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EC News (9 January 2020)

January 09, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Hiscox London Market, UK P&I Club, Aston Lark and more.

Hiscox London Market partners with InsurTech Concirrus on new digital platform

Hiscox London Market, an insurer of global risk has collaborated with InsurTech Concirrus as part of its goal to deliver progressive analytics-based underwriting.

Under the terms of the agreed multi-year deal Hiscox will embed the platform, Quest Marine Hull; a behaviour-based data analytics platform developed by InsurTech provider Concirrus, which is already in use at several leading marine insurers.

The InsurTech’s new predictive pricing module will enable Hiscox to analyse existing portfolios in more detail and at the same time assess the vessels within a prospective account and determine an expected loss based on certain behavioural factors, including time at sea and port risk.

The module uses machine learning and combines billions of rows of risk data with client’s loss and policy information, which ultimately should enable underwriters to better understand the behaviours that could be predictive of claims.

Andrew Yeoman, CEO of Concirrus, commented: “Being passionate about innovation, it’s clear to see why Hiscox is one of the most successful Lloyd’s syndicates. We are very proud to have Hiscox recognise the benefits that Quest Marine will deliver, and their adoption further underlines a real change in the market. 2020 will be the year where digitalisation becomes the norm and is no longer optional.”

Vicky Hayward, Hull and War underwriter at Hiscox, added: “Digitalisation is the future and if we want to stay at the forefront of our industry, we must continue to evolve and harness new technologies and data sources. We are looking forward to working closely with the Concirrus team to digitalise and hone our underwriting process with powerful data analytics and capitalise on the new opportunities this presents.”

Tom Starr joins the UK P&I Club as a senior claims executive

The UK P&I club, a provider of protection and Indemnity (P&I) Insurance and other services to the international shipping community, has named Tom Starr as a senior claims executive, based in the Thomas Miller London offices.

Starr joins the UK club from Reed Smith, where he served as a solicitor and master mariner. There he practised in dispute resolution arising out of marine casualties and related contractual disputes, managing cases in court and in international arbitration. Starr has investigated and handled a wide variety of marine incidents, including collisions, groundings, fire and explosions, crew injuries, as well as contractual claims such as those under charterparties and bills of lading.

In his new role he will focus on administering advice on wider shipping legal matters, including compliance with marine regulations, ship management, bunker disputes and marine insurance.

Andrew Taylor, CEO, UK P&I Club, says: “Tom Starr is an experienced marine lawyer and his extensive knowledge of the industry and the legal issues it faces makes him ideally placed for this position. The Club will undoubtedly benefit from Tom joining and our Members will welcome the expertise he brings.”

Starr, added: “The UK Club is renowned in the marine sector for its all-round expertise. I look forward to the challenge of joining the team and bringing my own skillset and knowledge of international legal matters to the Club.”

Aston Lark names new CEO & CFO in Ireland

UK Chartered Insurance broker Aston Lark announced the appointments of Robert Kennedy as chief executive officer Ireland (CEO) and Mark Nolan as chief financial officer Ireland (CFO) following the recent acquisition of Wright Insurance Brokers and Robertson Low, effective March 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

Kennedy joins from Aviva Ireland where he held the position of head of sales and distribution and led the development of Aviva’s broker business for the last six years. Prior to Aviva he held senior roles at both Aon and RSA.

Nolan joins Aston Lark from AA Ireland where he served as financial controller. He previously worked for Deloitte, Quotedevil ltd and Pembroke Insurance as financial controller and brings a strong background in audit specialising in insurance and banking.  

Both Kennedy and Nolan will join the boards of Robertson Low and Wright Insurance Brokers.

Robertson Low’s current managing director, Andy Low will move into the role of executive chairman and the founders of Wright Insurance Brokers, Tony Wright and Breda Wright, will remain on the company’s board.

Peter Blanc, group CEO Aston Lark said: “I look forward to welcoming Robert and Mark to the team to help drive our ambition for growth. They will both bring their extensive leadership experience to bear as we look to fulfil our potential in Ireland. This is an important stage in Aston Lark’s development plans to create the leading quality independent insurance broking business in Ireland.”

Kennedy added: “I am delighted to be joining Aston Lark to build on the fantastic work of Andy Low, Tony Wright and Breda Wright. I am in the enviable position of having a great team already in place and I look forward to working with the team to realise Aston Lark’s ambition for Ireland through a combination of organic growth and acquiring like-minded brokers.”

Hiscox adds James Millard as its new chief investment officer

Specialist global insurer Hiscox has appointed James Millard as the group’s chief investment officer. Based in London he will report to Aki Hussain, group chief financial officer.

In his new role, Millard will be responsible for overseeing the management of the company’s $6.4bn of assets, as well as implementing overall investment policy and directing all portfolio management, research, trading and strategy.

