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EC News (17 October 2019)

October 17, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Globe Underwriting, AXA XL, RKH Specialty and more.

Globe Underwriting appoints Dan Watson as senior engineering underwriter

UK based managing general agent, Globe Underwriting has named Dan Watson as senior engineering underwriting, effective immediately.

Watson brings more than 15 years’ industry experience and joins from Pioneers where he specialised in engineering underwriting. Between 2004 and 2016 he worked at RSA mostly as a power and EAR trading underwriter.

Watson’s hire follows the launch of Globe’s engineering portfolio, which focuses on construction and operational power business.

Peter Rossell, head of engineering said: “We are building an exceptional engineering offering and Dan’s hire demonstrates our strategic ambition in this area.  His expertise in the engineering underwriting field, as well as his key industry contacts and insights, bolster our ability to provide exactly the services our clients need. We’re delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acquires Swedish broker Proinova

Global insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has announced the acquisition of insurance broker Proinova based in Helsingborg, Sweden.

Proinova was founded in 1989 by CEO Sten Eriksson and the firm specialises in group solutions for the real estate sector, offering insurance, loss prevention training and claims advocacy services for trade association members.

It also serves clients in many related areas, such as municipalities, hotels and conferences, business property and individual real estate owners.

Proinova will operate from its current location and will be led by Eriksson and his associates. They will be under the direction of Anders Mjaaland, head of Gallagher’s Scandinavian operations.

J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., chairman, president and CEO, said: "Proinova is a strong, family run business that extends Gallagher's geographic presence into the southern region of Sweden, and expands our capabilities and product offering to clients across Scandinavia. I am delighted to welcome Sten and his associates to our growing global team."

Vyvienne Wade, CEO of Gallagher's International division, added: "Proinova is an impressive business, with high-quality people who focus on culture and clients first and foremost, just as we do at Gallagher. Their location in the south of Sweden is an excellent geographic fit with our existing operations, as we look to continue our strategic growth in Scandinavia."

Peter Welton promoted to UK head of energy at AXA XL

AXA XL has announced the promotion of Peter Welton to UK head of energy. He will succeed Luis Prato who was appointed chief underwriting officer for UK Legal entities earlier this year.

In Welton’s new role he will be responsible for developing the UK energy book and providing and designing innovative insurance and flexible solutions for energy clients as well as leading a team of underwriters in London.

For the past 10 years Welton held several underwriting roles within the energy sector, before being promoted to senior class underwriter for Downstream Energy and Power in 2016. Welton’s career began in 2000, when he secured a place on the Marsh Graduate Scheme. He remained with the broker until 2005, when he joined the Non-Marine Direct and Facultative Property team at Catlin Underwriting Agencies Ltd (now AXA XL).

Huw Jones, chief underwriting officer for Global Energy at AXA XL, commented: “The global energy market is currently undergoing a period of transformation. Having the right team in place is an integral part of our commitment to our clients, as they manage the associated risks today and in the years ahead. I am delighted that Peter will be taking on the role of UK Head of Energy and have every confidence that his high level of technical expertise and knowledge will further strengthen our UK Energy business. His promotion is also a demonstration of the depth of talent we have at AXA XL.”

RKH Specialty adds Humphreys and Robinson to its specialist aviation team

RKH specialty announced the appointments of Jason Humphreys and Alex Robinson to expand its specialist aviation team in London. Humphreys will take up his new position in February, with Robinson joining him in March 2020.

Humphreys brings over 3 decades of experience in handling general aviation, aerospace and airline risks, and previously headed up the general aviation team at Marsh in the UK and Latin America.

Robinson also joins from Marsh where he served as senior vice president of the brokers aviation and aerospace practice and was responsible for some of the largest general aviation accounts in the world.

Darren Norris, managing director of RKH Specialty’s risk solutions, said: “Our focus in the aviation area has always been on uncovering new and niche areas within the general aviation, aerospace, and airline sectors. While North America has been a traditional area of strength for us, growth opportunities are now coming from across the globe.”

