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EC News (19 November 2020)

November 19, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Chubb, Global Risk Partners, Convex Group and more.

Chubb appoints John Latter as SVP claims director

International (re)insurer Chubb, has announced the appointment of John Latter as senior vice president, claims director for the firm’s Europe, Eurasia and Africa regions, effective immediately.

In his new regional executive role, he will have overall responsibility for the strategy and delivery of Chubb's claims services in these two regions.

Based in London, he will report to David Furby, senior vice president Chubb Group and Regional President, Chubb European Group and to Nandini Mani, executive vice president, claims for overseas general insurance, the company's international general insurance business in 51 countries and territories.

Latter has 30 years of insurance industry experience and joined Chubb three years ago from Zurich where he held numerous senior claims roles with both UK and international responsibilities.

He replaces Julie Chalmers who is departing the company. He will work closely with Chalmers to ensure a seamless transition. Latter will continue to oversee the role of UK & Ireland claims director until a successor is named.

Furby said: "I am delighted to promote John to this important role. John is highly respected within the industry and has a proven track record within claims across many years. His insights and leadership will help to continue to deliver a superior experience for our customers and strengthen further our award-winning claims service across both these regions."

Nandini Mani said: "John brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding which will make him an effective leader across these two regions. His appointment illustrates the depth of talent we have within the Chubb organisation and emphasises our commitment to maintaining claims excellence."

Global Risk Partners names new chief data and analytics officer

Global Risk Partners (GRP), a vehicle aimed at acquiring brokers and managing general agents (MGAs) trading in the UK retail and global, specialty insurance markets, has announced the appointment of Grant Strickland to the newly created role of chief data & analytics officer.

Grant has over three decades of experience in data and analytics, including leading the business intelligence functions for SJ Gallagher and Hyperion.

In his new role, he will report to Mike Bruce, Group CEO.

The role has been created to develop GRP’s data strategy, leading the Group’s data infrastructure, and using data analytics to deliver business insight which in turn will drive value for clients and insurer partners.

Bruce, GRP CEO said: “Grant is a valuable addition to GRP’s team. Harnessing the power of our data assets has always been central to our organic growth strategy, and we have made significant progress in creating a data warehouse which integrates with our various businesses systems and holds data from over 300,000 clients.

Grant’s major focus will be to leverage our data to provide a deeper understanding of our clients’ needs, improve our segmentation and work with our trading teams to create bespoke client propositions.

The commercial potential from our data is immense and Grant will bring the experience and energy we need to deliver this important element of our Group strategy.”

Strickland commented: “It’s exciting to be joining a business with the scale and potential of GRP. I will be part of a team of entrepreneurs, and with data integration and analytics at the heart of the Group’s strategy, there is a massive opportunity to innovate and make a difference.”

Convex secures $1bn of additional equity capital

Global specialty (re)insurer Convex Group has secured commitments for an additional $1bn of equity capital, taking the total raised to over $2.7bn in just over 18 months since its launch in April 2019.

Initial committed capital was raised from its management team, Onex Partners V, Onex Corporation’s large-cap private equity fund, and a group of co-investors.

The additional capital has been raised by the same investor group as well as additional new Onex co-investors.

Stephen Catlin, chairman and CEO said: “Onex and our existing investor base has provided us with tremendous support in building the business and we welcome our new investor partners. We are delighted to have additional capital as this will enable us to take full advantage of the hardening market.”

Paul Brand, deputy CEO added: “In 18 months, Convex has become a 300 people strong insurer and reinsurer with a significant presence in Bermuda and London.

“We launched Convex with a singular vision, to create a world class company for the 2020’s which was legacy free, technologically proficient and well-endowed with capital to provide a safe haven for our customers. We are well on the way to achieving that vision.”

Ardonagh Specialty appoints new leadership team

Ardonagh Specialty, part of Ardonagh Group’s four platforms has announced a new leadership team that will oversee the next stage of growth for its independent specialist brokers Price Forbes and Bishopsgate Insurance Brokers.

Richard Peers has been promoted from deputy CEO to CEO of Price Forbes. In his new role, Peers will look to further enhance the growth opportunities created by the trading group structure in Price Forbes.

Peers has over three decades of experience across London, Bermuda and the USA and most recently led Price Forbes’ Property, Professional and Financial Lines, Casualty, Life Science and Healthcare teams.

Greg Ferguson has been appointed as CEO, International at Price Forbes with responsibility for driving forward its regional strategy and examine opportunities for acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic hires.

Ferguson joined Price Forbes in 2015 and throughout his tenure, he has worked as both a Lloyd’s underwriter and broker in a variety of specialisms across Latin America, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and parts of Africa.

Graham Kilby has been named CEO of Bishopsgate Insurance Brokers, leading operations and the remit to expand in the Programmes and Binders arena and Energy as well as the UK focussed Specialty lines.

