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EC News (16 July 2020)

July 16, 2020

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

Sompo International boosts renewable energy team with two new hires

Speciality Bermuda based P&C (re)insurer Sompo International Holdings has announced two appointments to its Energy team. Warren Diogo joins as leader of the Renewable Energy team and Sam Bishop joins as assistant vice president, renewable energy underwriter.

Diogo joins from Pioneer Underwriting bringing 20 years of experience in the insurance industry as a risk manager, consultant and underwriter specialising in renewable energy and climate change. Prior to Pioneer he has held senior roles as Ascot and Marsh.

Bishop also joins from Pioneer underwriting and brings ten years’ experience as an energy underwriter and has worked at Starr Underwriting and HDI Global Specialty.

Julian James, chief executive officer, International Insurance at Sompo International, said: “At this critical and challenging time of tremendous change, our ability to provide the best possible service to our business partners and clients is vital. Energy, and renewables in particular, is one class of business where we see tremendous opportunity to expand our business. Prior to Covid-19 this was already a dynamic and developing sector. Now that policymakers are looking to deliver a green recovery from the global pandemic, this will inevitably accelerate the shift to renewable energy.”

Brit names two new hires to Private Client team

Global specialty (re)insurer has announced the appointment of Andrew Thorn as a senior underwriter and Alex Brice as an underwriter to its recently launched Private Client team.  

Thorn brings over 15 years’ experience and joins the firm from Chubb having most recently served as technical account manager, overseeing the performance of the independent broker team and leading on high-value accounts. Prior to Chubb he was at A Plan Insurance.

Brice joins from Hiscox where he spent over 10 years, most recently as a senior development underwriter with his focus including High Net Worth homes, motor and overseas properties.

Matthew Wilson, CEO, Brit, commented: “Since launch, Brit Private Client has generated good momentum and we’ve been encouraged by the positive market reception, supporting our view that there is strong appetite for a genuine alternative to what is currently available. We have ambitions to grow into a meaningful player in this space and the further growth of the team through these new hires supports this.”

Tara Parchment, head of Private Clients, said: “Andrew and Alex are both excellent additions and I’m pleased to welcome them to the team. We want to differentiate Brit Private Client through the level of service we provide and our ability to create truly bespoke solutions for clients. Having a strong team is crucial to this, and I am therefore delighted that we are able to announce these two high quality appointments.”


Andrew Tunnicliffe appointed UK chair for Global & Specialty business at Aon

Global (re)insurance broker Aon has named Andrew Tunnicliffe as UK chairman, Global & Specialty, part of its Commercial Risk solutions, Health Solutions and Affinity business, effective 27 July 2020.

Tunnicliffe brings over three decades of experience in the insurance and risk management industry, covering a range of industry sectors and segments.

In his last role with Aon, Tunnicliffe was UK CEO of Commercial Risk Solutions, Health Solutions and Affinity.

Prior to that, he was chief operating officer for Commercial Risk Solutions, Health Solutions and Affinity in EMEA, and before that, CEO of Aon Global Risk Consulting.

Julie Page, CEO Aon UK Limited, said: “I’m delighted that Andrew has decided to return to Aon. His primary focus will be on the strategic development of client relationships and client risk programmes, in addition to providing active chairmanship of the Client Partner Group.”
 
Michelle Mason, managing director, Global & Specialty, added: “We’re looking forward to having Andrew join the Global & Specialty team; I know both our clients and colleagues will benefit hugely from his experience and expertise.”
 
Tunnicliffe commented: “I’m excited to be rejoining Aon, and the opportunity to work with many talented colleagues, some of whom I know very well. I’m looking forward to delivering Aon United solutions to help clients solve their complex business challenges, drawing on Aon’s wide range of capabilities and innovative thinking.”

Capsicum Re announces Raja Balasuriya as its new chairman

Specialist reinsurance broker, Capsicum Re has named Raja Balasuriya as its new chairman along with other key members of its new executive committee that will lead the business through its next stage of growth.

Balasuriya takes over from fellow Capsicum Re founder, Grahame Chilton, who announced he would re-join the wider Gallagher business, working alongside Tom Gallagher, CEO of Gallagher’s global property and casualty broking business as chairman, when Capsicum Re became the wholly owned specialist reinsurance arm of Gallagher in January 2020.

