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EC News (12 September 2019)

September 12, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aspen, Markel, HDI Global and more.

Aspen hires Mary Kotch as chief information officer

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited announced the appointment of Mary Kotch as chief information officer, effective immediately. She will also join the Aspen Group executive committee.

Kotch brings more than 20 years’ experience in strategic technology innovation, application shared services, managing a global project management office, infrastructure, architecture, and digital and data management.

She previously served in senior executive technology roles at Validus Group and AIG. She was recently named one of the ‘2019 Top 50 Women in Technology’ by the U.S. National Diversity Council.

Mark Cloutier, executive chairman and group chief executive officer, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Mary to Aspen. She has extensive experience in transforming global companies’ IT strategies, focusing on revenue growth through the use of technology, while ensuring that a company’s infrastructure and applications are progressive, stable, flexible and aligned with the needs of customers, partners and employees. I very much look forward to working with her.”

Finch joins Markel as senior surety underwriter in London

Specialist insurer Markel has named Jonathan Finch as senior underwriter in its surety team in London.

In his new role he will report to Damian Manning, head of surety and he will now be responsible for the servicing and development of the surety portfolio.

Finch brings over 25 years of experience as a surety professional having held a variety of roles throughout his career in both broking and underwriting. He joins Markel from Travellers Insurance Company where he served as a senior surety underwriter.

Ewa Rose, managing director of trade credit, political risk and surety at Markel International, commented: “The appointment of Jonathan reflects our growing appetite in the surety business and underlines our commitment to the market. Jonathan’s extensive and versatile experience, both in broking and underwriting, will make him a valuable asset to our team and its future success. We are delighted to have Jonathan on board and look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

David Palmer joins HDI Global Speciality SE as head of crisis management

HDI Global Speciality SE has named David Palmer as head of crisis management.

In his new role he will alongside Wolfgang Dinzen and his team in Cologne, providing crisis management solutions across the HDI Global Specialty international network or through the London market.

Palmer brings over 3 decades of industry experience to the role and most recently served as a senior vice president at Marsh. Prior to that, he held senior crisis management lines of business roles at both AIG and Aon.

Richard Taylor, HDI Global Specialty SE UK managing director and a member of the UK executive board, said: “David is another key hire for us as we bring together the right team of senior market practitioners with the capabilities to implement and realise our growth strategy. His experience and track record speak for themselves; I’m pleased to welcome him to the team.”

Marsh names Andy Smith as chairman & CEO of UK Aviation practice

Global (re)insurance brokerage Marsh has announced the appointment of Andy Smith as chairman and chief executive officer of its UK Aviation practice, within Marsh JLT Speciality.

Smith will be based in London and report to Paul Moody, UK CEO, Marsh JLT Specialty, and Simon Harker, global head of aviation, Marsh JLT Specialty.

In his new role, Smith will be responsible for the overall management and development of the firm's London-based aviation and aerospace business, which provides specialist risk support and insurance services to both a UK and international client base.

Smith brings over 3 decades of experience to the role. He joined Marsh in 2007 and since then has held senior roles within its UK Aviation Practice, most recently as head of the UK airline business.

Prior to joining Marsh, he was a Partner at JLT and part of the firm's Aerospace executive team.

Commenting on the appointment, Moody said: “Andy is widely recognised throughout the industry for his leadership skills and incisive understanding of the risk and insurance issues aviation firms now face. He is a great example of the depth of talent we have in Marsh JLT Specialty and the aviation team in particular.”

Harker Added: “Andy’s deep experience and market knowledge will be essential as we assist our UK aviation and aerospace clients in managing their risk and insurance portfolios. With his superb track record and industry standing, I’m delighted that Andy is now at the helm of our UK team.”

Smith, said: “I am truly excited to be leading the talented UK team and working with our global network to deliver the services and solutions our UK clients require to manage risk effectively and continue to grow.”

Tysers to acquire Risk Transfer Group

Integro Insurance Brokers (trading as Tysers), have announced the signing of the definitive agreement to acquire Risk Transfer Group (RTG), the parent company of (re)insurance broker RFIB Group Ltd for an undisclosed fee.

Tysers say that the news demonstrates Tysers commitment to expanding its capabilities and product offering by seeking to combine with another leading independent specialist to enhance its position as the leading independent insurance broker.

As part of the new acquisition Steven Beard will continue in his role as chief executive officer of RTG and will report to Integro CEO Andy Behrend.

The combined Wholesale brokerage team will be led by Tysers co-heads of Wholesale, David Abraham and Jason Collins. 

Additionally the wider management team will be made up of a combination of the existing Tysers and RFIB management teams.