Millard brings a wealth of experience across investment management, most recently at Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) where he served as co-head of multi-manager strategies, overseeing the management of £27bn of assets.

Prior to that, he was chief investment officer at Skandia Investment Group until its merger with Old Mutual Asset Managers, where he became director of investments and a member of the executive management team of Old Mutual Global Investors.

Hussain commented: “James’ track record of success in managing large, diverse investment portfolios across multiple asset classes makes him an excellent addition to our business. His results-oriented approach is in line with the strengths and discipline of our investment team. I look forward to working with him to deliver our investment strategy.”

Guy Carpenter appoints new Benelux CEO

Global risk and (re)insurance broker Guy Carpenter announced the appointment of Patrick Schepens as CEO of the Benelux region, effective April 2020. Schepens succeeds Bruno Bogaerts who will continue as CEO until he joins the company and will continue as Chairman of the Benelux region.

Based in Brussels Schepens will take responsibility for all the firm’s activities in the Benelux region. He will also become part of Guy Carpenter’s European Management team, reporting to Massimo Reina, CEO of Continental Europe and MENA.

Schepens brings over 20 years (re)insurance experience to the business working extensively across the Benelux region and the property and casualty (P&C) sector. He most recently served as head of MidCorp P&C business and Life & Non-Life Reinsurance for Benelux at Allianz Benelux.

Commenting on the appointment, Reina said: “I am delighted that Patrick will be joining our European team as CEO of the Benelux region. With his considerable expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Benelux Market based on 20 years of experience, Patrick will inherit the leadership of our highly successful teams based in Brussels, Rotterdam and London. Under his guidance, we will continue to strengthen our capabilities and further enhance our service levels across the region and will further reinforce our strong market position in Benelux.”

Coverys launched European Holdings agency platform & names senior appointments

Leading provider of medical professional liability insurance, Coverys, has formally launched Coverys European Holdings Limited (CEH), an agency platform and network that will invest in and collaborate with managing general agencies in Continental Europe and the UK.

The new platform will be led by a management team spearheaded by Steven Spano as CEO and Doug Robare as chief underwriting officer.

The new business will target non-competing MGAs across Europe with complementary portfolios in the professional lines sector. CEH is developing infrastructure and technology across the business to help improve MGA performance and reduce operating costs.

Spano previously worked at Generali Group as UK country manager, chief financial officer at Generali UK and chief financial officer at Travelers Managing agency at Lloyd’s.

Additionally, Robare began his career at AIG Europe and previously served as global head of financial lines at Generali Group and head of financial lines and professional liability at Aviva.

Philippe Sloan, director of underwriting for the Coverys Managing Agency and a Director of CEH said: “Coverys European Holdings marks another key milestone in the Coverys international growth strategy. Steven and Doug are the ideal candidates to launch a business which will set itself apart through its focus on exceptional underwriting. We will empower MGA’s across Europe and the UK by providing them with the pricing and infrastructure capabilities and support to grow as we enter a hardening market. This is an exciting time for Coverys and we are certain CEH will make an immediate and clear impact in our target markets.”

Spano, CEO of Coverys European Holdings, said: “There is a clear gap in the market for a new approach to bring together MGA businesses with a common interest.  The Coverys philosophy is based on investing in specialist underwriting expertise. Through this new venture, CEH will enable skilled underwriters to participate in a network that allows them to leverage new avenues for distribution and to offer a broader suite of products, with the immediate focus being in the professional lines space.”

Capsicum Re initiates aviation reinsurance team

Specialist reinsurance broker, Capsicum Re announced the launch of its aviation reinsurance team led by David Bell. Based in London he will report to Matt Fitzgerald, managing partner of the London Property and Speciality division.

Bell joins Capsicum Re with 36 years aviation industry experience beginning his career at C.T.Bowring in aviation claims before joining Aon in 1999.

In 2016 he joined AIG as global head of aerospace where he was responsible for underwriting and business strategy across all aviation business lines including space.

FitzGerald, managing partner of the London Property and Specialty division, said: “2019 was a challenging year for the aviation market having suffered from years of declining rates and notable loss activity. However, there were also a number of positive developments: our joint venture partner Gallagher acquired JLT’s global aerospace division, there were a number of new entrants into this class as well as exits and there is an upwards pricing momentum in the aviation market. We are entering this market as we see an opportunity to bring our client focused, holistic entrepreneurial approach to this sector.”

“I’m thrilled to welcome David to Capsicum Re. He is one of the leading aviation experts and his extensive knowledge and experience will be incredibly beneficial as we grow this part of our division”.

Bell said: “Capsicum Re’s growth from a start up to the world’s fifth largest reinsurance broker in just six years has been incredibly impressive. It’s a dynamic, entrepreneurial and ambitious broker and I look forward to working with the team to develop its aviation reinsurance offering.”