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EC News (31 October 2019)

October 31, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aon, Marsh, AmTrust and more.

Aon to move parent company to Ireland from UK due to Brexit result

Global (re)insurance broker Aon has filed a preliminary proxy statement to move the jurisdiction of incorporation for the firm’s parent company from the United Kingdom to Ireland as a result of Brexit and a desire to remain within the European Union single market.

In a recent statement from Aon “Remaining within the European Union single market will help the firm maintain a stable corporate structure and capital flexibility.”

Aon have said that the move of the parent company will not result in any material change to Aon’s current business operations, reporting requirements or listings and Aon will maintain its operating company headquarters in London and its commitment to the UK and the London insurance market remain unchanged and unrivalled.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020. The new move will require shareholder approval and if and when this is received, Aon is then required to make a subsequent application to the High Court of Justice of England and Wales to seek approval.

It’s expected that the shares of the new Irish company will be listed on the NYSE, and Aon will continue to report earnings and other financial statements in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.

Marsh JLT Specialty appoints new CEO, UK Marine & Cargo

(Re)insurance broker Marsh, has appointed Louise Nevill as chief executive officer for Marsh JLT Specialty’s UK Marine & Cargo business.

Nevill is expected to join the firm early next year and will report to Paul Moody, UK CEO, Marsh JLT Specialty and Marcus Baker, global head of marine & cargo, Marsh JLT Specialty.

In her new role she will assume overall responsibility of Marsh JLT Specialty’s marine and cargo insurance broking teams, consisting of over 200 colleagues in London, Norwich and Birmingham.

Nevill joins from Gard (UK) Ltd, where she led the marine underwriting team as vice president. Prior to this she was director of underwriting at WRB Underwriting, Lloyd’s Syndicate 1967 and before that she served as head of marine and energy at Talbot Underwriting.

Commenting on the appointment, Moody said: “Louise is one of the marine insurance industry’s most respected practitioners and we are delighted to welcome her to the team. Her industry knowledge and insight will be invaluable to our clients and colleagues as we continue to build out our proposition to meet the changing needs of the marine industry.”

Baker added: “The nature of marine insurance means London is a globally significant market. Marsh JLT Specialty offers exciting opportunities for experts in this highly specialist field. Louise’s depth of experience and relationships in London and beyond are a perfect fit for our UK marine business. She will be instrumental in delivering the risk and insurance services our clients need to navigate the increasingly challenging risks they now face.” 

AmTrust International appoints Steven Moore as PI lead underwriter

AmTrust International has appointed of Steven Moore as lead underwriter for professional indemnity within its specialty division.

Moore will be based in London and report into Bruce Whitmee, chief underwriting officer and angel mas, chief executive officer at AmTrust Europe.

He brings over 25 years professional indemnity market experience and has been with AmTrust since 2014, writing risks for UK domestic, international and multi-national businesses. Before that he spent 17 years at Royal & Sun Alliance as a London market professional indemnity underwriting manager.

AmTrust’s former lead underwriter for professional indemnity, Russel Newell will move across to Collegiate, AmTrust’s wholly owned professional indemnity MGA to bring Newell’s expertise to the underwriting unit within that operation.

Whitmee said: “We are delighted for Steven to take on this important role for AmTrust, where his experience and expertise in writing a wide range of Professional Indemnity risks will be greatly valued. Professional Indemnity is a key line of business for AmTrust and an important component of our growth plans. AmTrust is actively investing in Professional Indemnity and seasoned professionals such as Steven will help us deliver on this objective. Russell’s move to Collegiate will assist us in broadening their offering and help us in our aim of making Collegiate the leading MGA in the financial lines SME market.”

Ascot Underwriting appoints new excess Casualty team

Bermuda based specialty (re)insurer, Ascot Group has announced the appointments of a new excess casualty team. Patrick Kenahan has been appointed as head of excess casualty in Bermuda, whilst Jason Pugi, Kimberly Pursell and Michael Watkins have joined as senior vice presidents.

The whole team has joined Ascot from Allied World and will be responsible for writing excess casualty insurance for large corporations across a broad range of industry classes.

Kenahan joins with over 25 years of insurance industry experience, 16 of which have been based in Bermuda. He most recently served as senior vice president and Bermuda branch manager at Allied World. Pugi, Pursell, and Watkins most recently served as vice presidents of General Casualty at Allied World.

