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EC News (9 July 2020)

July 09, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from AXA XL, Willis Re, Clyde & Co and more.

AXA XL names Sean McGovern as CEO UK & Lloyd’s market

AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk subsidiary of AXA has announced that Sean McGovern has been appointed as CEO UK & Lloyd’s market on a permanent basis, subject to regulatory approval.

McGovern had been operating in this role on an interim basis for several months and has now been confirmed on a permanent basis.

As well as serving on the leadership team of AXA XL having joined XL Group back in 2016, McGovern has led the claims, legal & compliance and regulatory & government affairs functions. The firm states that he also played a vital role in the merger of AXA Corporate Solutions, AXA Matrix, AXA Art and XL Catlin and the formation of AXA XL.

McGovern has a deep understanding of AXA XL’s global business and holds a strong reputation within the London and Lloyd’s market. Prior to joining XL Group, McGovern held a number of senior positions at Lloyd’s, having joined in 1996 from Clifford Chance.

In 2002, he was appointed director and Lloyd’s general counsel, with global responsibility for Lloyd’s legal, regulatory and government affairs. In 2014 he was named as the Lloyd’s market’s first chief risk officer and member of the Franchise Board.

At present, McGovern is a board member of the Lloyd’s Market association, is also a non-executive board member of TheCityUK and served as chairman of its International Trade & Investment Group.

Scott Gunter, AXA XL CEO said: “Sean’s deep understanding of AXA XL’s business, coupled with his significant knowledge and experience of the London and Lloyd’s market position him ideally to lead our UK and Lloyd’s presence. Over the course of the last few months, Sean has proven his ability to put our clients and brokers at the heart of what we do and to balance strategic thinking with the day-to-day requirements needed to fulfil this important leadership position.”

Adding: “Sean’s appointment is a key step as we assemble the right team to drive AXA XL forward. Our new regional CEOs and structure will make us a simpler organisation to navigate, meaning that decisions can be made faster in country and we can continue to serve our clients to the very best of our ability.”

James Moss joins Willis Re as co-head of its Specialty Casualty practice

Willis Re, the specialist reinsurance division of Willis Towers Watson (WTW) has named James Moss co-head of its Specialty Casualty practice.

Based in London, he will work alongside Chirag Shah to lead Willis Re Specialty’s Casualty strategy in London and report to Andy Law, managing director and head of Specialty Property & Casualty (P&C).

Moss brings three decades of experience and joins the business from Lockton Re, where he served as partner and head of international P&C reinsurance. Prior to joining Lockton in 2012, Moss was a senior vice president in Guy Carpenter’s London market Casualty team and began his career at RK Carvill & Company.

Moss said: “I am delighted to be joining Willis Re and look forward to working with their market leading Casualty team, offering clients fresh thinking and true innovation in an evolving risk landscape.”

Shah also commented: “James brings a wealth of Casualty expertise to our team. His leadership will only strengthen our ability to deliver thoughtful insight and value to our clients and on behalf of our Casualty team, I’m excited to welcome him to Willis Re.”

Graeme Moore, CEO at Willis Re Global Specialty added: “We are delighted to welcome a leading market figure like James to the team. His extensive experience will be an invaluable asset as we continue to enhance our offering in this sector. His appointment is a testament to Willis Re Global Specialty’s ability to attract the best talent in the industry.”

Clyde & Co boosts global cyber offering with new partner hire

Global insurance focused law firm Clyde & Co has named Ian Birdsey as partner in London as part of the ongoing expansion and development of its global cyber risk offering.

Birdsey joins the business from Pinsent Masons, where he served as global head of cyber and led the development of the practice for over eight years. He brings more than ten years’ experience managing cyber claims and advising corporate, SME and insurance clients to manage domestic and international incidents, claims, investigations and subsequent litigation.

Additionally, he also helps clients to become more cyber resilient and has particular expertise in data protection and broader Technology, Media and Telecommunications disputes.

Peter Hirst, Clyde & Co senior partner comments: "Cyber is one of the most dynamic areas of the law thanks to regulatory, technological and social developments around data security, privacy, and corporate risk. The cyber threat organisations face and the impact it can have is rapidly evolving and intensifying and is a significant board level issue.  As such our strategy is to provide the integrated and global 'one stop shop' cyber offering our clients need.  

"As a leader in his field, Ian brings with him a wealth of expertise that will help us achieve our ambitions in this space."

Birdsey adds: "I am excited to be joining a market-leading cyber practice and to be working alongside such a strong global team whose focus is on providing a unique and holistic approach to the management of cyber risk, wherever clients operate. The cyber market is extremely dynamic but also at a critical point in its development with the number of incidents, costs and liability risk increasing exponentially.

