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EC News (30 May 2019)

May 30, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Everest Re, Lockton, Generali and more.

Everest Re appoints Meryl Hartzband to the board of directors

Bermuda-based (re)insurance company Everest Re Group announced the appointment of Meryl Hartzband to the board of directors.

Hartzband will serve as a member of the Company’s Audit, Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees.

Prior to joining Everest Re, Hartzband was a founding partner of Stone Point Capital and served as the firm's chief investment officer from 1999 to 2015. Before joining Stone Point, she was a managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co., specializing in private equity investments in the financial services industry.

Hartzband currently serves on the boards of directors of Greenhill & Co., and Conning Holdings Ltd. She previously served as a director on the boards of The Navigators Group, Inc., Travelers Property Casualty Corp., AXIS Capital Holdings Limited, ACE Limited, and numerous portfolio companies of Stone Point.

Joseph Taranto, chairman, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Meryl to the Everest Board of Directors. Her knowledge of the insurance and reinsurance industry combined with her financial and investment expertise will be a valuable addition to our board.”

Lockton announces new executive hires as part of its regional growth strategy

(Re)insurance broker Lockton has announced the appointments of two senior hires. Jane Baron appointed as head of its Birmingham office and Richard Barraclough to the position of head of corporate at its Manchester office as they look to grow their presence across the North of England and the Midlands.

Baron joins with two decades of industry experience having previously served at Marsh and Willis Towers Watson.

In her new role she will provide leadership at a time of planned growth in Lockton’s key industry sectors, including food and beverage, retail, transportation and real estate.

Meanwhile, Barraclough joins from AJ Gallagher in Yorkshire, where he most recently led its Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield offices as Regional managing director.

Barraclough will form part of Lockton’s new North Leadership Group, which will be led by Matt Davies, head of risk solutions North for Lockton.

He brings more than 30 years’ experience within the corporate insurance broking space and previously led teams for Willis Towers Watson and Oval Insurance Brokers.

Debbie Day, partner at Lockton, Birmingham commented: “I am delighted to welcome Jane to Lockton, Birmingham at a time when we are positioned well for future growth in our established industry specialism.”

Adding: “Following signs of a hardening market, we are supporting our clients both in insurance placement and integrated risk management solutions, harnessing both our regional and international market capacity.”

“Working closely with our global technical teams, Lockton Birmingham continues to provide innovative solutions to respond to the ever changing demands of our existing and future clients.”

Davies said: “It is an exciting time for Richard to join Lockton’s Northern leadership team. His extensive experience and deep rooted relationships will help us to continue to exceed the expectations of our clients.”

He continued: “The new leadership team is already providing excellent executive direction of our client service teams and we are positioned really well to maximise the many existing opportunities and unlock new ones. We look forward to seeing Lockton’s northern offices go from strength to strength.”

Generali to sell its life run-off portfolio of its UK branch

Generali has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) for the sale of the life run-off portfolio of its UK branch, subject to completion of the customary collateral settlement procedures.

As part of the overall transaction, Generali has signed a reinsurance contract which will cover all claims payments arising from most of that legacy business and the remaining minor portion will be transferred directly to the counterparty.

The portfolio consists of mainly annuity business and the transfer of the whole identified book of business will take place following the approval of the competent authorities.

Generali disclosed that the sale will further strengthen its capital position with an estimated increase of around 1 percentage point on the Group Regulatory Solvency Ratio and allows to concentrate on the core business.

Cristiano Borean, Generali group chief financial officer, said: “Thanks to the sale of this run-off portfolio, we are going to release resources that we can reinvest in new opportunities. The operation also further improves the operating efficiency of our UK Branch."

John Parry joins Armour Group as group chief financial officer

Bermuda based (re)insurer Armour Group announced the appointment of John Parry as group chief financial officer (CFO), effective June 2019 and will report to the group executive committee.

Former Lloyd’s of London employee since 2001, Parry is a season financial services veteran with extensive insurance industry experience. Most recently he held the position of chief financial officer where he was responsible for the financial reporting of the market’s results and capital adequacy as well as treasury and investment management.

He also was responsible for overseeing the tax affairs of the Society of Lloyd’s and the market in the UK and overseas.

Prior to joining Lloyd’s Parry was finance director of various Lloyd’s Managing Agents and is a qualified accountant.

Brad Huntington, Armour chairman and CEO, commented: “We are delighted that John has agreed to join Armour as Group CFO. He has impeccable financial services and regulatory credentials and will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our group. I am looking forward to working closely with him as we continue to execute our strategy successfully.”

Parry, added: “I am pleased to join Armour and excited about the significant opportunities for growth and development of the company. Armour has a best-in-class team and I look forward to working with them to further the company’s strategic objectives.”

Frédéric de Courtois named as vice president of Insurance Europe for Generali

Generali Group has elected its general manager Frédéric de Courtois to vice president of Insurance Europe, the European (re)insurance federation, for a 3 year term.

De Courtois, was elected at Insurance Europe’s General Assembly meeting in Bucharest. He succeeds Torbjörn Magnusson, group chief executive officer and president of Sampo Insurance Group.

He began his career in the insurance sector in 1993, holding several management positions in various global markets.

Andreas Brandstetter, Insurance Europe’s president, CEO & chairman of UNIQA Insurance Group, said: “I am delighted to welcome Frédéric to this important role. Frédéric brings with him a vast wealth of knowledge about our industry and I am looking forward to working together with him to represent our industry.”

Brandstetter added: “I would like to thank Torbjörn for the huge contribution that he has made to our industry over the last six years. He has been particularly engaged in the area of new technologies and how they impact insurers. We would like to thank him for driving these debates so strongly within Insurance Europe.”

Ariel Re appoints new senior vice president

Ariel Re, a member of Bermuda-based Argo Group has named Sean Kelly as senior vice president (SVP), specialty underwriter, credit and financial products, effective 10 June 2019.

In his new role Kelly will report to Stephen O’Flynn, head of professional lines and casualty treaty underwriting, Bermuda at Ariel Re.

Kelly brings more than 2 decades of industry experience to this newly created role and joins from Tokio Millennium Re, where he most recently held the position of portfolio manager and underwriter, credit and financial products.

Matthew Wilken, deputy global head of reinsurance, commented: “Sean has an enviable track record of managing global underwriting and modeling activities in credit and financial products,”

Adding: “Lines under his management have consistently outperformed the market. His extensive experience in establishing new ways of analysing, modeling and managing risk will be central in achieving Ariel Re’s long-term goals. We look forward to welcoming Sean to the team.”