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EC News (14 November 2019)

November 14, 2019

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Zego, Pen Underwriting, Willis Towers Watson and more.

Start-up Zego becomes the first ever UK Insurtech to gain an insurance licence

Zego has become the first UK Insurtech to secure an insurance license which will enable it to build and sell its own products.

Zego, which offers flexible insurance to freelance workers such as drivers for Uber or riders for Deliveroo, said it was awarded the licence by the Gibraltarian regulator. The license will enable to company to now create new policies and analyse and implement product changes in less than 24 hours. Zego's insurance policies are being backed by 15 ‘A-rated’ reinsurers including Swiss Re and will continue to work in tandem with its growing network of insurer partners.

It will also allow Zego to harness the vast amount of data it collects to develop automated pricing technology; monitoring driver behaviour and external data to offer policies priced in proportion to each customer’s true level of risk.

Sten Saar, CEO and co-founder of Zego said: “This is a huge milestone for Zego and a clear signal that we are here to stay. The license is also an essential ingredient in our mission to transform the insurance sector, by creating flexible policies which better reflect risk and truly cater to the fast-evolving world of mobility.”

Adding: “We have already started selling our own products but will continue to partner with other insurance companies, with this collaboration still a crucial part of our business model.”

Simon Welton, market head P&C UK & Ireland at Swiss Re, said: “Swiss Re is very pleased to have been able to support Zego with our risk knowledge and reinsurance capacity. We have been impressed by Zego’s innovative and passionate approach to creating new insurance products which meet the changing needs of customers. We look forward to continuing to work with them in the future and supporting their growth plans.”

Pen Underwriting appoints Michelle Bree as chief operating officer

Pen Underwriting announced the promotion of Michelle Bree as chief operating officer (COO), effective 1 December 2019. She will also join the board of Pen underwriting limited, subject to regulatory approval.

Bree joined Pen Underwriting in 2015 from Accenture as a programme manager where she had a specialist focus on change management within insurance and completed a series of complex project delivery roles.

She was most recently appointed director of operations at Pen in July 2018 and became part of the executive leadership team.

In her new role, Bree will be responsible for ensuring the business has the operational capabilities in place to deliver its business strategy, plan and growth ambitions as a Virtual Insurer.

Jonathan Turner, CEO of Pen Underwriting, said: “Michelle joined us at the beginning of Pen Underwriting’s journey to transform itself from multiple specialist MGAs into one cohesive, multi-class, multi-territory virtual insurer and no one has been as wholly focused and integral to successfully executing that programme of change and integration as she has. Michelle’s strategic vision, track record in translating operational objectives into actionable plans and ability to lead teams to deliver complex and large-scale projects is second to none. I’m confident Michelle will make an excellent COO as well as being a valuable addition to the board.”

WTW names Andrzej Danyluk as head of international property, London

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has announced the appointment of Andrzej Danyluk as head of international property, London, effective 6 January 2020.

He joins most recently from JLT where he served as head of the power broking team.

In his new role he will be responsible for growing the international property portfolio placed in the London insurance market on behalf of WTW offices worldwide. Danyluk will report to Angela James, head of property, London and will be part of the Great Britain property, casualty and construction team led by Garret Gaughan.

Gaughan said: “Andrzej is a great hire to open 2020, and there will be more to come. This sends a very strong and positive message that we are hiring the best brokers to enable us to continue to maximise outcomes for our clients globally. Adrzej’s outstanding trading ability is matched by his strong values and sense of client service, and we are delighted that he will be part of our team.”

James added: “As brokers trading in a constantly changing marketplace we have the opportunity to truly show our value to clients. Not only will Andrzej complement our ability to be creative in a dynamic market, but his determination matches our strategy of building a sustainable London trading platform that meets our clients’ needs irrespective of future market conditions.”

John Turner appointed chairman at Ed, Bermuda

Global (re)insurance brokerage, Ed has appointed John Turner to the newly created role of chairman at Ed Bermuda.

In his new role, Turner will provide hands-on support to realise the potential of the recently formed operation. He will also report to Chris Bonard, chief executive officer (CEO) of Ed Bermuda.

Turner joins the business from Aon, where he most recently served as chairman of Aon Commercial Risk Solutions UK & Americas. He brings more than 40 years’ experience in the (re)insurance market, 30 of which he spent in Lloyd’s broking.

During his tenure he has led teams covering property, casualty, terrorism, power, energy and construction.  

Commenting on the appointment, Bonard said: “It’s fantastic to welcome John to the team; he brings a weight of experience, as well as longstanding relationships with clients and the market. John excels at developing links with clients and carriers, which will be invaluable as we build up our services on the island.”

Turner added: “I’m looking forward to joining Ed in Bermuda, supporting Chris as we build a cross class team of highly motivated professionals, as well as being very much hands on with day to day broking. Ed Bermuda is creating meaningful new capacity as the leading wholesale broker on the island, supported by world class technology. It’s an exciting venture to be part of.”

Lloyd’s of London announce plans for single governing body

Lloyd’s of London have announced the decision to create a single governing body by merging the Council and the Franchise board, effective 1 June 2020.

The new body will be made up of 15 members, 6 nominated members, 6 elected by the market and three executives.

Lloyd’s stated that it received an overwhelming majority of over 90% support for the proposal to merge the Board into the Council and create a single governing body.

Lloyd’s Chairman, Bruce Carnegie-Brown, said: “Through the Future at Lloyd’s we are building a new market that is innovative and responsive to the needs of its customers. To do this effectively we need to make our governance structures as efficient as possible. By creating a single governing Council, Lloyd’s will combine robust and accountable governance with the ability to make swift decisions when necessary.

Adding: “I would like to thank the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA), the Association of Lloyd’s Members (ALM), the High Premium Group (HPG) and Lloyd’s Members Agents for their close engagement throughout this process. I look forward to continuing to work very closely with market members and the members of the newly formed Council as we deliver Lloyd’s strategy to build the most advanced insurance marketplace in the world.”

Lancashire Insurance announces new CEO & CUO

Lancashire Holdings Limited has announced the appointments of Hayley Johnston who will become the CEO of Lancashire Insurance Company Limited (LICL) and James Flude who will assume the role of chief underwriting officer (CUO) at Lancashire Insurance Company, effective spring 2020.

Johnston will succeed Elaine Whelan who announced her retirement plans earlier this year and Flude will take over from Johnston’s previous role as CUO.

LICL is the principal Bermuda regulated (re)insurance carrier for the Lancashire Group.

Johnston brings many years’ experience in both the London and international (re)insurance markets and joined the business in 2007 as a marine and aviation underwriter and outwards reinsurance manager. Since then she progressed through the company and was appointed LUK chief underwriting officer in 2014.

Flude joined Lancashire in 2014 as head of marine and energy underwriting and assumed the role of LUK deputy chief underwriting officer in 2017.

Alex Maloney, Lancashire Group CEO, said: “I am delighted to see Hayley and James succeed to these senior roles within our Group. Both are longstanding colleagues and valued members of our management team, and each one will bring fresh perspectives and strategic vision to their new roles. I would also like to thank Elaine, as our Bermuda CEO, for her dedication and contribution to our success over many years. As we announced earlier in the year, Elaine will also step down from her Group Chief Financial Officer role in early 2020 and we expect to be able to report on our succession plans for that role before the end of this year.”