"In this market it is important to continually evolve and innovate to develop new solutions for clients. The firm's extensive experience, global footprint and the use of innovative technologies enables the team to provide a standout offering in the market. I am looking forward to playing my part in helping achieve the firm's ambitions in this space."

Aviva hires Amanda Blanc as chief executive officer

Global insurer and leading life and pensions provider, Aviva plc has announced the appointment of Amanda Blanc as its new chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Blanc replaces Maurice Tulloch as he steps down from the role and his position on the firm’s Board for family health reasons.

Blanc currently serves as an independent non-executive director at Aviva plc having joined the board in January 2020 and chairs the Customer, Conduct and Reputations Board Committee.

She previously served as CEO, EMEA & Global banking Partnerships at Zurich Insurance Group and before that she was Group CEO, AXA UK, PPP and Ireland and has served as chair of the Association of British Insurers and president of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Tulloch joined Aviva in 1992 and held a number of senior positions in the business during his time with the Company. He joined the Aviva plc Board in 2017 and was appointed CEO in March 2019.

Following her appointment, Blanc will step down from all her current Non-Executive commitments.

George Culmer, chairman of Aviva, said: “I would like to thank Maurice for his valuable contribution over many years with Aviva. The Board and I were saddened to hear of the personal reasons behind his desire to step down and we wish him and his family the very best for the future.

“We are delighted that Amanda will be our new CEO. The Board was unanimous in endorsing her appointment. I know she will bring real dynamism to Aviva and re-establish our credentials as a high-performing, innovative and customer-centric business.”

Blanc, CEO said: “Aviva is a great company, full of great people, and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future. I want Aviva to be the leader in our industry again and the first choice for our customers and partners. My focus will be on achieving that for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.

“We will look at all our strategic opportunities, and at pace. I have been on the Aviva Board since the start of this year and have a good understanding of where the business has its strengths and what actions we should take across our portfolio.”

TigerRisk adds Juan England as partner to lead European markets

Global (re)insurance brokerage TigerRisk Partners has announced the appointment of Juan England as partner to help develop large, multi-regional clients in Europe and other international markets.

England brings extensive experience in analytics and modeling non-US catastrophe exposures to the business, most recently serving as managing director Willis Re Latin America & Caribbean, where he was regional leader for LAC multinationals, retrocession and the public-private sector division.

He began his career in the (re)insurance industry in 2006 as a catastrophe risk analyst at Willis, specialising in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. He was then promoted to deputy managing director, Willis Re Analytics, later becoming managing director where he focused on the broker’s international and specialty clients.

James Few, CEO of TigerRisk UK, commented: Tiger opened a European practice three years ago and we are now building on that foundation with the hire of international specialist Juan England. Juan joins Marc Beckers and the international development team in bringing the full product range of TigerRisk to the European market. Juan’s contacts and experience with major international clients will help to strengthen the expansion of our business in Europe and beyond. We are delighted to welcome Juan to Tiger.”

Rob Bredahl, President added: “Tiger’s London-based business continues to expand and we are delighted to have attracted Juan England to the team. Juan brings strong technical expertise and valuable international experience as we continue to diversify our model.”

IGI appoints Ian Noble as head of casualty and professional lines

International General Insurance Holdings (IGI) has appointed Ian Noble as head of casualty and professional lines.

Based in the London office, Noble will manage the company’s Casualty and Professional lines, which includes Professional Indemnity, Directors & Officers, Legal Expenses and General Third-Party Liability, all of which are non-US exposures.

He replaces Chris Mauduit, who has retired in June 2020 after leading IGI’s Professional Lines and Casualty (General Third-Party Liability) business as Class Underwriter for the past five years.

Noble has 34 years’ broking and underwriting experience in Professional Lines in the Lloyd’s of London company markets and most recently served as senior class underwriter – professional indemnity at Chaucer in London.

Noble began his career in 1986 working for several broking and insurance companies, including serving as class underwriter professional indemnity at Brit Insurance from 2002 to 2010 before joining Chaucer.

Waleed Jabsheh, IGI President said: “I am delighted to welcome someone with Ian’s calibre, experience and market knowledge to the IGI team. With Ian’s expertise, we will further develop our Professional Lines business, while continuing to provide first class service to our brokers and clients.”

 Adding: “I would like to thank Chris for his service to IGI. He has been instrumental in building a foundation of success for Ian to develop further. We wish Chris all the best in his retirement.”