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EC News (3 September 2020)

September 03, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from MS Amlin AG, Sompo International, Capsicum Re and more.

MS Amlin AG adds Stephan Knipper as non-executive director

MS Amlin AG, the company’s reinsurance operations, has appointed Stephan Knipper to its MS AAG supervisory board as a non-executive director, effective 1 September 2020, based in Switzerland.

Knipper is a recognised market leader and brings more than three decades of industry experience and expertise to MS Amlin.

Throughout his tenure, he has worked in Cologne, London, New York and Zurich as chief underwriting officer and CEO and most recently as managing director at Everest Re Europe.

He started his reinsurance career as an underwriter for casualty and credit and surety lines before moving into management roles of increasing scope and responsibility with involvement in international and US business.

Chris Beazley, CEO of MS Amlin AG, said: “I am delighted to announce that Stephan will be joining the MS AAG Board as a Non-Executive Director. Stephan brings considerable expertise to MS AAG and has demonstrated an ability to drive market growth and expansion while managing underwriting operations in diverse business lines with a clear combination of hands-on execution and carefully planned strategies. He will provide us with an excellent level of leadership, insight and guidance that will be integral as we continue to transform our businesses for the future.”

Brendan Plessis joins Sompo International as distribution head

Sompo International Holdings Ltd, the Bermuda-based specialty provider of property and casualty (re)insurance, announced the appointment of Brendan Plessis as executive vice president, distribution, international insurance.

In this newly created role, Plessis will lead the strategic development of broker and client relationships, with a particular focus on maximising profitable growth and new business opportunities in London, Europe and Bermuda.

Plessis brings over twenty years of experience in the insurance industry in a variety of broking and underwriting roles. Prior to joining Sompo International he spent five years at XL Catlin as executive vice president, global head of emerging markets. Before that, that he was a managing director of Guy Carpenter in Singapore and held senior roles at Willis Re and Gallagher Re.

Julian James, CEO, International Insurance at Sompo International, said: “As we continue our ongoing transformation and the significant expansion of our London, European and Bermuda platforms in the near term, Brendan’s depth and breadth of experience in both underwriting and broking businesses across a variety of markets will be a great asset to our growth. While our brokers and clients recognize that Sompo International is a global leader with significant capability and excellent talent, we must continue to reach a wider range of audiences to deliver on our ambitions.

“Clients want and need business partners with the global scale, appetite and expertise to help successfully manage existing and new landscapes of risks. Sompo International has the wherewithal to be that partner.”

Capsicum Re will trade as Gallagher Re to drive growth strategy

Specialist reinsurance broker, Capsicum Re has announced it will rebrand to Gallagher Re from the 1st October 2020, aligning with the groups expanding reinsurance business with Gallagher’s global retail and wholesale insurance broking operations.

Capsicum Re was launched in December 2013 as a strategic partnership with Gallagher and has since developed rapidly to become the world’s 5th largest reinsurance broker, now placing $5.4bn of gross written premium annually through its 160-strong team based across its global reinsurance hub in the UK, US, Bermuda, Brazil and Chile.

Simon Matson, CEO of Gallagher’s broking and underwriting operations in the UK, commented: “What this team has achieved in only six years of trading is remarkable, and that is thanks to an amazing group of talented individuals that came together and believed in what Capsicum Re would deliver for clients. With the vision of ultimately becoming a core part of Gallagher’s proposition, that team built a top five global reinsurance broker from the ground up and a blank sheet of paper. And today’s announcement kick-starts the next iteration as we look to realise the magnitude of untapped opportunity that lies ahead for our exceptional reinsurance team that will be Gallagher in name as well as in spirit, with one identity, one plan and one huge shared ambition.”

Rupert Swallow, CEO of Capsicum Re, added: “Everything the team has achieved to date has been done in true partnership with Gallagher. Right from the very beginning, Gallagher’s incubation of and investment in Capsicum Re has enabled us to build out this incredibly talented team where we combine top transactional expertise and entrepreneurial energy with market-leading analytics. It’s now the right time to fully align on brand, draw on the power of Gallagher and take our expertise, capabilities and solutions to every corner of the global Gallagher family and network, and beyond.”

