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EC News (20 June 2019)

June 20, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Randall & Quilter, Willis Towers Watson, BGC Insurance Group and more.

Randall & Quilter group CEO Ken Randall to step down

Randall & Quilter (R&Q) Investment holdings have announced that Ken Randall will step down as group CEO but will continue as executive chairman of the group.

The non-life legacy insurance investor and capacity provider of US and European MGA program business also announced that Alan Quilter R&Q co-founder from 1991 will take the reins along with Dr Roger Sellek who has been appointed as director of the company and the newly created positions of joint group CEO with Quilter.

They will both be responsible for the efficient and effective running of the Group’s business and will have direct management responsibility for a number of the R&Q’s business activities.

Dr Sellek joins with over 25 years of wide-ranging experience within the (re)insurance sectors. He previously worked for international credit rating agency A.M. Best, where he was CEO and responsible for the group’s worldwide activities ex-Americas. He was with A.M. Best for 12 years, initially based in London and relocated to Singapore in 2015.

Prior to that Dr Sellek held senior roles within the Corporation of Lloyd’s, providing leadership across a range of areas including the development and implementation of key initiatives, such as Risk-Based Capital and Realistic Disaster Scenarios, as well as the modelling of Lloyd’s Central Fund adequacy. He was also responsible for the delivery of the initial credit ratings for the Lloyd’s Market. As Commercial Director at Lloyd’s from 2000, he was responsible for the market’s strategic business relationships with its investor base, brokers, the rating agencies and the financial-analyst community.

Randall, group executive chairman said: “Succession planning has been high on the Board’s agenda and, with the continued development of R&Q’s business, it’s time to add further strength to our senior leadership team and for me to step back from day-to-day operations. Alan founded the business with me nearly 30 years ago and has played a key part in the growth of the business. He will retain oversight of the Group’s financial and investment management activities. Roger has been known to the Group for many years and I am delighted to welcome him back to R&Q after an absence of more than 25 years. Subject to confirmation of necessary work and residence permits, Roger will initially be based in Bermuda, where the Group is domiciled.”

Dr Sellek said: “Ken Randall persuaded me to enter the insurance industry from academia many years ago and I’m delighted to have the opportunity now to be able to work with Ken, Alan and Mark. R&Q has evolved to become a major force in its chosen sectors of the insurance industry and I am very much relishing the opportunity to contribute to its continuing growth as part of the leadership team.”

WTW names Sutcliffe as head of the Insurance Investment Solutions Group

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has appointed Gareth Sutcliffe as head of the Insurance Investment Solutions Group (IISG), part of the firms insurance consulting and technology (ICT) UK life business.

Sutcliffe joins (WTW) with over 17 year’s industry experience and previously served as head of its UK investment advisory team at professional services company, EY. Before that Sutcliffe worked at L&G as a senior market strategist focusing on their annuity book.

Marcus Bowser, head of UK life consulting at WTW, said: “I’m delighted to announce that Gareth has taken on the role of Head of the IISG at this exciting stage in developing our insurance investment business. Gareth has all the leadership skills, experience and industry knowledge to successfully lead the UK team in helping to unlock value and enhance return on investment for our clients, as they continue to face challenging market conditions, including a continued low-yield environment and shifting regulations.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sutcliffe said: “I am excited to be joining the IISG team, which has a strong track record for developing bespoke and innovative solutions for insurers that leverage Willis Towers Watson’s global insurance and investment capabilities. Against an uncertain regulatory backdrop and significant market disruption, insurers are increasingly turning to the expertise of third-party consultants to tackle these growing investment, liability and regulatory challenges, and through better asset allocation improve business performance and raise investment yields.”

BGC names new president to lead new aviation brokerage

BGC Insurance Group (BGCI) a division of global brokerage and financial technology firm BGC Partners is launching a new specialist global aviation and aerospace (re)insurance brokerage which will be led by newly appointed Marcel Chad as president, effective immediately.

The new brokerage will be built to provide the market with an independent alternative which will operate at global sale. It will have a strong focus on improving client experience which will utilise advanced technology to drive down costs and drive up service.

Initially headquartered in London, Chad will build a select team of experts in the key aviation insurance hubs across the globe and will work on establishing the new business.

Prior to joining BGCI he served as a partner at JLT Aerospace and before that he was CEO and deputy global chairman at Marsh’s Aviation Practice.