Ian Thompson, head of casualty & specialty, Ascot Re said: “Pat and the team have a strong reputation in the market for their casualty insurance expertise. Their underwriting acumen is consistent with Ascot’s underwriting philosophy and the brand that we continue to build on the island. The addition of this team means Ascot is now in a position where we operate in almost all casualty and specialty classes of business in the Bermudian market.”

Aston Lark acquires Lloyd's broker Protean Risk

UK insurance broker, Aston Lark has announced the acquisition of Lloyd’s broker, Protean Risk. Protean is the first acquisition that has completed for Aston Lark after an investment by Goldman Sachs in September.

Protean Risk is a specialist Lloyd’s insurance broker focusing on the investment industry, financial services, fintech and technology sectors with clients ranging from start-ups to international organisations.

Peter Blanc, CEO Aston Lark, said: “I couldn’t be prouder to have concluded this transaction with Protean Risk. From my first meeting with Nathan Sewell and Jason Edwards, it was clear that the whole team at Protean share the Aston Lark passion for customer service. Protean are a truly specialised business and, by joining forces with Aston Lark, we now have a top quality Financial Institutions division.”

Nathan Sewell, CEO Protean Risk, added: “We are delighted to be working with Peter and the team at Aston Lark. From the beginning it was clear that we share the same values in terms of how we work with our clients, the market and our colleagues. The Protean journey has been an exciting one and we look forward to continuing the successful development of the business within the Aston Lark group.”

Markel streamlines Wholesale leadership team & hires Hastings to lead

Specialist insurer Markel has streamlined its wholesale operation and adds James Hastings as managing director of the unit, reporting to William Stovin, president of Markel International.

Hastings will join the board of directors for Markel Syndicate Management and Markel International Insurance Company, subject to regulatory approval.

Hastings has been with the firm since 2013, most recently serving as head of the specialty lines division.

The wholesale unit will operate with seven divisions and be led by the following divisional managing directors: Scott Bailey for cyber; Rohan Davies for energy; Chris Fenn for marine; James Leach for personal accident, contingency and entertainment; Juliet Redfern for equine and livestock; Ewa Rose for trade credit, political risk and surety; and David Sawyer for professional and financial risks.

Each divisional managing director, will report directly into Hastings as well as Christian Stobbs, managing director for Asia.

Markel says these changes to the leadership structure are designed to allow a more focused approach to how the business operates, how it meets the needs of broking clients and customers and how it identifies opportunities for growth and product development.

It is also set up to deliver operational efficiencies, particularly around data analytics, technology and marketing and communications.

Stovin, president of Markel International, said: “We have seen significant growth over recent years and we now have two very clear operations, wholesale and national markets. It is important that both have a leader, James for wholesale and Henrik Bjornstad for national markets, with ultimate accountability to provide strategic direction for each division, but to also recognise opportunities for synergy across both.”

Adding: “James has consistently demonstrated a drive and passion for progress, which along with his membership of the Markel International ExCo, since January 2018, makes him ideally placed to deliver our goals for the wholesale business. The strength in depth of this newly formed management team creates a fantastic platform from which we can attack future opportunities and drive profitable growth.”

Canopius adds Crispin Hodges as head of trade political risk

Global Specialty (re)insurer Canopius has announced the appointment of Crispin Hodges as head of trade political risk, effective 28 October 2019.

Based in London Hodges will report to Bernie de Haldevang, head of credit, political & crisis.

Hodges new role will be to run this unit independently within the Credit, Political & Crisis segment, both defending and developing the existing book in a standalone team.

He brings more than 20 years of global industry experience to the role and joins most recently from Beazley where he held the role of international business producer.

In a recent press release, Canopius states that Trade Political Risk is a newly created

Profit & Loss unit which sits alongside the existing P&Ls within the Credit, Political & Crisis division of Excess of Loss Trade Credit, Credit & Political Risk & Crisis Management. It comprises the syndicate 1861 political risk book that was formerly managed by AmTrust at Lloyd’s.

Bernie said: “Alongside Crispin’s specific experience in the contract frustration and political risk class and profitable underwriting track record, he has many contacts globally, having worked in London and Paris, and in regional hubs such as Singapore and Dubai. He is ideally suited to develop this part of our credit and political risk book. His hiring is indicative of our continued ability to attract top-tier industry talent as well as our enduring commitment to grow this part of our business and provide the broadest offering to our clients and brokers. I look forward to welcoming him to the team and to realising our strategic ambitions.”