Balasuriya served as Capsicum Re’s first ever managing partner from 2014 and alongside this with his partners they led and have grown its UK Motor & Liability division since the beginning.

He has been Lloyd’s broker since the early 1980s, a respected market figure and leading producer in the UK motor treaty space. He joined Chilton and Capsicum Re CEO Rupert Swallow to establish and head up Capsicum Re’s very first specialist ‘cell’ under the original start-up structure.

Capsicum Re’s new Executive Committee includes:

Rupert Swallow as CEO; Raja Balasuriya as chairman; Matt FitzGerald as managing partner, Property & Specialty; Alistair Lockhart-Smith as managing partner, Marine & Energy; Abbhi Bala as finance director and Simon Behagg chief operating officer.

Swallow commented: “By anyone’s estimation, Raja is one of the top reinsurance market producers. Together with his team and clients, he represents a significant share of the total book of motor reinsurance purchased here in the UK. More than that, Raja has always shared our vision and belief in being able to build – from the ground up – a fresh, new, entrepreneurial reinsurance broker with transactional expertise, innovation and client advocacy at its core.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have him as our chairman as we embark on the next major development phase for the business. His knowledge, insight and pioneering qualities will be incredibly valuable as we look to realise our strategic growth ambitions internationally. And, as the specialist reinsurance arm of one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, those ambitions are big, bold and almost boundless.”

Commented on the new Executive Committee, Swallow added: “Alistair and Matt have, along with Raja, developed portfolios of substance in an incredibly short period of time. The challenge of succeeding in this way can be understood only by those who have put themselves to the ultimate test of production – creating a start-up and building from the ground up. Along with all the other Managing Partners of Capsicum Re, Alistair and Matt have excelled in meeting this challenge.

“The scale of our ambition and untapped nature of many of the opportunities that lie ahead demand a close-knit but diverse core leadership team. Combining our top financial and operational talent in Abbhi and Simon with the client-centred, risk transfer expertise and leadership experience of Alistair and Matt, as two of our divisional heads, will give us a razor-sharp focus on realising this business’ potential.”

Liberty Specialty Markets promotes Melanie O’Neill to CUO, Commercial

Liberty Specialty Markets, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has promoted Melanie O’Neill to chief underwriting officer (CUO) of its Commercial practice, effective immediately.

O’Neill previously served as head of Professional Lines at the firm and replaces Alan Telford, who is retiring after 19 years with Liberty.

She brings over three decades of London market experience having begun her career in 1989 for the broker Nelson, Hurst & Marsh, which became part of Lockton.

In 1994 she then moved to Brit Insurance as a professional indemnity underwriter, before leaving in 2003 to become senior underwriter for Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, which is now part of Liberty Specialty Markets.

Phil Hobbs, deputy managing director, Liberty Specialty Markets, said: “Mel’s appointment shows the calibre of our home-grown talent. She has been instrumental in delivering our strategy and demonstrating our values. She brings a huge supply of energy, ideas and leadership skill to the role of CUO. Her in-depth knowledge, experience and a straight-forward, collaborative style make her a very welcome addition to our Senior Leadership Team.

“I’d also like to thank Alan Telford for his service and the commitment he’s shown to Liberty over the years. Mel will work closely with Alan to transition into her new role.”

AIG’s Talbot Underwriting appoints Catherine Barton as CFO

Talbot Underwriting, a subsidiary of American International Group, (AIG) has announced the appointment of Catherine Barton as the new chief financial officer (CFO), effective 28 September 2020.

Barton will also join the Talbot board, subject to regulatory approval. She succeeds Nigel Wachman, who retires from Talbot in September 2020 after two decades of services.

She brings extensive insurance and financial experience to the role, most recently serving as commercial and finance director of the UK Bupa business from 2015 to 2017, and general manager for Bupa Dental Care in 2018. Since 2017, Barton has served as a non-executive director and chair of the Audit Committee of Sabre Insurance Group plc.

David Morris, acting chief executive officer (CEO) and Syndicate Active Underwriter at Talbot, commented: “I’m delighted that Catherine is joining Talbot as our CFO. With her broad industry experience, developed in various roles, she will bring new perspectives as a member of our leadership team.”

Barton said: “I’m delighted that Catherine is joining Talbot as our CFO. With her broad industry experience, developed in various roles, she will bring new perspectives as a member of our leadership team.”