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EC News (1 October 2020)

October 01, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Hyperion, Ed Broking, K2 International and more.

Hg invests in Hyperion in a transaction valued at $5bn to accelerate strategic growth

Hyperion Insurance Group has secured up to $1.5bn growth funds from Hg Capital, a leading European investor in software and tech-enabled services businesses. The transaction values the business at an enterprise value of approximately $5bn.

In conjunction with an additional debt raise and existing resources, the investment will provide Hyperion with up to $1.5bn to accelerate its growth with both selective acquisitions and investments in data and technology. 

Hg will join Hyperion as an aligned, long-term, growth partner alongside General Atlantic, which invested in Hyperion in 2013, and CDPQ, which invested in Hyperion in 2018.  Both General Atlantic and CDPQ remain committed to being partners of Hyperion alongside Hg.  

Following the investment, Hyperion’s management team will continue to be the largest shareholder group in the firm, with more than 1,000 individuals now owning shares. The transaction is expected to establish a sustainable, long-term capital model with core employee ownership supported by collaborative investment partners. This will enable Hyperion to build out Howden as a leading international challenger broker and DUAL as an international specialist MGA.

Hyperion represents Hg’s sixth investment in the insurance distribution and insurtech sector over the last 5 years, with these businesses together totalling over $1bn of invested client capital.

Howden, the broking arm of Hyperion recently announced it had reached an agreement to acquire A-Plan Group from HG. The investor helped to drive a focus on embedding data and technology in A-Plan Group’s best-in-class service model over its investment period and this experience in technology will also benefit Hyperion X, the group’s data and analytics operation.

David Howden, CEO of Hyperion: “I am thrilled to welcome Hg as a long-term partner. During our conversations on A-Plan Group it was clear that Hg and Hyperion share an understanding of what building a business to last means for employees and clients.  This, the quality of the Hg team, their support for our core employee ownership and our culture of empowerment, and the desire of the Hg partners to contribute to our digital and data strategy, makes them an excellent partner to join General Atlantic and CDPQ as we continue our journey.”

Andrew Land, partner at Hg: “It is a privilege for Hg to back David and his fantastic team through this investment in Hyperion. The company is a unique and special business, driven by its outstanding culture and quality of talent, and it has a significant growth opportunity across the global insurance sector in the coming years.  We got to know David during the recent sale by Hg of A-Plan Group to Hyperion, and it became clear that our long-term investment approach and specialism in technology were a great match for him and his team. In addition to providing capital, Hg’s deep knowledge of software and data will help Hyperion stay at the forefront of technology adoption across the insurance sector.”

Nic Humphries, senior partner at Hg: “This long-term investment in Hyperion reflects Hg Saturn’s strategy of backing entrepreneur-led growth businesses in software and tech-enabled services that are sector champions. In Saturn’s recent investments in Visma, P&I, Argus Media, Sovos and now Hyperion, we developed a trusted relationship with the founder or CEO over a long period, enabling us to offer them the investment structure they needed to meet their long-term plans. David and his team have built one of the global leaders in insurance distribution and we are excited in supporting them for many years to come.”

Dominic Collins, chairman of Hyperion: “I am delighted that Hg have chosen to become a partner alongside General Atlantic and CDPQ.  It is a privilege to work with three partners who embrace our core ambition to build a sustainable and successful business, and who will help us to deliver on our strategy over the coming years at this very exciting time in the industry.  The Hg team bring not only significant capital, but also considerable expertise and I look forward to welcoming them to the Board.”

Ed names Robert Sharp as head of casualty treaty

Global wholesale and specialty (re)insurance broker Ed has announced the appointment of Robert Sharp as head of casualty treaty, divisional director, effective immediately.

Sharp will be based in London and report to Heather Clarkson, divisional CEO, specialty.

Sharp has spent 13 years as a reinsurance broker, serving a significant amount of time at Aon as an account executive in the reinsurance solutions team, where he mainly focused on the global casualty treaty reinsurance market.

Clarkson said: "Reinsurance remains an integral area of growth for Ed and it is vital that we attract and invest in the best industry talent. Robert has a proven track record of excellent client service and brings useful casualty experience across reinsurance, MGAs and consortiums. His experience in various market regions, including London and the US, is in keeping with Ed’s global footprint and outlook, making him a valued member of our team."