Kilby joined the business in 2017 and since then has built out the broker’s successful North American Binder business.

Additionally, Jonathan Turnbull will take on a new role as a member of the Specialty executive committee. As corporate development director, his focus will be on identifying and executing new growth initiatives across both brands.

Turnbull joined the business in 2018 and was CEO of Bishopsgate Insurance Brokers.

James Masterton, executive chairman and CEO of Ardonagh Specialty commented: “Since Price Forbes became a founding part of The Ardonagh Group alongside fellow specialist Bishopsgate, both businesses have grown from strength to strength, investing in technology and talent to ensure our clients are best served by truly independent brokers focused on their individual needs.”

“As the world continues to evolve rapidly, the role of the intermediary has never been more important and in this new management team we are incredibly fortunate to be leveraging exceptional talent, specialist expertise and deep global relationships to successfully lead the strategic direction of both businesses in today’s market.

“As a holding company, Ardonagh Specialty is the platform from which we will execute and direct the investment needed for the next chapter of growth for Price Forbes and Bishopsgate across open market, programmes and international broking. Bolstered with the best talent, technology and products, we are poised to continue delivering solutions which our clients to succeed across a vast array of sectors and regions into 2021 and beyond.”

Masterson assumed his role from Richard Ward, who now leads a number of strategic initiatives across the wider Ardonagh Group, including the Specialty platform.

He has over 25 years’ insurance market, beginning as a broker of property programmes for North American corporations with Sedgwick and was most recently CEO of Price Forbes.

Aston Lark announces the acquisition of two brokers

Chartered insurance broker, Aston Lark has announced the acquisition of two broking firms, Risk Alliance Limited and Risk Alliance International, both subsidiaries of Risk Alliance Group.

Risk Alliance Limited is a specialist Schemes broker based in Bingley, West Yorkshire, with specialisms in photographers, the leisure sector and non-standard household.

Risk Alliance International Limited is a Belfast-based broker with a particular focus on the haulage and logistics industries. Both were acquired by Accelerant in September 2019.

The deal sees a total of 14 staff move across to Aston Lark in Bingley and a further nine members of staff in Belfast, with a combined GWP of £12mn across the two businesses.

Chris Lee-Smith, head of distribution at Accelerant, said: “Accelerant is a pure underwriting group and, as such, it was always our intention to partner with a broker to find the next home for the broking businesses acquired with the acquisition of Risk Alliance Group. Aston Lark were the natural partner for us as we wanted to find an excellent long-term home for the quality teams in Belfast and Bingley. This deal leaves Accelerant with NBS, which is a pure underwriting entity.”

Peter Blanc, group CEO of Aston Lark, said: “We are very excited to have added both Risk Alliance and Risk Alliance International to the Aston Lark family.  Geographically, both acquisitions are an excellent fit for Aston Lark giving us our first presence in Northern Ireland and our first presence in Yorkshire. We look forward to working with the management teams, comprising Adrian Wilson and Gareth Morgan in Belfast and Daphne Pickles, Daniel Hobson and Abbie Mason in Bingley, to help them to grow in their various areas of specialism.”

Capco adds Somnath Ghosh as partner, UK Insurance

Capco, the management and technology consultancy has announced the appointment of Somnath Ghosh as partner within its UK Insurance practice.

In his new role, he will focus predominantly on finance, risk and regulation as well as insurers’ related data and technology needs.

Somnath will work alongside Matt Hutchins, partner and insurance lead, who joined Capco at the beginning of 2020 with a remit to expand the scope and capabilities of Capco’s Insurance practice in the UK.

With over two decades of experience in financial services and consulting, Ghosh brings specific expertise in IT strategy, business transformation, programme management and global delivery.

Prior to Capco he has held senior consultancy roles at Accenture, KPMG Advisory and Deloitte, as well as director-level roles within financial services organisations.

Hutchins said: “The insurance segment is far from homogenous, but there are a number of core challenges that will be all too familiar to the great majority of firms. These include digital transformation, optimising customer service and ways of working, extracting greater insights and value from data, and mitigating the impact of regulatory change and rising cost pressures. Capco has established a strong track record in all of these areas and Somnath’s expertise and extensive experience will be key as we shape and deliver transformative programmes to insurers and brokers.”

Mike Ethelston, UK managing partner at Capco, added: “We are committed to enhancing the capabilities and talent within our Insurance practice, with a particular focus on leveraging our long-standing strengths around digital and data. That commitment to growing the Insurance practice underlines our continued investment in broadening our consulting footprint within the UK financial services sector. The extensive scoping and implementation work we have already conducted on behalf of our bank clients in preparation for the transition to a post-Brexit operating environment is a further value-add we can offer to insurance companies.”