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EC News (8 October 2020)

October 08, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Pen Underwriting, Hampden Agencies, Oneglobal and more.

Pen Underwriting announce new appointments for delegated solutions division

Managing general agent, Pen Underwriting has announced a series of new leadership and underwriting appointments for its delegated solutions division.

The new talent will spearhead the continued expansion of its commercial and household businesses where underwriting authority is delegated on to specialist coverholders.

Michael King will join the business as head of delegated commercial, effective 1 January 2020. He succeeds Seb Simmonds who has been announced as Pen’s new managing director of risk managed commercial.

He is currently head of commercial underwriting at Canopius and brings over 25 years underwriting and leadership experience.

Fred Florry joins delegated commercial as senior underwriting and most recently served as commercial UK underwriter at Canopius. He brings 10 years of underwriting experience and previously held roles at QBE Europe and Brit Insurance.

Additionally, Pen has also announced the promotion of Leo Downes to head of delegated household.

Downes has worked at Pen and its predecessor business since 2012 and effectively succeeds Andrew Booth, who was appointed MD of the overall division earlier this year.

Andrew Booth, MD of Delegated Solutions, said: “We are absolutely delighted that market-leading underwriters of the calibre of Michael and Fred have chosen to join Pen at this exciting juncture, having unveiled our ambitious agenda for growth. Both are highly experienced and well respected and we look forward to welcoming them into the team to drive forward our delegated commercial products and proposition. On the delegated household side, it’s fantastic to have Leo stepping up to take the helm and I know he will do an excellent job in taking the business from its existing £125m GWP to the next level.

“I’d also like to say a massive thank you to Seb for his absolutely stellar support in helping me amalgamate our different delegated teams to form one cohesive division, and his transformation of our delegated commercial portfolio over the past five years. Under his leadership, the business has gone from strength-to-strength and it’s great that the wider Pen business will now benefit from his expertise and experience.”

Hampden agencies announce key board changes

Hampden Agencies Limited (HAL), the largest Lloyd’s members’ agency, has announced two key changes to its board with the appointments of Sarah Wilton as chair and Elizabeth Fullerton-Rome as independent non-executive director and chair of the audit and risk committee, effective immediately.

Both appointments coincide with HAL’s undertaking of a significant increase in demand for capital investment into Lloyd’s.

Wilton’s appointment is a fixed three-year contract and previously served as a director at Lloyd’s of London for eight years and joined HAL as non-executive director in 2008.

After eight years overseeing the delivery of strategic developments, she has been promoted to chair.

She is also non-executive director and chair of the audit and risk committee at Capita Managing Agency.

Meanwhile, Fullerton-Rome will replace Wilton as independent non-executive director and chair of the audit and risk committee. She joins the business with over 26 years’ experience in the UK and international financial sector having previously advised organisations across a range of industries, including Great American International Insurance (GAII), HM Revenue and Customs and the Taxation Disciplinary Board.

Neil Smith, CEO of HAL, said: “The Board and I are delighted by these appointments. We look forward to working alongside such experienced and knowledgeable individuals, who are both highly respected in their respective fields and we look forward to their valuable contributions and perspective to the Board’s deliberations and strategic vision. I am confident that they will further add to the existing strengths of the Board and ensure that our governance arrangements continue to be effective and indeed are subject to continued independent challenge.”

Wilton said: “I look forward to continuing to work with Hampden in this new role, assisting them in maintaining the excellent standards for which they are known, as they develop the business further.”

Fullerton-Rome added: “With an array of experience working in the insurance industry and the broader financial services sector, I am well placed to help Hampden Agencies in achieving their strategic goals. I look forward to joining the team and supporting them in their future endeavours.”

Oneglobal appoints Duncan Urquhart as executive director

Specialist independent Lloyd’s insurance broker, Oneglobal has announced the appointment of Duncan Urquhart as executive director, effective immediately.

Urquhart will join the group executive committee and report to Mike Reynolds, Oneglobal chief executive officer.

He brings over three decades of experience and joins from RFIB Group Limited where he served as head of Property, Casualty, Energy and Construction.

Prior to that, Urquhart worked in Asia for Willis Towers Watson as head of Construction Industry and Broking.

Reynolds commented: “Duncan Urquhart is an impressive senior broker who has excellent knowledge and experience across the insurance industry. He has a standout track record for business development and managing and enhancing key relationships with clients. His appointment will further enhance our client offering and I look forward to working with him.”

Urquhart added: “Oneglobal is an exciting broking company whose commitment to clients mirrors my own. As clients face challenging conditions in the hard market, I’m looking forward to being part of a business that always advocates in the clients’ best interests and to joining the team as we work to grow the business together.”

Everest Re names Mark Kociancic Group CFO & Jim Williamson Group COO 

Everest Re has announced changes to its leadership team with the appointments of Mark Kociancic as executive vice president (EVP) and group chief financial officer (CFO) and Jim Williamson as executive vice president and group chief operating officer (COO).

Both Kociancic and Williamson will serve on the Everest Executive Leadership Committee and report to Juan C. Andrade, president and CEO.

