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EC News (12 November 2020)

November 12, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from AXA XL, SCOR, Hamilton and more.

AXA XL adds Ian Nunn as head of political risk

AXA XL Insurance has appointed Ian Nun as head of political risk, credit and bond (PRCB) for the UK and Lloyd’s market, effective immediately.

In his new role, Nunn will lead a team of underwriters in London and be responsible for developing and executing the underwriting strategy for the UK and Lloyd’s market political risk and credit book while optimising product offering and profitability.

Nunn joined XL Group as an assistant underwriter, political risk & trade credit, in 2011, from QBE. He later held several senior underwriting roles before being appointed underwriting manager, political risk, credit & bond, in 2019.

Dan Riordan, global chief underwriting officer, political risk, credit & bond, said: “I’m excited that Ian will be taking on this role, and I look forward to his valuable insight as a member of my Leadership Team. Having the right team in place is an integral part of our commitment to support our clients as they manage the risks they face today and in the future.”

Andrew Underwood, CUO Specialty, UK & Lloyd’s market, added: “Ian has a fantastic reputation in this market and I’m fully convinced he’ll be a successful leader of our London team. As a major player in the political risk, credit and bond space, I’m particularly pleased to see our homegrown talent develop and excel, just as Ian has done.”

SCOR Global P&C names Moufakkir as chief business transformation officer

SCOR has announced the appointment of Myriam Moufakkir as the new chief business transformation officer of SCOR Global P&C.

In her new role, she will be responsible for driving key operational aspects of the P&C business, with a focus on digital & data strategies, business process transformation, Group projects and resource and budget management. She will report to Jean-Paul Conoscente, CEO of SCOR Global P&C.

She joins the business from AXA where she held a number of senior leadership positions, most recently as regional COO for AXA Asia in Hong Kong.

Moufakkir brings over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry to the business, as well as her expertise in strategic alignment between business & technology, digital innovation & transformation, and strategies to accelerate growth & productivity. 

Conoscente comments: “We are excited to welcome Myriam to the team. In light of our “Quantum Leap” strategic plan, she will be a solid addition.”

Hamilton announces three promotions in the leadership team at its Lloyd’s operations

Bermuda based (re)insurer Hamilton Insurance Group has announced three promotions within the leadership team at its Lloyd’s of London operations, subject to regulatory approval.

Adrian Daws, currently active underwriter of Lloyd’s Syndicate 4000, will be promoted to chief executive officer of Hamilton Managing Agency Limited.

Miles Osorio who currently serves as deputy active underwriter and head of property, will take up the position of active underwriter of Lloyd’s Syndicate 4000.

Additionally, Mel Alexander, currently head of property blinder will also assume the further responsibilities of chief underwriting officer, London Branch, for Hamilton Insurance DAC, the firm’s Dublin-based carrier.

Pina Albo, group CEO said: “These promotions follow the resignations of Hamilton Managing Agency Limited CEO, Tim Glover, and Chief Underwriting Officer, David White.

“Thanks to the considerable groupwide bench strength at Hamilton, we’ve been able to move quickly to activate our robust succession plan.

“With over 20 years’ experience in the Lloyd’s market, Adrian is an excellent choice to succeed Tim. He’s one of the first employees hired in our London platform, a well-respected industry professional, and he knows the Company well. We have no doubt that the transition of leadership will be seamless.

“Miles is also the perfect candidate for his new role, bringing 30 years’ experience to the position. Like Adrian, he is one of Hamilton’s first hires and has held the position of Deputy Active Underwriter of Lloyd’s Syndicate 4000.

“Mel came to Hamilton with our acquisition of Pembroke Managing Agency and has been a shining light ever since. I’m delighted to see her presented with this exciting career opportunity. When she takes on responsibility as CUO, London Branch, her expertise and experience will be invaluable as she works with CEO of Hamilton Insurance DAC, Fiona Marry, in the ongoing development of our Dublin carrier.

“Given the impressive progress in completing the integration of our acquired businesses, the talent we have throughout the Company, and the significant optionality offered by our global platform, we remain ideally positioned to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the hardening market.”

Miller to be acquired by Cinven & GIC

Specialist (re)insurance broker Miller is to be acquired from its partners and corporate member Willis Towers Watson by international private equity firm Cinven and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

The transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2021 and is subject to regulatory approval.

Founded in 1902, Miller is a specialist (re)insurance brokerage operating in the UK, Lloyd’s and Internationally. It employs more than 640 people through its offices in London, Ipswich, Brussels, Paris, Singapore and Geneva, covering the world’s major insurance hubs.

The firm operates across a number of specialist areas, including marine, energy, credit and political risks, delegated authorities, professional risks, property, casualty, sports and entertainment and (re)insurance.

The Miller transaction represents the first investment from Cinven’s new financial services sector-focused strategy, which will be looking at similar long-term opportunities across Europe. Cinven Funds’ prior investments in the European insurance space include Guardian Financial Services in the UK, Eurovita in Italy, and Viridium in Germany.

Other UK-headquartered financial services investments by the Cinven Funds include Partnership Assurance, NewDay and Premium Credit. GIC has invested in companies such as Rothesay and RAC in the UK, Mass Mutual Asia in Hong Kong, and China Pacific Insurance group in China. 

