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EC News (11 July 2019)

July 11, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from AXA, Liberty Specialty Markets, Ed Broking and more.

AXA UK & Ireland appoints new chief risk officer

(Re)insurer AXA UK & Ireland has named David Baker as new chief risk officer who will join after the summer. He will replace Evan Waks who is departing to pursue other opportunities.

Baker joins AXA from Direct Line Group, where he served for the past seven years as the director of group compliance: regulatory and conduct risk.

He comes from an economist background and has been instrumental in shaping Direct Line Group’s journey from an insurance division of the RBS Group to a standalone listed FTSE 100 insurance group, having previously also held regulatory focused roles at Prudential, the Financial Ombudsman Service and Phoenix Group.

Baker will also join AXA UK and Ireland’s Management Committee. The continued importance of the insurer’s relationship with the regulator will be a significant focus of Baker’s role, as AXA moves to finalising and implementing its 'Beyond 2020' strategy.

Claudio Gienal, CEO AXA UK & Ireland commented: “I am delighted that David is coming on board, bringing with him an impressive track record through his years of experience in the industry. Having held senior risk and compliance roles across the Life and General Insurance sectors, he will be a great asset to the Management Committee and to AXA UK. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Evan for his work and commitment to AXA over the past 17 years and I wish him the very best for the next stage of his career.”

Liberty Specialty Markets names new CFO and head of claims in Bermuda

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), a member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has promoted Steven Beadle as chief financial officer (CFO) and Chen Foley as head of Bermuda claims, effective immediately.

Liberty announced the integration of its Ironshore Bermuda businesses and brands into a single business branded as Liberty Specialty Markets Bermuda in December last year.

Beadle joined Ironshore in 2008 and was made corporate controller in 2017 after having served for three years as financial controller (Bermuda). Steven will report to Steve Horton, president of LSM Bermuda and Steve McMurray, chief financial officer of LSM.

Foley was previously head of claims for Iron-Starr. In his new position, he will help bring together the former Ironshore business lines and property claims teams. He will report to Steve Horton and Mike Gillett, chief claims officer, Liberty Specialty Markets.

Horton, president of LSM Bermuda, said: “Both Steven and Chen have played major roles in the development of the Bermuda platform and Ironshore’s integration to LSM. The Bermuda platform continues to grow and we have recently added a reinsurance offering. We are focused on continuing to deliver excellent service to our clients and brokers, whilst building our product suite and new carrier partnerships. Steven and Chen are key to our ongoing success and I congratulate them both on their respective promotions.”

Ed appoints Carrie Kelley as head of property insurance in Bermuda

(Re)insurance broking group Ed has appointed Carrie Kelley as executive vice president, head of property insurance, based in the recently launched operation in Bermuda.

In her new role, Kelley will report to Chris Bonard, CEO of Ed Broking’s new Bermuda platform.

She has more than 16 years’ industry experience and joins Ed from Barbican Underwriting Bermuda, where she most recently served as underwriter of the Property D&F portfolio.

Kelley has held previous roles including senior vice president, property broker, at Bowring Marsh Bermuda, property facultative broker at Guy Carpenter Bermuda, and vice president & property broker at Marsh USA in Chicago.

Bonard said: “We are delighted to have added a producer with Carrie’s market experience and profile to our new Bermuda operation. She has an excellent track record working with complex multi-national accounts from the North American Fortune 1000 and was instrumental in the development of a Middle Market book of business new to the island. She has solid relationships both with clients and the local underwriting community, which will be invaluable as we build out Ed’s independent wholesale broking platform in Bermuda to give our clients access to a marketplace they had not been fully utilizing.”

Kelley added: “Bermuda is an important market that I’ve worked in for many years and know well. Ed is building a new and different operation which will strongly appeal to clients. I am excited to be building a new business and bringing new pipelines of business to the Bermuda market.”

Zurich names Alison Martin as CEO EMEA and Bank Distribution

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) has appointed Alison Martin to the role of chief executive officer Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and bank distribution, effectively immediately.

Martin succeeds Amanda Blanc who recently left the business.

Martin will continue to oversee the Group Risk Management function for a limited period of time until a suitable successor has been found.

Martin joined Zurich in October 2017 and assumed the role of group chief risk officer in January 2018. During this time she enhanced the strong risk management in all of Zurich’s businesses across regions, including increasing focus on managing the risks from the digital transformation of the industry.

Prior to joining Zurich, Martin worked at Swiss Re, where she was head of life & health business management globally. In her 14 years at Swiss Re, Martin held a series of senior management positions focused on transformation, commercial business and value creation.

Mario Greco, group chief executive officer, said: “Alison is perfectly suited for this role. She is an enthusiastic leader who combines industry expertise with the right mix of customer focus, people management and commercial experience. She is a mature leader with a strong international background. I am confident she will successfully expand our capabilities to meet customer needs in the region. She knows our culture, she knows our business and is well suited to take our EMEA business to the next level.”

AXA Commercial Lines promotes Howliston as regional director for the North

AXA Commercial Lines has appointed Joanne Howliston as regional director for the UK’s North region, effective immediately.

Prior to her promotion, she was branch manager for Leeds and Newcastle.

In her new role, Howliston will have accountability for the direction and performance of the six branches that make up the North region. She will also liaise closely with Alan Scott, regional director for the South, to ensure a coordinated approach to trading and distribution relationships across the UK.

She will now report to Nick Watson, director of distribution & trading, commercial lines intermediary.

Watson, director of distribution & trading CLI, AXA Insurance said: “Jo has a strong knowledge of the regional broker marketplace and a long history of managing trading operations across the regions. Her experience within AXA and previously with other insurers like Zurich gives her a rounded knowledge of how best to deliver mutual value for brokers and the carrier.”

Taurai Ushe joins Miller as head of business development for UK Professions

Global (re)insurance broker Miller has appointed Taurai Ushe as head of business development UK Professions, to further bolster its leading Professions team.

Ushe joins with 15 years’ experience in developing new business opportunities and sourcing insurance solutions for UK companies in the professional services sector.

He began his career at Allianz and subsequently held positions at United Insurance Brokers (UIB), Hyperion Insurance Group, and most recently Willis Towers Watson.

The announcement of both Ed Pickard and Taurai Ushe signal Miller’s commitment to the UK professions sector and specifically its intention to expand its insurance offering to top 250 law firms and other larger professional practices.

Pickard comments: “Taurai is an excellent addition to our UK Professions team given his extensive skill set and experience. His hire supports our ongoing efforts to help our clients navigate the market by combining a consultancy approach with market-leading expertise.”

Ushe, added: “Ed and his team have experience from both an underwriting and broking perspective, meaning that they can truly understand clients’ needs and develop innovative solutions in response. I am delighted to join Miller given their solid reputation in the market and forward-thinking strategy.”