Adding: “Getting the best results for clients demands expertise, not only in London, but also internationally. Jason and Alex’s global experience will help us take the business to new heights.”

Andy Bragoli, CEO at RKH Specialty, added: “Delivering the best of global markets to clients across a full spectrum of over 40 specialty lines demands a global, integrated, cross-market approach. We are constantly looking to improve our ability to fulfil our specialty remit with people that bring new areas of expertise, either in London or in our hub offices in the world’s key international markets.”

Sedgwick adds two new hires to its UK leadership team

Sedgwick, a global provider of technology enabled risk, benefits and integrated business solutions, has made two leadership appointments to boost the growth of its UK operations and deliver on the company’s strategic development plans.

Adrian Cartwright-Bain has been promoted to oversee the newly created specialist division focused on forensic accounting services and EFI Global’s environmental forensic investigations. He will also manage the professional standards and elements of the UK’s risk and compliance activity.

Cartwright-Bain will work with Paul White, Sedgwick’s CEO for the UK on expanding services for forensic accountancy and environmental/fire investigations to support client needs and market demands.

Additionally, Peter Farrelly has been appointed managing director of commercial claims services joining the UK operational leadership team. In this new role, he will focus on the expansion of firm’s services and lead several key initiatives. Farrelly brings a wealth of senior management experience as a renowned major and complex loss practitioner.

White, commented: “I’m delighted to share the news of these appointments and offer my congratulations to Adrian and Peter on their new roles. We will continue to develop Sedgwick’s UK business and strengthen an already exceptional leadership team. Our client offerings are second to none, and we are focused on bringing the best expertise to lead the industry. I am excited for our future growth prospects.”

PartnerRe announces key executive changes

PartnerRe has announced a series of executive leadership changes. Mario Bonaccorso, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will retire from the Company on March 31, 2020 to pursue a new entrepreneurial venture.

Bonaccorso will be invited to join the PartnerRe Ltd. Board of Directors as a non-voting observer as he would not be deemed an independent director per NYSE listing rules.

Bonaccorso will be succeeded by Nicolas Burnet, who joins from Zurich after serving across a number of senior positions for the last 15 years.

Commenting on Mr. Bonaccorso’s retirement, president and CEO Emmanuel Clarke, said: “Mario has been very instrumental to the Company’s progress since he joined in April 2016. He has successfully led a number of strategic initiatives, including our efficiency efforts which have led to a significant reduction in our expense ratio, the optimization of our capital structure and the reduction in our financing costs, the improvement of our financial strength ratings and the build-up of our third-party capital platform. Mario has consistently delivered outstanding results and I am immensely grateful to him for what he has accomplished and what he leaves behind.”

Adding: “While we will miss Mario’s executive contribution, we will continue to benefit from his insights and contributions with his participation on the PartnerRe Ltd. Board of Directors.”

Clarke continued: “Nick brings deep experience in risk, capital, and finance functions in both the Life and Non-Life businesses that will benefit us as we continue to grow as a composite reinsurance company. I look forward to working with him.”

Additionally, Andrew Gibbs will be appointed to the newly created position as executive vice president and chief operations officer, effective 14 October 2019.

In his new role, he will have responsibility over the businesses end-to-end underwriting processes, including underwriting support, reinsurance accounts, claims, payments and collections, as well as its legal, compliance and internal audit services.

Gibbs brings more that 3 decades of (re)insurance, regulatory compliance and financial services experience having held a series of senior positions. He joins PartnerRe from Maiden Reinsurance Ltd where he held the position of executive chairman since January 2019.

Commenting on Mr. Gibbs’ appointment, Clarke said: “I am delighted to welcome Andy to the Company as our COO. His long career in the insurance and reinsurance industry, and his wealth of experience in reinsurance processes, accounting and regulatory matters, make him a great addition to the Company and our Executive Leadership Team.”

Burnet and Gibbs will both be located in the Company’s Headquarter office in Bermuda.