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EC News (8 August 2019)

August 08, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Fidelis, Swiss Re, Barbican Protect and more.

Fidelis names new Dublin CEO & CUO

Fidelis Insurance Ireland DAC (FIID) has appointed Robert Kelly as chief executive officer (CEO) and Simon Crone as chief underwriting officer (CUO).

Both will replace Colm Lyons who served as both CEO and CUO of FIID, who is now stepping down from these positions. Lyons was pivotal in leading the establishment of the firms Ireland hub post-Brexit.

Kelly joined Fidelis in 2018 from PartnerRe Ireland as chief financial officer (CFO) of FIID. He will maintain these responsibilities as well as taking on the new CEO position.

Additionally, Crone joined from AmTrust in 2019 as a senior underwriter. At AmTrust he served as the CUO for the mortgage & credit division. He has over 2 decades of (re)insurance industry experience from underwriting, operations and project management.

Commenting on Crone’s appointment, Kelly said: “I am pleased to have Simon join me on the Board and look forward to working together to grow our continental business.”

Richard Coulson, UK chief underwriting officer & executive head of bespoke & specialty insurance, said: “Simon has proven himself to be a talented and innovative underwriter. I congratulate him on his appointment to this role and look forward to working with him to build out our European book of bespoke and specialty business.”

Richard Brindle, chairman and group CEO & CUO of Fidelis, added: “Both Simon and Rob have proven their business acumen and expertise since joining Fidelis, and I am pleased to confirm their appointments to these roles.”

Adding: “I’d also like to thank Colm Lyons, departing Chief Executive Officer & Chief Underwriting Officer of FIID, for the successful establishment of our Dublin office, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

“Fidelis’ Dublin office provides certainty to our clients and brokers that we will continue to operate in the EEA irrespective of Brexit, and that there will be continuity of service on our agreements. This is an important part of our business strategy, ensuring that we can continue to grow our Continental book, particularly in specialty and bespoke insurance.”

Swiss Re acquires Quilter’s UK closed book business

Swiss Re’s subsidiary, ReAssure Group plc is acquiring Quilter’s UK closed book business, consisting of Old Mutual Wealth Life Assurance Limited and its subsidiary Old Mutual Wealth Pensions Trustees Limited, including about 300 employees, for a total consideration of £425mn.

Swiss Re says the acquisition will add over 200,000 customer policies and £12bn of assets to ReAssure's platform. The transaction will increase ReAssure's total policy count to 4.5mn and assets under administration to £81bn. ReAssure expect the transaction to deliver substantial synergies and increase future cash generation potential. 

The deal is to be funded from ReAssure’s own cash resources and is expected to be completed for the end of 2019, subject to regulatory approval.

Thierry Léger, CEO of Swiss Re's Life Capital Business Unit, said: “This acquisition continues ReAssure's success in capturing attractive opportunities in a rich pipeline of potential transactions and demonstrates the strength of its business model and management team. We remain fully supportive of ReAssure as the company continues to pursue its growth strategy and build its cash generating capacity.”

Paul Feeney, CEO of Quilter, said: "I am delighted we have agreed to sell Quilter Life Assurance to ReAssure. ReAssure is a highly regarded manager of closed book assets and has the experience to deliver continued high quality investment and administration services to clients of Quilter Life Assurance. The Quilter Board is currently minded to return a meaningful proportion of the net surplus proceeds arising from the transaction to shareholders and will consult with them on the most appropriate means of undertaking this."

Barbican Protect appoint McManus as head of professional indemnity

Barbican Protect, a member of Barbican Insurance Group has named Paula McManus as head of professional indemnity (PI) for its London operations, effective immediately.

In her new role she will be part of the Financial Lines team and responsible for strengthening Barbican Protect’s PI proposition in the UK commercial SME and mid-sized corporate market. She brings over 2 decades of insurance market experience to this role and over 18 years within the PI space.

Beginning her career in 1994 at RSA, McManus most recently served as a senior UK PI underwriter at Pioneer Underwriting and before that she was a PI underwriting manager at Alterra. She has also held underwriting positions at Beazley, CNA and Newline Underwriting.

Stuart Kilpatrick, managing director of Barbican Protect, said: “With almost two decades of experience in the UK PI sector to call upon, Paula’s market knowledge is exceptional. She is a very driven practitioner who combines ground-level market insight with highly technical underwriting capabilities to deliver customer-focused solutions. She is a great addition to our Financial Lines team and will undoubtedly help boost our standing in the PI arena.”

