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EC News (2 May 2019)

May 02, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Willis Towers Watson, Gen Re, MS Amlin and more.

Willis Towers Watson launches new risk advisory service to optimise risk finance

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has announced the new risk advisory capability called Connected Risk Intelligence to help chief financial officers and risk managers reduce volatility and minimise their total cost of risk.  

Connected Risk Intelligence service has been built around IGLOO one of the leading proprietary decision support systems to the insurance sector, which provides advanced risk modelling and simulation capabilities, including dependency and correlation modelling.

In a recent press release WTW claims that Connected Risk Intelligence will identify how to take advantage of market inefficiencies, providing clients the ability to optimise the balance between retained and transferred risk.

The service will give clients a broad understanding of their risk portfolio to enable better informed decisions about their risk finance strategy in the collective. While this process reduces volatility it also improves costs and ultimately liberates capital for better uses.

John Merkovsky, head of risk and analytics, said: “Today’s risk manager and CFO have only been able to view risk financing as individual transactions, compartmentalised by line of business. Connected Risk Intelligence is a combination of advanced modeling technology and our own optimisation expertise, which will revolutionise the way organizations view risk management,”

Adding: “By using Connected Risk Intelligence, we can help clients identify the combination of solutions that move their overall risk finance portfolio to the Efficient Frontier and exploit arbitrage opportunities along the way. For the first time, companies can have absolute certainty that their risk strategy is exactly right for their business. This means they are paying precisely what they need allowing effective capital deployment elsewhere.”

Andrew D’Arcy named as head of Gen Re International P&C

The global (re)insurance subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Gen Re International, has recently appointed Andrew D’Arcy as head of Gen Re International Property & Casualty, effective 1 May 2019.

He will step down from his position as CEO of Faraday and become a member of the executive management board.

In his new role he will oversee Gen Re Internationals direct casualty and property reinsurance divisions, utilising Faraday’s platform to manage the broker market business.

Prior to joining Gen Re International, he joined Faraday in 2014 as their chief financial officer and stepped into the CEO role as of September 2017. His career map includes time holding roles at Starr Managing Agents, Newline and Watson Wyatt.

Tom Shelley will step into the position of CEO at Faraday, while Chris Thorne will assume the role of chief underwriting officer (CUO). Additionally to this adjustment, Charles Shamieh will become a member of the Faraday board of directors.

Willis Towers Watson appoints new global head of financial solutions

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) announces the appointment of Christophe Meurier as global head of financial solutions, effective 1 July 2019.

Meurier will succeed Paul Davidson in that capacity and Davidson will continue as the chairman of financial solutions.

He joins WTW from BNP Paribas where he spent 25 years, most recently serving as head of insurance solutions within Corporate and Institutional Banking as well as chief executive officer of the BNP PARIBAS political and credit risk insurance company, GreenStars.

Paul Davidson, chairman of financial solutions WTW said: "We are delighted to welcome Christophe to Willis Towers Watson and Financial Solutions. He brings a tremendous depth of financial institution knowledge and experience as well as extensive insurance expertise in our core discipline to continue the growth of our market leading business."

Adam Garrard, global lines of business leader, WTW, added: “Christophe is a key appointment reflecting our global lines of business approach and we are thrilled to welcome him to Willis Towers Watson. Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to investing in significant talent and expertise across the business spectrum enabling us to continue to provide significant value to clients.”

MS Amlin names new chief financial officer

Leading global (re)insurer, MS Amlin has appointed Iain Pearce to the role of chief financial officer (CFO) to further strengthen the leadership team, effective 3 June 2019.

Pearce will report to chief executive officer Simon Beale and will replace John Worth, who will be moving onto other opportunities within the industry.

He joins the business from Old Mutual plc, where he held a number of senior finance positions over 15 years. Most recently, Iain held the position of Finance Director. Pearce has led a number of large transformation projects and strategic initiatives, and brings a wealth of experience to MS Amlin.

Beale, CEO of MS Amlin, said: “I am delighted that Iain will be joining MS Amlin’s senior leadership team, bringing with him an extensive and proven track record from leading global financial services firms. We continue to implement our strategy of repositioning MS Amlin for a sustainable, profitable future, and I look forward to working closely with Iain to consolidate and build on progress made this year.

Adding: “Iain’s passion for fostering a high-performance team culture is one of the many reasons that make him a great fit to help drive MS Amlin to become a modern, forward-thinking organisation with a long-term future.”

Pro Global set to snap up Vibe MGA Management

Pro Global the (re)insurance consultancy, is in the process of acquiring Vibe MGA Management, the MGA incubation platform launched in 2017 by Vibe UK Holdings, which owns Lloyd’s managing agent Vibe Syndicate Management.

‘VibeMM’ provides a platform to assist developing and new MGAs, boasting a track record of offering a faster and cost-effective way for them to get them up and running.

