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EC News (4 June 2020)

June 04, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from BMS Group, Capsicum Re, Zurich and more.

BMS expands reinsurance offering with two senior hires

Specialist (re)insurance broker BMS announced the appointments of Norman Wiltshire and Nick Titcomb as directors of Strategic Risk Solutions (SRS), BMS’ specialty division.

Wiltshire and Titcomb will join BMS upon completion of current contractual obligations in July and October, reporting to Hannah Watkins, managing director of BMS SRS.

Wiltshire will work closely with Watkins in the build out of BMS’ London market Reinsurance offering. Having retired from AON he brings 50 years’ experience and a wealth of knowledge and insight to the role.

Starting his career at a Lloyd’s syndicate, with time at both CE Heath and CT Bowring, Wiltshire played a key role in the development of the Benfield Non-Marine London Market team.

Meanwhile, Titcomb will take up a dual role, responsible for developing both US and London market marine reinsurance. He will also work with the US based production team.

Titcomb brings over four decades of experience in the (re)insurance market, specialising in US marine insurance. Prior to joining BMS, he was senior vice president at March since 2017, where he focused on the US and London reinsurance markets as well as fixed price P&I facilities.

Watkins said: “We continue to hire like-minded individuals that share our belief that personalised service and advice is key for our client base. This forms part of our specialty reinsurance and retro strategies alongside our continued overall investment in the US and London. Nick’s expertise complements an already successful Marine Reinsurance Team and Norman’s experience is second to none. We very much look forward to welcoming both Norman and Nick to the team later this year.”

Shane Aldons joins Capsicum Re’s Motor & Casualty division

Specialist (re)insurance broker, Capsicum Re has continued its investment in industry talent and specialist expertise with the appointment of Shane Aldons to its Motor & Casualty division, who joins this week.

Aldons brings over two decades of reinsurance market experience, with an extensive background in underwriting, pricing and senior client relationship management across Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, Middle East and Europe which aims to bring a new dynamic to the producer team and further deepen its specialist motor and liability credentials and capabilities.  

Prior to joining Capsicum Re, Aldons was an underwriting manager of international casualty reinsurance at Liberty Mutual Re where he spent 10 years.

With a leading role in key client and broker relationship management, Shane also retained a strong presence in the pricing of new and renewal business while at Liberty. Prior to this, he was international motor and liability underwriter at QBE Re for nine years.

David Lee, partner, Motor & Casualty division at Capsicum Re, said: “With many of our team knowing Shane personally, having worked closely with him over the years, we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming him into Capsicum Re. Shane’s unique insight, experience and expertise will bring a new dynamic to our strategic ambition to grow and expand the business internationally.

“Shane is well-known and highly respected across our client base and will be a tremendous asset to our team with his proven performance in delivering strong results, whether the market be hard or soft.”


Shane said: “From its very beginning, Capsicum Re has enjoyed a great market reputation for blending experience with innovation, and taking an entrepreneurial approach while basing it on data-driven research and analytics. I’m really excited to be joining the team at this juncture and look forward to helping the business grow.”

Zurich adds to global A&H unit with three key hires

Zurich Insurance Group has appointed three key senior members to its global commercial insurance accident and health (A&H) underwriting group.

Chris Howard joins as head of A&H in the US, Nicole Yates as head of A&H in Australia, and Stephane Baj as head of A&H in the UK and Multinational A&H.

These new additions come amid a reinforcement by Zurich of its A&H capabilities.

Howard joins the business from Zurich North America from WNC Insurance Services where he was president of the Accident and Health division.

Based in Melbourne, Yates re-joined Zurich Australia. Prior to joining, she worked at AXA XL where she led the Australian and New Zealand wholesale and retail A&H business.

Baj joined Zurich UK from Chubb where he spent 13 years and held numerous senior roles including head of A&H in France, regional director for Corporate and Affinity EMEA, and most recently head of Partnerships for Continental Europe.

Sierra Signorelli, chief underwriting officer, Commercial Insurance, said: “Accident and Health continues to be an attractive market with strong growth potential. Our large commercial customer base and strong global network combined with our underwriting expertise and unified product offering uniquely position Zurich to become a leading global provider in the A&H business.”

Drazen Jaksic, head of Accident and Health, added: “We are delighted to welcome Chris, Nicole and Stephane to the team. They are proven and highly experienced specialists in the A&H business. I am confident that their appointments will allow us to take the business to the next level in key markets.”

