being, I’d like to congratulate Jonathan and Bob on these exciting and well-deserved moves.”

Finch also commented: “The UK operations are in very safe hands with such an experienced and capable management team led by Jonathan. At the same time, we see building our presence in North America as a natural evolution for AFL as we look to increase the flow of long term business into London … It’s an incredibly exciting prospect, for both myself and AFL, and I am very much looking forward to leading this drive.”

Liberty Speciality names new claims manager for Energy, Property & Construction

Liberty specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group has appointed Gavin Coley as claims manager for Energy, Property and Construction, effective immediately.

In his new role, he is responsible for managing the Energy, Property and Construction claims team, reporting to James Side, LSM head of specialty claims.

Prior to joining LSM, Cole held the position of technical head of claims for two years at Neon Underwriting where he contributed to the delivery and implementation of the company’s claims strategy. He has also served 15 years in a number of technical and managerial positions, including global head of property claims at MS Amlin.

Mike Gillett, chief claims officer at Liberty Specialty Markets, said: “I am delighted that Gavin has joined the LSM claims team to manage our Energy, Property and Construction portfolio. I believe that Gavin’s experience and capability, aligned to the outstanding team he inherits, will continue to develop our EPC claims proposition in a manner that fully supports our ambition in that area.”