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EC News (21 May 2020)

May 21, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aviva, AXA XL, Allianz and more.

Aviva appoints George Culmer as non-executive chairman

Following the Aviva annual general meeting, George Culmer has been appointed as non-executive chairman, effective 27 May 2020. He will succeed Adrian Montague, who is set to retire from the Board on 31 May 2020.

Culmer is currently Aviva’s senior independent non-executive director, a role he assumed in January 2020. He joined the firm as a non-executive director in September 2019. He is also a non-executive director of Rolls Royce Holdings plc.

He previously served as chief financial officer of Lloyds Banking Group plc and chief financial officer of RSA Insurance Group plc. Culmer has also had senior roles at Zurich Financial Services and Prudential plc.

Culmer said: “I am honoured to be appointed Aviva’s Chairman. I would like to thank Adrian for his service to Aviva over the last seven years and his leadership during a period of considerable change.”

“Aviva’s purpose for more than 320 years has been to support its customers and communities when it really matters and throughout their lives. This has never been more important than it is today during these current challenging times. I will work closely with Maurice and the management team to ensure Aviva continues to be there to support and deliver for all our customers, our colleagues and our shareholders.”

Montague commented: “After five years as Chairman, and with a refreshed board in place, it is the right time for me to step down. George has deep experience of insurance and financial services and is an outstanding choice to succeed me.”

“Aviva has a strong franchise, a purpose that has never been more relevant and great opportunities for the future. It has been a privilege to serve as Chairman.”

AXA XL expands its Private Clients UK team with key appointments

AXA XL announced key changes to its Private Clients team with the appointments of Chris Lewis as an independent broker sales manager, James Ellis as an underwriter, Steve Morse as UK underwriting manager and Tom French as sales manager.

Lewis will have responsibility for managing relationships and growing the business with AXA XL’s independent broker panel.

He joins the firm from Borland Private Clients where he served as managing director, and earlier spent 20 years at Chubb in a variety of private clients roles, most recently in senior sales and development positions.

Ellis, who will start his role immediately joins from Hiscox, where he held the position as high net worth development underwriter. Prior to that, he spent five years at Chubb mainly looking after independent brokers.

Additionally, Morse will join on 1 June 2020 and will have responsibility for leading AXA XL’s private clients business in the UK. He also joins from Hiscox where he spent 16 years in a variety of roles, most recently as regional manager for the Midlands.

Meanwhile, French will join the team on 1 July 2020 and will be accountable for driving UK sales and enhance global and larger national broker relationships. He joins the firm from Chubb, where he spent more than three years as a strategic development manager.

Simon Mobey, head of private clients at AXA XL, said: “I am delighted to welcome Chris, James, Steve and Tom to the team. This significant investment in talent demonstrates our commitment to the private clients market in the UK and to providing a best-in-class service for our clients.

“We have very ambitious plans for this market, and these four appointments and the attributes they bring will play an important role in helping us as to deliver on those.”

Catharina Richter appointed to lead Allianz Cyber Centre of Competence

Allianz Group has named Catharina Richter as global head of its cyber centre of competence (CoC), effective 1 June 2020.

The Allianz Cyber CoC was established in 2018 and focuses on Group-wide coordination and alignment of cyber exposures and insurance in the commercial insurance segment.

Richter will report directly to AGCS chief underwriting officer corporate and board Member Thomas Sepp and will succeed Emy Donovan who left AGCS last year.

She joins from Allianz SE, where she is currently head of digital regulation, responsible for developing regulatory strategy for digitalisation on behalf of Allianz Group and shaping the regulatory and supervisory debate in the field of cyber.

Richter is a trained lawyer and joined Mondial Assistance (now Allianz Partners) in 2000 as general counsel and since then has served as head of distribution & solutions legal Europe for Allianz Global Investors and head of regulatory management for Allianz SE.