Andrew Wallin, chief commercial officer, BGC Insurance Group, said: “The current market is stacked against aviation clients, with three brokers dominating this line of business because of their scale. For a significant independent player like us with a client-focused approach, vision and technical prowess, the gap in the market offers huge disruptive potential. Our proposition will be compelling: a truly bespoke aviation offering from a concentration of the industry’s top talent and tailored to clients, as opposed to the one-size fits all offered by many of our competitors.”

Chad, said: “I wanted to do something new, creating an exciting alternative for clients, driven by leading talent and technology, that could truly invigorate the aviation industry and put customers at the centre of the proposition. BGCI was the only organisation that could match my ambition for the new platform, with the resources to make its success a reality.”

Compre announces a trio of acquisitions

Independent (re)insurance legacy specialist, Compre has named three new acquisitions involving Basler Versicherung AG (Baloise), Helvetia Swiss Insurance Company Ltd. (Helvetia), and an undisclosed European insurance group.

Compre has acquired each company’s share of the Gibbon Pools, which include insurance and reinsurance business in run-off that is underwritten by RW Gibbon (Underwriting Agencies) Ltd. and RW Gibbon & Son Ltd. between 1950-1972.

Baloise’s entire UK branch liabilities, has been acquired by Compre which will contain the share of the Gibbon Pools. The business explains that the transaction includes a small portfolio underwritten directly by the Swiss entity, and is structured as an upfront loss portfolio transfer, followed by a Part VII transfer to ultimately provide Baloise with finality. Compre has also provided finality solutions to Helvetia and the undisclosed European insurance group for their shares of the Gibbon pools only.

Will Bridger, CEO of Compre, said: “I am extremely pleased to announce these transactions, consolidating a complex legacy London Market pool and delivering true finality for three highly reputable counterparties and in a variety of jurisdictions. My sincere thanks to everyone involved for all their hard work to achieve this great result.”

L&G Re launch world’s first blockchain reinsurance platform

Legal & General Reinsurance (L&G Re) have announced the launch of ‘estua-re’, the first pension risk transfer (PRT) execution platform driven by blockchain technology.

The platform is a single ecosystem capable of driving every stage of the PRT reinsurance value chain including pricing, claims handling, financial reporting and collateral, utilising data dynamically stored on the blockchain. It is designed to replace multiple processes and systems traditionally used to support each function, with the added security of blockchain technology.

The L&G Re team developed estua-re using Amazon Web Services (AWS), chosen due to their innovative products and services for blockchain technology.

Amazon Managed Blockchain, ensures that Legal & General are able to quickly set up and easily manage their Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network. With Amazon Managed Blockchain, multiple parties can transact with each other without needing an intermediary and all members maintain a copy of the ledger database, providing greater transparency.

Thomas Olunloyo, CEO of Legal & General Reinsurance said: “‘estua-re’ is the result of market leading innovation led by the L&G Re team and an exciting milestone in the deployment of blockchain in the long term reinsurance space. Using AWS we have been able to create a solution that addresses not only the greater speeds at which risks are transacted but also drives transparency and security in an increasingly interconnected market. We believe that blockchain is uniquely suited to the long term nature of annuities business as it allows data and transactions to be signed, recorded and maintained in a permanent and secure nature over the lifetime of these contracts, which can span over 50 years”

Rahul Pathak, general manager, Amazon Managed Blockchain at AWS said: “It’s exciting to see how customers like Legal & General Reinsurance are using Amazon Managed Blockchain to create innovative products that allow multiple parties to work together in a trusted way, enabling them to simplify and speed up their systems and processes. With Amazon Managed Blockchain, Legal & General Reinsurance can focus on building new business applications that enrich the experience for their customers and transform their business instead of dealing with the challenges of keeping a blockchain network up and running, all while taking advantage of the security and scalability the service offers.”

Richard Phelps joins Aon as an enterprise client group leader

Global (re)insurance firm Aon has appointed Richard Phelps as an enterprise client group leader in the UK as part of Aon’s expansion plans.

Based in London, he will report to Jim Herbert, co-global head of Aon’s Enterprise Client Group. He joins Aon from Barclays where he held numerous senior client-focused positions.

Herbert, co-global head commented: “We are delighted to have Richard join Aon and leverage his financial services expertise to focus on our financial institution clients. Richard brings over two decades of tremendous experience in enhancing and deepening clients relationship and we are confident in his ability to deliver even more value for our large market clients.”