K2 International launches European operations in Brussels

Specialty (re)insurance underwriting platform, K2 International has announced the establishment of European operations with the launch of a new office in Brussels.

The office will be led by Michael Butcher, head underwriter for K2 International Europe S.A who reports to Richard Coello, managing director, K2 International.

K2 states the new operation will further strengthen the firm’s existing international business and will initially focus on responding to any absence of EU passporting rights at the end of the Brexit transition period.

In time, the benefits of the Brussels office will be rolled out across K2 International, to produce direct distribution benefits to brokers across Europe.

Richard Coello, managing director K2 International commented: “This is an exciting moment for K2 International as we build and strengthen our business in Europe with the opening of our Brussels office. While immediately supporting the development of our financial institutions business, the new office will help us to deliver on our strategic goal of expanding into additional business classes across Europe. I am confident Michael will bring dynamism and outstanding technical skill to deliver risk management and insurance solutions to clients and brokers across the continent.”

Michael Butcher, head underwriter for K2 International Europe S.A. added: “K2 International has a reputation for exacting underwriting standards in the financial institutions markets across Europe. Our new office location will give us the opportunity to get closer to existing clients and brokers and build new relationships in an expanding list of business classes throughout the whole of Europe.”

David Junius joins Third Point Re as chief operating officer

Third Point Re has announced the appointment of David Junius as chief operating officer, effective 1 October 2020.

Once Third Point Re completes its merger with Sirius Group Junius will be appointed chief financial officer (CFO) of the company which will be renamed SiriusPoint Ltd.

Junius brings over 23 years of industry experience, having most recently served as CFO for the International division of the General Insurance segment at AIG. Prior to that, he served as AIG’s corporate treasurer, CFO for the AIG Property and Casualty Asia Pacific operations and managing director of AIG Strategic Planning.

Christopher Coleman will continue his role through the closing of the merger to ensure and smooth transition. Coleman will continue to serve in a mutually agreed senior position at SiriusPoint.

Sid Sankaran, chairman of Third Point Re, said: "We are very excited to have David join our team as we create a leading global reinsurer through our merger with Sirius. Upon closing, SiriusPoint will have the capital, platform, underwriting talent and clients to take advantage of improving market conditions. Having worked with David for many years, I know he will be instrumental in our efforts to improve SiriusPoint's profitability and return on equity which will ultimately generate value for our shareholders."

Adding: "I am also very pleased that Chris will remain with the Company.  Chris has been a tremendous partner as we transform Third Point Re into a global specialty reinsurer with the goal of delivering more consistent returns and profitability.  Our merger with Sirius will accelerate our progress and I look forward to working with Chris as we continue our journey."

David Junius commented: "I am thrilled to join Third Point Re given the opportunity presented by a combined SiriusPoint.  While much has been said about the improving market environment in which we are very well positioned, I also see a clear path to improve our operations and underwriting profitability while managing capital prudently, areas where I have had strong success during my career.  By bringing a renewed focus on technology, we can position the company to efficiently service our customers and manage risk to enhance SiriusPoint's earnings and grow book value."

Pen Underwriting announces a series of key leadership appointments

Managing general agent, Pen Underwriting has announced a series of newly created roles and leadership appointments, all roles effective 1 November 2020.

Stewart Gardiner has been appointed as technical underwriting director spanning all lines of business and all divisions. He previously served as underwriting director of Pen’s Risk Managed Commercial business.

Gardiner will report to Jennifer Martin, chief underwriting officer.

In Pen’s Specialty division, Seb Simmonds has been appointed managing director of Risk Managed Commercial.

He previously served as managing director of Commercial Delegates Solutions and will now take on responsibility for the overall performance of Risk Managed Commercial.

Additionally, supporting Seb will be regional director Rob Chapman, who will become commercial director of risk managed commercial, another newly created position. In his new role, he will be responsible for trading performance, supporting capacity relationships, the broker panel, collaboration with sales and marketing and operational efficiency.

