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EC News (6 June 2019)

June 06, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from CNA, Aviva, PIB Group and more.

CNA launches new tech platform for global business    

One of the largest US property and casualty insurers, CNA, has announced their recent launch of CNA ComPass. A technology platform that allows CNA to write and manage local admitted placements, around the world with their network partners in real time.

CNA provide coverage for a wide range of international products and exposures including property, general liability, excess auto liability, workers’ compensation/employer liability, business travel accidental death and dismemberment, kidnap and ransom, management and professional liability, and more.

Kathleen Ellis, senior vice president of international solutions for CNA stated: “In today’s globalised business environment, success is increasingly sought outside a company’s own borders. While domestic insurance policies typically do not have the coverage to help address overseas events, international business coverage that follows a business and employees worldwide is critical. With 226 business partners in 164 countries around the globe, our strategic network allows us to service multinational organisations with complex local policy requirements more efficiently through CNA ComPass.”

Aviva’s chief financial officer to step down

Aviva plc (Aviva) announces that Tom Stoddard will step down as chief financial officer (CFO) by mutual consent and names Jason Windsor to become interim CFO, subject to regulatory approval.

Tom Stoddard will remain with the Group until 31 December 2019 to support an orderly transition. 

Windsor, who is currently CFO of Aviva UK Insurance, will become interim chief financial officer on 1 July 2019. He joined Aviva in 2010 and has extensive experience of the group, chief capital and investments officer, and as a member of the group executive.

Maurice Tulloch, group chief executive said: “Tom is a tremendous leader and has played a major role in delivering Aviva’s financial turnaround, significantly strengthening the group’s capital position. After five successful years at Aviva, he leaves with my best wishes and those of Aviva’s Board.”

Stoddard, CFO, Aviva plc commented: “Whilst I will miss all the friends I have made here, Aviva has a strong finance team, and it is now time for me to clear the way for other to step up, as I consider new opportunities. Aviva is in a strong financial position with a bright future ahead of it. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Maurice and I wish him, Jason, and everyone who works for Aviva all the best for the future.”

PIB Group announces new acquisition

PIB Group Limited (PIB) has acquired The Cobra Group of Companies (COBRA), subject to regulatory approval.

This is PIB’s 20th investment since 2016 and follows on from PIB’s acquisition of Optis Insurances Ltd in Ireland earlier this year.

COBRA is a network-centric proposition for independent insurance intermediaries. It provides a range of services for it members, agents and clients which include: COBRA Network, COBRA Underwriting Agencies, COBRA London Markets and COBRA Insurance Brokers.

Following completion of the acquisition, the amount of premium placed or influenced by PIB will grow from £550mn to £900mn. Total headcount for PIB will also increase to over 1200 employees.

COBRA businesses will continue to operate under their established trading brands and will integrate into complementary divisions within PIB, along with their existing management teams.

Brendan McManus, CEO for PIB commented: “I’m delighted that PIB has the opportunity to invest in the next stage of COBRA’s development and ambitious growth plans. Collectively and individually, all businesses within COBRA have established strong reputations and leveraged strong margins from insurers. This is another exciting milestone which brings additional scale and new complementary capabilities across several of our existing propositions. We plan to invest in all areas of the group.”

Steve Burrows, CEO for COBRA, said: “I am very pleased that PIB has chosen to acquire and invest in the COBRA group. Established in 2003, COBRA Network was the first COBRA company and, since then, we have successfully built a dynamic insurance group that includes a strong, well-established Lloyd’s brokerage, a growing retail operation and a service-driven MGA, all of which have built loyal and profitable customer bases. The investment planned by PIB creates an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen and further develop our businesses in line with our plans.”

Adding: “We will be investing in all areas of COBRA and see many fantastic opportunities to collaborate. The products provided by COBRA Underwriting Agencies for example are very complementary to ours, and we look forward to working with them in developing their proposition and product range. At the same time, COBRA Network will remain independent. We will focus on investing in the expansion of their proposition and make all our resources available to COBRA members to help with development plans.”

HDI Global Speciality SE names new global head of distribution

Speciality lines insurer HDI Global Specialty SE which was launched as a collaborative venture between Hannover RE and HDI Global, has announced Alan Waters to the newly created role of global head of distribution and business development, effective immediately.

Waters will be responsible of supporting the firm’s growth and management of its global distribution network and will report to Richard Taylor, a member of the executive board of management and UK managing director at HDI Global Specialty SE.

Waters has over 3 decades of industry experience and joins from HDI Global SE UK Branch, where he most recently served as director of corporate risks division and was a member of the UK executive team.

Taylor commented: “I’m delighted to be working again with Alan. He was integral in the successful creation of HDI Global SE UK’s regional presence and with his vast experience in the strategic management of distribution, will be a great addition to our global operations.”

Waters said: “This new role presents a truly exciting and challenging opportunity for me and I am looking forward to working with Richard and the branches to realise the growth potential for HDI Global Specialty SE.”

Andrew Hopper joins Starr Insurance Companies as head of financial institutions UK & Europe

Starr Insurance Companies has announced the appointment of Andrew Hopper as head of financial institutions for UK and Europe, effective 3 June 2019.

Based in London, Hopper will be responsible for strategy and profitable growth of the financial institutions division and will report directly to chief underwriting officer (CUO) Liz Ilott.

Hopper brings more than 17 years financial industry insurance experience to the firm and prior to joining Starr he held the position of senior client executive within the FinPro practice at Marsh in London.

Ilott, CUO, Financial Lines, Starr Underwriting Agents Ltd (SUAL), comments: “Andrew brings more than 17 years of financial industry insurance experience on both the broker and carrier sides of the business. He’s developed smart risk management solutions for large financial institutions throughout his career, including banks, asset managers, and life insurance companies, with a solid track record of driving revenue growth for his employers. His leadership will help us to develop new channels and strengthen our client and partner relationships.”

The Hartford partners with Mimecast to help reduce the risks of a cyber incident

Property & Casualty insurer (P&C) The Hartford has partnered with Mimecast, an email and data security company to offer awareness training services to help its customers reduce the risk of a cybersecurity incident before it occurs.

The training covers content to help employers educate their employees on topics such as ransomware, phishing, wire fraud, and password hygiene. It also includes video content as well as real-world phishing simulations and remediation for employees.

The training is available at no charge to select customers who have The Hartford’s CyberChoice First Response Policy SM and is available at a 20% discount to any other policyholder of The Hartford.

Tim Marlin, head of cyber underwriting at The Hartford commented: “Cyberattacks continue to evolve and are becoming more sophisticated,”

Adding: “Increasingly, employees are targets of complex phishing and social engineering attempts and may inadvertently cause damage by responding to an email that looked real to them. Staying on top of these trends and providing employees with the knowledge to identify these types of threats can go a long way in protecting a business from ransomware, a cyber crime or a data breach.”

Michael Madon, senior vice president of security awareness products at Mimecast said: “While having technology-based cybersecurity solutions in place is critical, organisations must also educate their last line of defence – their employees. We are proud to partner with The Hartford to help their customers manage their business risk and extend our mission of helping customers become more cyber resilient.”