The existing AGCS standalone cyber insurance offering remains within the Financial Lines business line with overall responsibility of Shanil Williams, global head of financial lines, supported by Marek Stanislawski as cyber underwriting manager.

Thomas Sepp, AGCS chief underwriting officer corporate commented: ‘’Cyber is the top global business risk in the Allianz Risk Barometer 2020 and a significant opportunity for insurance, but at the same time it also requires central governance, steering and control to realize sustainable growth. I am delighted that someone of Catharina’s background and ability will now take the Cyber Centre of Competence to the next stage.’’

Lockton Re names chairman of Marine & Energy

Global reinsurance broker announced the appointment of Martin Stephenson as chairman of Marine and Energy, reporting to Keith Harrison, international CEO, Lockton Re, effective July 2020.

In his new role he will work closely with Jerry Ridge, head of marine & energy and Paul Upton, head of specialty lines.

Stephenson brings more than three decades of industry experience to the role and joins from Guy Carpenter where he served as executive chairman of Marine, Energy & Political Risk for JLT RE at the time of the Marsh acquisition. Prior to that, he served as head of reinsurance at Newman Martin and Buchan LLP.

Ridge commented: “Martin is a hugely respected and well known market figure who will be a great addition to Lockton Re. His deep expertise in Marine and Energy and his experience of working with carriers who have some of the industry’s largest and most complex portfolios will further add to our ability to help clients understand, mitigate and capitalize on risk in these challenging times.”

Harrison added: “We are very excited that Martin will be joining Lockton Re in London. We are building a truly differentiated global reinsurance broker and Martin’s experience, expertise and market relationships are testament to our ability to attract the industry’s most talented and sought after practitioners. We are looking forward to welcoming him in July.”

Ascent Underwriting appoints Richard Moir as senior underwriter, W&I

Cyber and specialty lines MGA, Ascent Underwriting has appointed Richard Moir as senior underwriter, warranty and indemnity (W&I), effective immediately.

In his new role, Moir will support the development of the specialist niche line and report to Alex Smith, head of W&I.

He joins the business from CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, where he served as a corporate associate, advising on M&A transactions across a variety of sectors.

Ascent Underwriting said Moir’s appointment is one of several initiatives to enhance Ascent’s W&I capabilities. Building on its partnership with Luminance, Ascent has integrated its innovative machine learning technology to expose potential risks across the portfolio.

Smith said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Richard who will be a great addition to our expanding W&I proposition.”

Paul Western, group chief underwriting officer, added: “Richard’s M&A expertise will be valuable as we continue to build momentum within the W&I space. Whilst inevitably there’s a Covid-19-related hiatus, M&A in the SME sector remains underserved by insurers and we’re seeing a growing pipeline of interest.”

Allianz announces new chief risk officer

Allianz announces the appointment of John Berry as the new chief risk officer for Allianz Holdings and Allianz Insurance.

In his new role he will have oversight of the risk management framework at Allianz, including the direct management of the risk function at Allianz Insurance.

Since the beginning of this year John has been working as interim chief risk officer for Allianz Holdings and Allianz Insurance, following Karina Schreiber’s return to Germany to take on a new role at Allianz SE. Berry will work closely with Kieran O’Keeffe, chief risk officer for LV= General Insurance, following the acquisition by Allianz Holdings of the LV= General Insurance Group.

Berry joined the business in 2015 as senior retail actuary and was later appointed to head of pricing, personal lines. In April 2017 he was then appointed as director, underwriting and technical for personal lines.

Prior to joining Allianz, he worked as an actuarial consultant in the UK and overseas, specialising in pricing, underwriting, data and strategy.

Jon Dye, Allianz CEO, said: “I am delighted that John has joined our management board to take on the role of chief risk officer for Allianz Holdings and Allianz Insurance. He has a fantastic track record of delivering results for our business and brings a wealth of experience to the position. His appointment demonstrates that we have an excellent talent pool which allows us promote from within.”