Martin said: “The introduction of this new leadership position underlines the absolute importance we place on integrity and professionalism within the discipline of underwriting. Stewart’s cross-class expertise combined with his extensive market and technical underwriting knowledge will see him excel in this role. His market reputation, first-rate trading skills and sound understanding of the required governance structure for an underwriting business of our size and scale also place him brilliantly in this position.”

Steve Thornett, managing director of the Specialty division, said: “Our Risk Managed Commercial business is a core part of Pen’s differentiated proposition for brokers and will be a massive contributor to the successful delivery of our ambitious plans for accelerated growth to become a £1bn business. With Seb and Rob at the helm we know the performance and future expansion of this business is assured.”

Starr Insurance hires Andy Trundle as head of global aviation

Staar Insurance Companies have announced the appointment of Andy Trundle as head of global aviation, reporting to Steve Blakey, president, Starr Insurance Companies.

In his new role, he will be responsible for shaping the strategies to drive growth across all aspects of the firm’s aviation portfolio, including airlines, general aviation, light aviation and aerospace.

Trundle joined Staar three years ago as global head of airlines. With more than 35 years of aviation experience, he began his career as an airline underwriter and throughout his professional career held a range of underwriting leadership roles.

Maurice R. Greenberg, Starr chairman and CEO commented: “Having someone with Andy’s experience and expertise keeps Starr on track to expand the aviation division and strengthen our relationships with clients and brokers. His success in running our airline business has been an important factor in establishing Starr as a global leader in the aviation insurance market.”

Hyperion X appoints Julian Alovisi as head of research

Hyperion X Analytics, the analytics and advisory division of Hyperion Insurance Group, has announced the appointment of Julian Alovisi to the newly created role of head of research.

In his new role, he will lead the firm’s differentiated research and thought leadership function at a time of great change in the (re)insurance market and report to David Flandro, managing director, Hyperion X Analytics.

Alovisi brings more than 15 years of industry experience to the role, operating exclusively in the (re)insurance broking space. He joins the firm from Guy Carpenter, where he was head of research and publications, responsible for creating insightful and impactful content on major market developments and renewal.

Flandro added: “At a time of significant consolidation within the (re)insurance intermediary arena, the need for an authoritative and independent broking voice has never been greater. Hyperion is uniquely placed to fill this void. By bringing impactful analysis of sector trends to the fore, we will inform and lead the discussion, enabling us to facilitate the most innovative client solutions.”

Alovisi said: “I am extremely excited to join the team at Hyperion X. There is a gap in the market for non-periodical, relevant, impactful research. We will elevate insurance sector insights to new heights by leveraging the unique and proprietary data held within our organisation.

“This distinct capability will enable Hyperion to compile best-in-class market views that are unique, topical and independent. Clients will be at the very heart of the new research offering, enabling them to understand, and even anticipate important market trends.”

Guy Carpenter adds Paul Miller to lead Property Catastrophe value proposition

Global reinsurance broker, Guy Carpenter has named Paul Miller to lead its Property Catastrophe value proposition for UK, Global Specialties and key global clients, effective September 2021.

In his new role, Miller will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of best-in-class solutions to clients and prospects working across the firm’s UK and Global Specialties property catastrophe broking, analytics and advisory platform.

In addition, he will work with both the broking and analytics teams to provide his expertise on key global accounts. Miller will report to Kevin Fisher, chairman of Guy Carpenter UK.

Miller brings over three decades of (re)insurance industry experience to the role, working in both the UK and the Netherlands. He joins the business from Aon where he most recently served as head of international catastrophe management.

He began his career as an underwriting assistance at Lennox Underwriting before changing to the analytics space as a catastrophe model developer at Grieg Fester and later joining Aon in 1995.

Fisher said: “Paul is a fantastic addition to the Guy Carpenter team as we continue to expand our capabilities in the property catastrophe arena. He has continually demonstrated his impact through a combination of modelling, financial and broking insight for clients with both regional and global exposures.”

Rob Bentley, CEO of Global Strategic Advisory at Guy Carpenter, added: “Paul’s deep subject matter expertise will uniquely complement Guy Carpenter’s Global Strategic Advisory capabilities. His leadership experience, market relationships and insights are invaluable to our clients as we address the changing nature of catastrophic risk.”