Behrends commented: “This combination is the merger of complementary cultures and product offerings which will enhance our position as the leading independent specialist broker. Together, we will accelerate our collective strategy to expand our distribution capabilities through an enhanced international presence. The combination will also benefit the team members of both firms by providing greater opportunities for career progression and development.”

Beard, CEO of RTG commented: “Tysers is a well-respected firm and we are excited to be joining forces with them.  We have a shared goal of being the leading independent Wholesale specialist. This will improve the breadth of services we can provide to our clients and provides an attractive proposition to the wholesale market, from which we can accelerate our growth plans”.

Abraham and Collins added: “We have just completed the integration of Tysers. The culture we have built there is one where staff can thrive, and top insurance specialists will want to work.  Our clients will benefit from an enhanced range of products, reflecting the broader and complementary skill set of the combined firm.  We are very excited about bringing these two great companies together and will use the success of recent acquisitions to guide the integration and to ensure that both the success of our clients and our people are at the forefront of this process.”

Capsicum Re adds 4 new hires to its London cyber team 

Specialist (re)insurance broker Capsicum Re has announced 4 new appointments to its London cyber team.

Umair Ghani and Thomas Lashkari have joined as a cyber pricing actuary and a cyber analyst and will report to Justyna Pikinska, head of analytics, Specialty Lines at Capsicum Re.

Meanwhile Jennifer Braney and Sebastien Plummer have joined as brokers and will report to Ian Newman, global head of cyber.

Ghani joins from AIG where he has spent the last 9 years, most recently as a casualty lines pricing actuary. He also held roles as a financial lines pricing actuary, pricing analyst and reserving analyst.

Lashkari joins from Direct Line Group where he was a pricing analyst, acting as the lead analyst for several notable lines of business. Before this he held roles at Travelers Insurance and Davies Group.

Additionally, Braney joins from Liberty Specialty Markets where she was a senior underwriter focused on developing the cyber reinsurance and personal accident reinsurance portfolios.

Prior to this she was the deputy class underwriter for Treaty PA at Liberty Syndicates and also held roles with Lockton Re and Odyssey Re.

Meanwhile, Plummer was previously an assistant vice president in the cyber, media and tech E&O team broker at Paragon. He also worked as part of the FinTech team, which placed accounts such as cryptocurrency exchanges and disruptive blockchain technology companies.

Prior to this, Plummer worked for head-hunters Webber Fox Group as well as Accenture in Madrid.

Ian Newman, global head of cyber at Capsicum Re, said: “The cyber market is growing rapidly and our role is to help our clients understand more about their own cyber exposures, how to identify, quantify and ultimately mitigate this risk. It is key that we continue to attract the best talent so we can continue to provide market leading advice and help clients navigate the challenges they face.

I am delighted to welcome four excellent additions to our team. Analytics is a key part of our delivery and Umair and Thomas’s expertise will increase our ability to deliver high quality consultancy work. Jen and Seb are well respected in the cyber market and each bring a different experience and perspective, which will be incredibly valuable as we evolve our products and offering for clients.”

Hiscox appoints Joanne Musselle as new group chief underwriter

Global (re)insurer Hiscox has announced the appointment of Joanne Musselle as its new group chief underwriting officer, following the retirement of Richard Watson. She will step into the role at the end of 2019 and join the Hiscox Ltd Board as an executive director in February 2020.

Musselle has been with the company for 17 years having joined in 2002 as a technical underwriting manager for professions and specialty commercial lines. Since then she has held several senior roles at the firm and currently serves as chief underwriting officer (CUO) for Hiscox Retail.

In her current role, Joanne is responsible for all retail underwriting across the Hiscox Group, including Hiscox UK, Hiscox Europe, Hiscox USA, Hiscox Special Risks and Hiscox Asia. In the last two years, she has overseen profitable growth in GWP of almost 25% across the retail portfolio and helped our retail businesses to navigate increased volumes of regulatory change.

Bronek Masojada, Hiscox group CEO, said: “After a thorough search where we considered a number of strong internal and external candidates, I am pleased to appoint Joanne as our next Group Chief Underwriting Officer. Joanne’s deep understanding of our business and experience of managing underwriting portfolios in our key markets will be critical for our next stage of growth. She has overseen strong, profitable growth in our retail casualty and property portfolios and has confidently led the business through a number of changes in course when market conditions have been tough. Joanne’s commerciality, long-term view and ability to challenge will make her a valuable member of our Executive team.” 

Musselle added: “Profitable underwriting is the backbone of Hiscox and I could not be more delighted to serve the Group in this broader role. Being part of the evolution of Hiscox over the last 17 years has given me many experiences and opportunities across the whole of our business and I am excited to be taking up this next challenge.”