Lloyd’s broker SSL Endeavour launches in Cyprus & Greece as part of growth strategy

SSL Endeavour Limited, a specialist independent Lloyd’s broker and delegated authority expert has announced that the subsidiary is expanding into Cypriot and Greek markets, pending regulatory approval.

The Greek office has been in existence since 2007, under the brand of independent specialist marine broker SSL Insurance Group, which was merged with Endeavour Insurance Services in a deal backed by JC Flowers last year.

The new unit called SSL Endeavours Cyprus & Greece will be headed up by an experienced team including non-executive chairman George Tsavliris, with Manos Sofronis as CEO and Nicolaos Tzimas as executive director.

Headquartered in Cyprus with a branch office in Athens, SSL Endeavour Cyprus & Greece will continue to operate as before under the ongoing licence arrangements with the Greek authorities.

David Lawrence, SSL Endeavour Group CEO, said: “George, Manos and their team bring with them exemplary shipping and insurance knowledge, very close relationships with both communities and their clients, and I am very confident that they will guide SSL Endeavour Insurance Brokers Ltd into new and exciting era of expansion into regional marine and non-marine lines,”

Adding: “Not only does the formation of this new company ensure continuity of service for our clients regardless of the outcome of Brexit, it also gives us the continued opportunity to expand through both portfolio acquisitions and organic growth, offer new lines of insurance business and develop our wholesale strategy leading to retail distribution.”

George A. Tsavliris, non-executive chairman SSL Endeavour Cyprus & Greece, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be part of this new, exciting business; the newly formed company will be one of the few true international Lloyd’s brokerage houses based in Greece and Cyprus specialising in both Marine and Non-Marine classes of business, and this gives us a distinct differential and advantage over many of our peers. We pride ourselves on our quality of broking and claims service to shipowning and other insureds on a 24 hour basis and we have built up a wide network of people servicing our clients.”

Manos Sofronis, CEO, SSL Endeavour Insurance Brokers Cyprus and Greece, said: “I established the Greek SSL office in 2007 and since then we have made significant inroads in the Greek shipping community, concentrating on all classes of Marine business to become a dominating force in the market and securing a substantial book of major fleets. Our clientele ranges from some of the largest blue chip shipowners and US listed companies, to smaller more traditional shipping families, and we have raised our profile into the global shipping market and opened doors to some of the best shipping companies both in Greece and overseas as well.”

Swiss Re appoints Urs Baertschi as CEO Reinsurance, EMEA

Swiss Re has name Urs Baertschi as new CEO reinsurance Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA), regional president and member of the group executive committee, effective from 1 September 2019.

Baertschi will succeed Russell Higginbotham who took over as CEO reinsurance Asia and regional president earlier this month.

Prior to taking on this new position, Baertschi served as president of reinsurance Latin America for the past four years and before this he was the managing director, head principal investments & acquisitions Americas. He previously also held a variety of M&A and private equity roles both in and outside of Swiss Re focusing on insurance, healthcare and financial services.

Walter B. Kielholz, Swiss Re’s chairman, said: “Urs Baertschi is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of broad expertise in the financial services industry. He has a proven track record of fostering sustainable growth and the right skills to lead our business in EMEA to new strengths as we continue to focus on innovation across our business lines. We are pleased to appoint such a strong internal candidate to this important role, ensuring continuity for our clients.”

Jonathan Sutcliffe joins Chaucer as head of underwriting for its Dublin business

Specialty (re)insurance group Chaucer has named Jonathan Sutcliffe to the newly created role of head of underwriting at Chaucer Insurance Company DAC in Ireland.

In his new role he will take on a leadership role in the overall direction and management of Chaucer Dublin. He will be responsible for the underwriting appetite and strategy, risk selection and acceptance and product development.

Sutcliffe is currently the Active Underwriter of Syndicate 2088, and will continue in this role until the end of 2019 when Syndicates 1084 and 2088 will combine under Syndicate 1084 for the 2020 Year of Account.

Chaucer states Sutcliffe’s appointment supports the long-term development and growth of Chaucer Dublin, and that Chaucer Dublin is integral to Chaucer’s long-term international strategy of providing brokers and clients with comprehensive specialty underwriting expertise, platform choice and broad distribution options.

Michelle Moore, general manager of Chaucer Dublin, said: “Growing Chaucer Dublin is an important strategic goal for Chaucer and I am confident that Jonathan’s wealth of underwriting experience and exceptional industry knowledge will bring significant value to the business.”

Sutcliffe added: “I am delighted to be joining Chaucer Dublin and look forward to working closely with Michelle and her team to support the long-term development and growth of our insurance company in Ireland, which is an integral part of Chaucer’s specialty underwriting offering to brokers and clients.”