Pro Global has created an ‘MGAs to Order’ initiative which aims to support capital providers and insurers alike, that want to access new markets, including new forms of distribution. This will commence through cost-effective MGA structure, underlining distinct lines of business or markets.

Included in this agreement, in order to support the growth of its central underwriting business, Pro Global will provide MGA Services to Vibe Syndicate Management (Vibe SM).

This deal has been described as effective and complementary, which will see VibeMM renamed as Pro MGA Solutions in the UK. Simultaneously, Pro Global will launch Pro MGA Solutions Inc. in the US.

CEO of Pro Global Artur Niemczewski recently announced: “The simultaneous launch of Pro MGA Solutions in the USA and ‘MGA’s to order’ further advances our strategy to broaden the ways in which we can support our clients’ ambitions. This significant milestone marks a critical next step in our business journey, an exciting and apt one following our 25th anniversary last year.”

Adding: “I am pleased to announce the acquisition of VibeMM. Its highly experienced team brings a wealth of specialist knowledge that will allow us to provide a valuable additional means of supporting our clients. The MGA sector has developed rapidly in recent years, and VibeMM’s senior team has extensive experience of operating in this entrepreneurial and dynamic market, supported by a network of expert service providers.”

CEO of VibeSM, Danny Maleary comments: “Pro offers an excellent platform and expertise that will help accelerate the business’s development while enhancing Pro Global’s overall proposition to their customers. This is a great opportunity and we are very much looking forward to joining the Pro team.”

Willis Towers Watson names asset management experts to enhance FINEX Institutions practice  

Global (re)insurance broker Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has appointed a number of asset management experts in its FINEX Financial Institutions practice as part of the company’s strategy to build financial institutions globally.

The new team will provide bespoke management liability product solutions and programmes for the asset management sector as part of a strengthened team of specialists.

A key hire, Henry Keville has 20 years’ experience serving the needs of high profile, multinational asset management clients. Keville joins from Lockton Companies where most recently served as divisional director at Lockton Companies.

He started his career at Marsh and has 20 years of experience serving the needs of high profile, multinational asset management clients and was instrumental in establishing the asset management portfolios at both Howden and Lockton.

Allison Barrett, managing director, global head of FINEX Financial Institutions, said: “Today’s announcement reflects our continued focus on industry specialisation and ongoing commitment to deliver leading solutions for financial institutions around the world.  By strengthening our expertise in the asset management sector, we will enhance our existing client offering with specialist solutions and ensure the continued growth of this important portfolio.”

Olivia Cooper, managing director, head of FINEX GB, adds: “This investment exemplifies our dedication to clients in the financial institutions sector.  In a rapidly evolving financial services market, our investment in such strong and experienced people ensures we are in a unique position to drive innovation and client value across our asset management business.”

Liberty Specialty Markets promotes duo within its specialty binders team

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has announced the promotions of Kerry Hall and Richard Wheeler within its specialty binders team in London, effectively immediately.

Hall becomes underwriting manager for property while Wheeler becomes senior business and strategic development underwriter. Both were previously senior underwriters in Liberty Specialty Markets’ property binders team.

Hall has been with Liberty Specialty Markets for 10 years and will now be responsible for managing the property binders team and developing its portfolio of business.

Wheeler joined LSM in 2008 from Argenta. In this newly created role, he will be responsible for the development of coverholder business while ensuring that Liberty’s brokers and coverholders receive best-in-class service.

Lewis Edwards, head of specialty binders comments: “Our clients are looking for more market-leading solutions and solid coverage across a broader range of products and territories. Promoting Kerry and Richard, who are both highly experienced property underwriters, will ensure our brokers and coverholders receive best-in-class service as our business continues to develop across the regions in which we operate.”

Qatar Re have appointed Michael Van Der Straaten as new CEO

Qatar Re, a subsidiary of Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) has named Michael Van der Straaten as the company’s permanent chief executive officer.

Van de Straaten was previously acting as CEO in January 2019 after former head of Qatar Re, Gunther Saacke stepped down in March.

Replacing Van de Straaten’s previous role, Qatar Re has appointed Pantelis Koulovasilopoulos to take over as chief underwriting officer (CUO) for Long Tail & Specialty Classes.

Prior to joining Qatar Re in late 2016, Van de Straaten most recently held the position of deputy head of London and head of casualty at ACE Tempest Re. He was appointed to his CUO post in February 2017, at which time he also joined Qatar Re’s Executive Management Committee.

Commenting on the appointment Sunil Talwar, chairman of the Board of Directors of Qatar Re said: Mike has fitted seamlessly into the position, building on his achievements as our former chief underwriter for Long Tail and Specialty Classes. We are convinced that Mike will bring Qatar Re’s ongoing transition to a business model based on lower volatility and more reliable profitability to a successful conclusion.”