Pat Gallagher, chairman, president and CEO of Gallagher, said: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what Chily, Rupert and the entire team have created is the best start-up I’ve seen in my 45-year career. A reinsurance broker run by brokers for brokers and one that made client advocacy and innovation its top priority from day one.

“We didn’t hesitate to back the vision and business plan of the founding Capsicum Re team because we knew it was a blueprint for how to create a market-leading reinsurance broker. Their reputation and track record gave us total confidence in their ability to succeed – a confidence that has been repaid many times over. What the team behind Gallagher’s reinsurance business has achieved is almost unbelievable. And now, trading as Gallagher Re, they’re just getting started.”

News of the upcoming rebrand follows Capsicum Re’s announcement of the new executive committee team in July when Raja Balasuriya was named chairman, taking over from Capsicum Re founder, Grahame Chilton.

THB Europe expands facultative team with new hire

THB, the specialist international (re)insurance broking operation of US wholesale broking giant AmWINS, has named Jord Westerloo as facultative broker for THB Europe, effective 1 September 2020.

TBH states this appointment will further strengthen the facultative team and follows THB Europe’s engagement in July of a new executive director to lead its treaty offering.

Westerloo has worked for Aon Re Netherlands since 2016, most recently as a senior reinsurance broker with particular expertise in treaty reinsurance focusing on catastrophe risks, medical liability, terrorism and mutual insurers.

Westerloo said: “I am excited to join THB Europe and the AmWINS family and I look forward to contributing to the continued growth of this $20bn business which prides itself on serving clients at a local level.”

Ricardo Borges, managing director of THB Europe, added: “I am proud that even in these challenging times, THB Europe is continuing its expansion, and we’re delighted to welcome Jord Westerloo to our Amstelveen-based team where he will work with our growing Dutch and Belgian client list.”

Liberty Specialty Markets appoints Pierre-Édouard Fraigneau as CUO for Europe

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group announced the appointment of Pierre-Édouard Fraigneau to the newly created role of chief underwriting officer (CUO) Europe, effective immediately.

In his new role, he will be based in Luxembourg and report to Kadidja Sinz, head of Europe and Phil Hobbs, deputy managing director at Liberty Specialty Markets.

Fraigneau will be responsible for managing the performance and governance of lines of business and the underwriting of Liberty’s direct insurance business in continental Europe. 

He joins the business from Sanlam where he most recently held the position of commercial lines director and member of the executive committee, Pan Africa.

He brings over 17 years underwriting and leadership experience across many lines of business and portfolios. Fraigneau has worked closely with clients and distribution partners to deliver profitable growth strategies and technical underwriting excellence.

Kadidja Sinz, head of Europe at Liberty Specialty Markets, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pierre-Édouard to Liberty.  He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table in Europe and most recently across Pan Africa.  I look forward to him joining our European team as we grow our footprint in continental Europe. This new role is integral to us delivering our strategic ambitions.”

Ed hires John Head as broker and producer to further strengthen cyber offering

Global reinsurance, wholesale and specialty broker, Ed announced the appointment of John Head as broker and producer, effective immediately.

In his new role, Head will support the growth of the professional and executive risk portfolio, a key area of focus and development for the firm and further strengthen Ed’s cyber offering.

He joins the business from Paragon International Insurance, where since 2018 he has served as a cyber and technology E&O broker with a central focus on the US wholesale market. Head began his insurance career in 2015, working with the financial lines team at Antares.

Henry Warner, divisional director – Cyber at Ed said: "The cyber market is increasingly becoming more complex and clients, more than ever, need us to expertly navigate the current challenging market for them. John’s experience in the wholesale cyber market as well as his proven ability to provide bespoke solutions to clients ranging from SMEs to large corporations, will be hugely beneficial. We look forward to working with him."