W. Marston Becker joins AXIS on the Board of directors

Bermuda based reinsurer AXIS Capital Holdings has appointed W. Marston Becker to the company’s Board of directors. Becker will serve as a member of the Board’s Executive, Finance and Risk Committees.

AXIS explains that Becker’s appointment is part of a multi-year succession planning strategy to ensure there is balance between longer-tenured directors and perspectives of newer directors. The Board of Directors presently has 12 members, 10 of whom are independent. Including Becker, AXIS has added five new independent directors over the past two years.

Becker brings 35 years’ experience within the (re)insurance industry and has held several senior leadership roles for publicly traded and private (re)insurance and insurance brokerage organizations in Bermuda, the UK, US and Australia.

Becker previously served as chairman of the Board of QBE Insurance Group from 2014 until April 2020. Prior to this, he was chairman and CEO at Alterra Capital (Nasdaq-ALTE), Trenwick Group Limited and Orion Capital Corporation. Previously, Becker served as president and CEO of McDonough Caperton Insurance Group Inc.

Michael Butt, chairman of AXIS Capital, said: “We are pleased to welcome Marty, a highly respected leader and operator within the (re)insurance field, to the AXIS Board. AXIS will benefit tremendously from his experience in the property and casualty space and his proven track record helping carriers transform and deliver on their potential. Marty’s appointment reflects our commitment to balancing thoughtful Board refreshment with deep company knowledge and expertise. He joins a Board that represents a diverse range of experiences, skills and perspectives that contribute to our ability to drive strategic execution and shareholder value creation.”

Becker said: “In recent years, AXIS has made significant strides to reposition its business and build a more resilient, valuable and profitable Company. AXIS is on an exciting path forward, and I look forward to helping further these efforts. During a time of tremendous disruption, AXIS’ leadership has a clear vision for where the industry is headed, and the Company is well-positioned to succeed as a specialty player in the markets that are most likely to see the strongest growth.”

Allianz names Rebecca Rogers as head of property claims

Global insurer Allianz announces the appointment of Rebecca Rogers as head of property claims.

In her new role she will be responsible for the development of Allianz’s property claims handling strategies, technical best practice and ensuring overall performance is market leading and truly customer focused. 

She brings over 23 years claims experience and joins from LV= where she served as commercial property technical and relationship manager.

Throughout her time at LV=, Becky dedicated her time to creating a supportive culture and helping staff develop through coaching and role progression, whilst ensuring customers and brokers receive an outstanding claims service.

She successfully monitored technical standards for claims to meet regulatory requirements, liaising with the Financial Ombudsman and the ABI.

Lee Watts, head of technical claims, Allianz Insurance, commented: “In addition to her wealth of experience, Becky brings great passion and enthusiasm which makes her a fantastic addition to the team, helping to drive property claims forward in the delivery of our business plans.”

Pen Underwriting appoints new head of Cyber

Pen Underwriting has named Himir Patel as its new head of Cyber succeeding Adrian Scott, who was appointed as managing director of International & Financial Lines in February.

Patel is currently head of Insight & Reserving which is part of Pen’s core capabilities as a virtual insurer. He joined the company four years ago having served at Deloitte, Allianz and AIG. He will report into Adrian Scott in his new role.

Adrian Scott said: “During his time with Pen, Hamir has shown himself to be a strong leader, excellent communicator and first-class manager of people. These qualities, alongside his technical insurance expertise and commercial acumen, stand him in great stead for taking the reins in what remains a key growth area for Pen.

Adding: “Our dedicated cyber practice – where the speed, efficiency and flexibility of our instant, intuitive, online quote & bind facility on Pen Central is driven and underpinned by our team of experienced specialist underwriters – continues to see strong broker demand. Hamir’s analytical mind and management strengths will ensure Pen presses on with devising and delivering cutting-edge developments to protect the fast-evolving digital risks of businesses. And it’s great to be able to once again turn to our internal ranks of talent to fill a strategic leadership position.”

Hamir Patel said: “When it comes to innovation in underwriting, it’s hard to think of an area more dynamic than cyber risk, with so much opportunity and challenge. I’m really looking forward to building on the fantastic foundations laid by Adrian with our team of cyber specialists, who are firmly focused on finding solutions and ways to transfer risk for our broker partners on behalf of their clients, whilst ensuring a strong underwriting result for our capacity partners.”