Everest Re state these leadership appointments support the company’s strategy of profitably growing a balanced and diversified (re)insurance portfolio, underpinned by the relentless execution of our strategies, to maximize shareholder returns and deliver earnings and book value per share growth over time.

Kociancic joins the business from SCOR, where he served as group chief financial officer since 2013. Prior to that, he served in several senior executive positions with SCOR’s U.S. operations starting in 2006, prior to being named group deputy chief financial officer in 2012 and then CFO.

He succeeds Craig Howie, who will stay with the company through December 31, 2020, to ensure a smooth transition. Kociancic’s appointment at Everest Re is effective October 12th, 2020.

Williamson will be primarily responsible for advancing underwriting excellence, digital transformation, innovation, and efficiency across the Group. His appointment is effective 5 October 2020.

Williamson joins Everest Re from Chubb, where he most recently served as division president, small business. Prior to that, he served in a number of senior executive roles with Chubb’s North America and International business, as well as at The Hartford. His expertise includes underwriting, operations, distribution, and the application of technology across these disciplines.

Andrade commented: “Mark and Jim are exceptionally talented executives who bring a wealth of experience, operational acumen, and global industry knowledge to Everest. Mark is a seasoned CFO with deep global expertise across the entire finance function and with strong capital markets and investments experience. Jim is a strategic leader with extensive Property & Casualty industry experience and an excellent track record of building, growing, and running profitable businesses. I am very excited to partner with them, and the rest of our executive management team, to build upon our strong foundation and deliver our strategic objectives in the next chapter of Everest’s journey.”

Adding: “On behalf of the executive management team, I want to thank Craig Howie for his dedication to this organization over the past eight years. He has been an instrumental leader and an important contributor to Everest’s evolution, and we wish him the best in his next endeavour.”

Kociancic said: “I am delighted to be joining Everest and I am excited about its bright future. I look forward to working with Juan, the executive leadership team, and the finance organization to further enhance our capabilities and build upon Everest’s strong franchise.”

Williamson shared: “I am excited to join the high performing team at Everest. This team has built best in class capabilities in reinsurance and insurance, and the Company has incredible potential to continue its track record of profitable growth. I look forward to working with Juan and the rest of the team to lead Everest to greater heights.”

Euler Hermes CEO departs, successor announced

Global trade credit insurer, Euler Hermes Group has announced that Wilfried Verstraete, CEO and chairman of the Board of Management will be stepping down from his operational duties. Clarisse Kopff will succeed him as CEO and Chairperson of the Board of Management, effective January 1st, 2021.

Verstraete will step down from his operational duties after twelve years in the role. He will continue to serve Euler Hermes Group as an advisor to the new CEO in 2021. He will also retain board positions in Euler Hermes SA, Euler Hermes North America, Solunion and Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG.

Kopff is currently chief financial officer of Allianz France and began her career in debt origination at Lehman Brothers in London.

Kopff said: “I am very grateful for the prolific and eventful years I have spent with the teams at Allianz France. I joined the company at a key moment when the industry had to reinvent itself amidst a low interest environment. This challenge prompted us to invent new financial models, as well as accelerate our own digital transformation.
 
I am honoured to accept this position as Euler Hermes Group CEO. I thank Wilfried Verstraete for his trust. The current crisis is far from over but with his ongoing support, I am prepared to lead the company and accompany our clients and partners through these difficult times. It is a great mission for leaders today to instil confidence in tomorrow. On more personal grounds, I am also looking forward to reconnecting with my former colleagues at Euler Hermes.”


Verstraete, shared: "It has been a real privilege to serve my teams and our clients as the CEO of Euler Hermes. I am proud to have witnessed the high potential of our teams unleashed, which resulted in expanding our market leadership and raising the bar of unparalleled customer service. Yet, the strength of this company can only be as strong as the ties between our partners. Therefore, I want to thank our clients and partners for their unwavering trust in us throughout these years.

Clarisse proved her talent and competence throughout her 16 years at Euler Hermes, where she was instrumental in creating a truly integrated Group reinforced by its strong financial performance. I am confident that with her visionary leadership, backed by her experience at Allianz France, Clarisse will take Euler Hermes to the next level and continue setting the standard for customer experience in trade finance.”


Allison Kiene joins Argo Group to serve as group general counsel

Bermuda-based specialty (re)insurer Argo Group International Holdings has announced the appointment of Allison Kiene to serve as group general counsel.

In her new role, she will be responsible for the company’s legal and compliance teams and will report to Kevin Rehnberg, chief executive officer.

Kiene joins the business from Sompo International, where she most recently served as assistant general counsel and chief compliance officer, data protection officer.

She has also held similar roles at Montpelier Re Holdings, Blue Capital Management and Familymeds Group Inc.

Rehnberg said: “Allison joins Argo with a wealth of experience in all aspects of the insurance industry’s legal, regulatory and compliance environments. She will serve as a valuable member of the executive committee as we look to simplify the organization and pursue growth in our most profitable businesses.

“We would also like to thank Susan Comparato for serving as our former U.S. general counsel and managing much of the group’s legal and compliance responsibilities during this transition period. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with Susan as she moves into her new role leading our Programs, Transportation and Alternative Risk Solutions businesses.”