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EC News (25 July 2019)

July 25, 2019

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

Roger Francis joins CFC as cyber claims director

Specialist insurance provider CFC has announced the appointment of Roger Francis as cyber claims director. In his new role he will be responsible for leading CFC’s cyber claims and incident response organisation, as well as oversee CFC’s cyber risk management services.

He joins CFC with 15 years’ experience in information security, helping businesses protect their organisational assets from cyber threats, developing global security governance programmes, and responding to headline cyber breaches.

Most recently, Francis was head of EMEA security advisory at Aon / Stroz Friedberg, where he delivered cyber risk solutions to insureds, and helped clients quantify and manage cyber risk. Prior to Aon, he was the EMEA strategic & cyber insurance lead at Mandiant (FireEye), and director of professional services for McAfee (Intel Security).

Margaret Murphy, CFC claims director said: “CFC has been at the forefront of the cyber insurance industry for nearly 20 years, which means we have one of the most tested and experienced cyber claims handling teams in the industry. Roger brings deep cyber security expertise and leadership to our robust in-house cyber claims and incident response team.”

Francis added: “When a client purchases a policy from CFC, they’re really buying the claims service behind it. Nowhere is that more critical than in cyber, where technical expertise and real-world claims handling experience can make the difference between a business suffering a catastrophic loss or getting back online quickly. CFC’s cyber underwriting and claims team is market-leading, and I’m eager to join the group in taking these capabilities to the next level.”

Aon Promotes Vincent Barrett to regional managing director EMEA

Aon has announced the promotion of Vincent Barrett as regional managing director Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) for its captive & insurance management business.

Based in Dublin, Barrett will continue to report to John English, CEO, captive & insurance management and work in close partnership with Aon’s leadership teams across EMEA.

Barrett joined Aon in 2007 and most recently served as chief commercial officer where he was responsible for leading the group’s regional operations in EMEA.

He will continue as account chair on a numerous complex global client accounts and lead the captive business development team across EMEA.

English, CEO, captive & insurance, said: “Since joining Aon in 2007 Vince has held a number of senior roles within our group, from leading White Rock to co-leading our solution for Solvency II and development of our ILS value proposition. His knowledge and expertise places him in an ideal position to lead our EMEA operations.’’

Liberty Specialty Markets appoints first chief cyber officer

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) a member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group has named Jon Rigby to the newly created position of chief cyber officer, effective immediately.

Based in London, he will report to Peter Smith, executive underwriting officer.

Rigby served for more than 33 years in cyber, intelligence, IT and engineering roles with the Royal Air Force. His last role with the Royal Air Force was in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal within Joint Forces Command, where his responsibilities included leadership of Defence’s cyber operations and programmes

He joins LSM from AlixPartners where he co-led the cybersecurity team, working mainly with private equity and FTSE 100 executive teams, to help them manage their cybersecurity risk.

Smith, executive underwriting officer at Liberty Specialty Markets, said: “Jon has joined LSM to further develop our strategy to review, define and deli­­ver what best practice for underwriting cybersecurity should look like.  He is a subject matter expert and brings a wealth of experience and learnings from outside the insurance industry.  His appointment supports our vision to be a leading global specialty (re)insurer for cyber risk in terms of governance, thought leadership and client value solutions across all product lines. Jon will drive the LSM Cyber ‘Centre of Excellence’, interfacing with our insurance and reinsurance underwriting functions led by Matthew Hogg (head of cyber insurance) and ivonne staisch (head of cyber reinsurance).

Rigby, commented: “Information is a key business enabler and very often the most valuable asset of a business. Even a cursory read of the news shows that the cybersecurity threat to the profitability and value of businesses and the reputation of executives, is an unavoidable aspect of doing business today. Cybersecurity insurance is still immature, and in my experience risk transfer is often overlooked as an effective component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Liberty is at the cutting edge of recognising this opportunity, and I’m delighted to join the team and to help our customers to prosper.”

AXA XL promotes Simon Hearn to CUO for London Market Wholesale

AXA XL has promoted Simon Hearn to chief underwriting officer from London Market Wholesale, effective 1 August 2019.

In his new role, Hearn will be responsible for leading AXA XL’s Property & Casualty London wholesale business and developing core underwriting strategies and product profitability to aid the business unit achieve its financial and long-term objectives.

Hearn will continue in his role as head of Life and wholesale accident & health until 1 January 2020, to ensure the smooth handover and transition of his current responsibilities. Hearn is also the active underwriter for Syndicate 3002.

He brings more than 3 decades of (re)insurance industry experience, having begun his career as a life and health underwriter at Black Horse Financial Services in 1989. He undertook similar roles at AIG Life and Swiss RE, before becoming a client manager for client markets at the latter in 2006. Hearn joined AXA XL in 2002, where he has held several senior positions, most recently as head of life and wholesale accident & health/active underwriter for Syndicate 3002.