In a recent press release Cinven and GIC both state, they believe Miller is an investment opportunity based on numerous factors including:

  • The high-quality, cash generative business model, with strong brand equity and an attractive, recurring revenue base;
  • Its strong position in the wholesale insurance markets with a long-standing client base, strong management team and deep bench of talent with significant expertise across its specialist areas;
  • Its proven track record of steady and consistent growth in recent years, delivering robust performance through the COVID-19 pandemic and prior downturns;
  • The business has an opportunity to benefit significantly from independent ownership, given the ability to accelerate its long-term growth profile through a combination of organic growth in a specialist sector, ambitious plans to recruit new specialist brokers and execute selective incremental bolt-on M&A over time; and
  • The underlying insurance market is forecast to continue growing in line with GDP, with potential additional upside for specialty insurers, further supported by short-term rate hardening.

Luigi Sbrozzi, partner of Cinven, said: “Cinven is delighted to be making this investment in Miller alongside GIC. Miller is a highly attractive, resilient specialist insurance business with strong long-term growth opportunities across all of its segments and a history of consistent growth through various economic cycles. We see opportunities both organically, by recruiting new specialist brokers, and through incremental M&A over time. Miller also offers a scalable platform, particularly internationally, with associated benefits for clients as the business develops and expands over the long-term. We believe that independent ownership is the right model to really accelerate the company’s growth.”

Yong Cheen Choo, chief investment officer (CIO) of Private Equity at GIC, commented: “Miller is one of the top and most established wholesale brokers with highly respected franchises in areas such as marine & energy, sports & entertainment, and cargo. We are pleased to partner with Cinven and look forward to supporting Greg Collins and his team to seize future expansion opportunities for Miller. As a long-term investor, we are confident in the growth potential of the specialty insurance sector, and of Miller within it.”

Greg Collins, chief executive officer of Miller, added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Cinven and GIC, whose knowledge and insurance investment expertise will enormously support our business as we enter this important next phase of growth. We are excited about bringing together our combined expertise to bolster our best in class client service and solutions and strengthen Miller’s position in our core activities. This includes making incremental targeted, strategic investments as we look to realise our ambition of becoming the leading independent specialist (re)insurance broking firm. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank WTW for their support over the last five years.”

Barclays, Clifford Chance, Bain, PwC, Deloitte, Marsh, and FTI Consulting acted as advisors to Cinven and GIC. While Goldman Sachs International, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP and Jamieson Corporate Financial LLP acted as advisors to the sellers.

Aon hires senior property broker to UK&I Specialty Casualty team

Global (re)insurance broking business, Aon, has named Sam Sylvester as a senior property broker in the UK & Ireland and Specialty Casualty team, Reinsurance Solutions.

In his new role, Sylvester will report to Catherine Turner, head of UK property for Reinsurance Solutions.

Sylvester brings nearly 20 years of experience in property reinsurance, in both broking and underwriting.

He most recently served as head of property treaty and D&F at Vibe Syndicate and has previously held positions at Markel International and Guy Carpenter.

Turner said: “Sam brings a great skillset in underwriting and pricing expertise across many territories. He is highly respected and widely recognised across our client base and is a terrific addition to our team.”

Hyperion Insurance Group rebrands to Howden Group Holdings

Global insurer, Hyperion Insurance Group has announced that it has changed its name to Howden Group Holdings, effective immediately.

The name change will flow through the other parts of the Group with Hyperion in the name, including Hyperion Foundation, the Group’s charitable arm, which will be known as the Howden Group Foundation and Hyperion X, which will now trade as HX.

The Group was founded in 1994 as Howden Pangborn. The Hyperion name came into existence after the launch of DUAL in 1998.

David Howden, CEO, Howden Group Holdings said: “As we set our sights on the next 25 years as a business approaching £1bn in revenue with 8,000 employees and operations in 40 countries, our broking operations united under the Howden brand, and DUAL taking the lead in the industry in defining what the underwriting business of the future looks like, it is the right time for us to bring further simplicity and authenticity to the Group and to take on a new old name. I have always been clear that we are building a sustainable business with a difference, and as we grow we must ensure that we both stay true to our roots and the culture that got us to where we are today, whilst facing forward with the right proposition for our employees and our clients.”

Marsh appoints Tony Ambrose as deputy CEO for UK Aviation

Global (re)insurance broker has announced the appointment of Tony Ambrose as deputy CEO, Aviation, Marsh JLT Specialty, effective immediately.

Based in London, Ambrose currently serves as managing director within Marsh's Aviation Practice reporting to Andy Smith, UK Chairman and CEO, Aviation.

In this newly created role, Ambrose will support clients across the airline, aerospace, general aviation, and space industries and develop the UK Aviation Practice's proposition as the sector continues to adapt to the challenges and opportunities created by COVID-19.

He joined Marsh in November 2019 having previously worked for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in a variety of leadership roles from 2011 and serving as head of aviation from 2016-2019.

Ambrose has spent most of his 30-year career working in dedicated aviation underwriting and broking roles.

Smith said: "COVID-19 is changing the way we live, work, and travel. As we approach the close of 2020, many organisations in the aviation sector are re-examining their business models in ways that were perhaps unthinkable at the start of the year. Tony's experience and leadership will be invaluable to our clients and colleagues as the sector responds to the pandemic."

Ambrose added: "More than ever, aviation and aerospace firms require deep expertise and the latest specialist thinking on risk and insurance. I look forward to working with Andy and our experienced team, drawing on the expertise of our colleagues across Marsh as we help clients successfully navigate towards recovery."