Neil Robertson, CEO of Global Specialty, said: “During his time at XL Catlin and now AXA XL, Simon has built a strong reputation as a business leader with extensive experience in the Lloyd’s Wholesale market. Simon has, through his tenure as Active Underwriter of Syndicate 3002, first-hand experience of the nuances and opportunities that the Lloyd’s market affords AXA XL,”

Adding: “I’m therefore delighted that Simon has accepted the opportunity to lead our London-based Wholesale Property and Casualty business, which is a considerable and important part of our operations at Lloyd’s. Simon will assume the leadership of a talented group of experienced underwriters who are very much leaders in their marketplace and I’m certain that this combination positions us well for success.”

Ryan Specialty Group to open new office in Barcelona as part of expansion strategy

Ryan Speciality Group (RSG) has announced it will open an office in Barcelona in order to evolve the firms transactional risk business expanding both geographically and by product offering.

The new office will focus on the core transactional risk products of Warranty & Indemnity insurance and Commercial Tax Liability insurance, servicing brokers across continental Europe.

The office will be led by Luc Joordens and Marta Batalla, supported by Luis Feijoo and Isabel den Hollander. They all have an extensive and established track record of underwriting profitable transactional risk insurance across Europe.

Additionally RSG has also announced that Kerry Westwell has joined the firm as head of tax from a private practice, where she spent 21 years. She is based in the London office and will use her wealth of experience to further build out the tax offering across the firms London and Barcelona offices.

With the opening of RSG’s Barcelona office and the addition of the new team members, Hunter George & Partners will be transacting business under the new name of RSG Transactional Risks Europe effective 1 September 2019.

Ian Theato, director of Hunter George said: “Hunter George has been part of the RSG family for 3½ years, so leveraging the global success of this iconic brand is a natural evolution for us as we pursue international expansion. The transactional risk practice has experienced significant growth in 2019. We have hired 9 experts which has expanded our team to 19 professionals, with 11 lawyers speaking 5 languages. Our deep technical knowledge, consistent underwriting approach and unwavering work ethic, enable the team to review thousands of transactions every year and provide superior service to our clients and carrier partners.”

Steve Ryland named CEO of Catalina UK

Steve Ryland has been announced as the chief executive officer of Catalina UK as the division continues to grow and develop its international management team.

Ryland was a member of the Executive Management Committee while at Armour and played a key role in developing the business from its launch. He brings more than three decades of insurance and reinsurance industry experience, in which he was an executive director with PRO Insurance Solutions Limited, the former service entity of reinsurance giant Swiss Re.

As CEO of Catalina UK, Ryland will have oversight of the companies UK operations, working to drive all components in its strategy, including the integration of Catalina’s substantial UK Employers Liability books of business. This will drive operational efficiencies, both identifying and executing the market consolidation opportunities and boosting the firm’s global positioning.

Following regulatory approval, Ryland sets to join the firm in January 2020.

Catalina Holdings’ CEO, Chris Fagan said: “We’re delighted to welcome Steve to the business. He is an industry heavyweight that we have long admired and he brings with him a wealth of experience that will be invaluable as we continue to execute on our strategy. He joins the business at a very exciting time, following the completion of our largest ever transaction in the UK and a successful fundraise that provides us with the financial firepower to execute on a wide range of market opportunities.”

Generali expands into Portugal with double acquisition

Expanding its presence in Portugal, Generali is in the process of acquiring a local insurance company and service platform from Apollo Global Management, in a deal valued at €600mn. Generali, as per the agreement, will acquire 100% of Seguradoras Unidas for €510mn and AdvanceCare for €90mn.

This takeover will work to increase Generali’s share life of the Portuguese non-life market to 18.7% and it will leverage Seguradoras Unidas’s agency network in the life market to help develop protection products. This is in line with its three-year 2021 strategy.

Meanwhile, AdvanceCare is a service platform operating primarily in the healthcare sector and it is Portugal’s second largest private player within the market resulting in a share of around 30%.

Since 1942 Generali has been present in Portugal and currently operates in the country’s life segment through Generali Vida Companhia de Seguros and in the non-life segment through Generali Companhia de Seguros.

Acting through its Investment Bank, Barclays PLC has been an exclusive financial advisor to Generali on the transaction process with Apollo. The law firms Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners, Sullivan & Cromwell and Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados acted as legal advisors.

“With the acquisition of Seguradoras Unidas, Generali will become the second largest group in the Portuguese non-life segment,” said Jaime Anchústegui Melgarejo, CEO International of Generali.

“The transaction will enable us to optimise our strategic positioning in the country, to capture future growth opportunities, to achieve significant cost synergies through the integration of Generali Portugal and Seguradoras Unidas and to ensure the operational solidity of Europ Assistance in the Portuguese market,” he explained.

“The acquisition of AdvanceCare, which has a diversified institutional customer base, will also help the Group to acquire strong know-how in the healthcare sector and a scalable platform to develop in other countries. These acquisitions are an important step in the implementation of the Group’s three-year strategy, which aims to strengthen our leadership in Europe.”