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EC News (26 November 2020)

November 26, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Howden, Sompo International Holdings, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and more.

Howden boosts cyber offering with Safeonline acquisition

Global insurance broker Howden has announced the agreement to acquire cyber and tech specialist broker and Lloyd’s coverholder Safeonline, subject to regulatory approval.

The transaction brings a team of cyber insurance specialists to Howden’s cyber division which will add resource and expertise to the firm’s presence in the market.

Chris Cotterell, CEO, Safeonline will join Howden as chairman of its Cyber division.

Safeonline has a proprietary insurtech platform iQ, which comprises online quote & bind functionality that distributes to both the UK SME and international wholesale sectors.

Howden states iQ also complements the company’s existing wholesale cyber client base and offers the capability to provide ‘on the ground’ cyber quote and bind capability throughout the Howden office network globally.

Safeonline offers a range of product lines including cyber and tech, financial & professional lines, programmes & binders and contingency and is a member of the Brokerslink network.

Charlie Langdale, managing director, Financial Lines says: “Cyber as a class has been growing strongly for us over recent years and this acquisition supercharges our growth in this important market. In a stroke, it gives us the ability to service retail SME clients and enlarge our US wholesale cyber book. It also means we can improve our service to large global retail accounts and grow further our Financial Lines retail capability.

This enhanced offering builds on our centre of excellence in London under the management of David Rees that complements our Global Practice Group, run by Shay Simkin, and will help us deliver even more for our clients.”

Cotterell, comments: “Having pioneered cyber insurance since 1999, I am delighted that the Safeonline team will be able to continue its growth and innovation in this sector. Becoming a part of Howden gives us the scale, resources and an international platform to allow us to take the business to the next level. We look forward to working with the Howden team to educate, protect and create solutions critical to businesses and individuals operating in this digital world.”

Sompo Intl. names head of portfolio design, pricing & analytics for global insurance

Bermuda-based, global specialty provider of property and casualty (re)insurance, Sompo International Holdings, Ltd., has announced the appointment of Paul Shedden as head of portfolio design, pricing and analytics for global insurance.

Based out of London, Shedden will also join the Insurance Executive Leadership Team. In his new role, he will report to Chris Gallagher, CEO, Sompo International Commercial P&C.

Shedden joins the business from AXA XL where he most recently served as head of enterprise data insurance pricing, advanced analytics and innovations.

He brings over 25 years of industry experience to the role, adding a unique perspective to Sompo International’s process of portfolio design, technical pricing and performance management, where he will be supported by a diverse team of experts globally.

Gallagher commented: “We are pleased to have Paul join Sompo International, bringing his vast experience in leading similar operations at some of the most well-respected global organizations. Paul has achieved great success in running talented and successful departments across multiple regions as well as implementing innovative solutions for growing and diverse portfolios. His proven track record, history of success and extensive global experience aligns perfectly with Sompo International’s strategic direction, and I am delighted to welcome him to our senior Insurance segment leadership team.”

Shedden added: “I am excited to join Sompo International as the organization continues on its ascent to becoming one of the top global insurance carriers. Mr. Gallagher has a strong strategic vision for the company’s future, and I am looking forward to working alongside him and the exceptional global Insurance leadership team at Sompo International.”

Swiss Re CorSo appoints Tina Baacke as global head risk engineering services

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, the commercial insurance arm of Swiss Re Group has appointed Tina Baacke as global head risk engineering services, effective 1 January 2021.

In her new role, Baacke will be responsible for leading a global team of experts that provide risk knowledge, data insights, tools and services to help customers improve and maintain continuous business operations by identifying and managing their exposures.

Based in Munich, Baacke will report to Kera McDonald, chief underwriting officer bespoke and she will succeed Martin Schürz, who will retire in February after almost 30 years with Swiss Re.

Baacke brings more than two decades of insurance industry and consulting experience to the firm, most recently serving as global head of risk consulting at Allianz.

She also brings extensive experience in catastrophe risk management and has built and managed large global teams in a variety of leadership roles in EMEA and APAC. 

McDonald commented: "We are thrilled to attract and welcome a talent like Tina to our team. She is a seasoned leader with a proven track record in helping customers develop and refine their approach to risk resiliency and risk management," "Risk Engineering Services is a critical part of our business as we continue to lead more corporate insurance programmes worldwide. I've no doubt that through Tina's leadership we will continue to differentiate our insurance offerings and provide loss prevention insights that give real value to our customers."

Adding: "Martin has our best wishes for his retirement after a tremendously successful career. He has been instrumental in developing our risk engineering services practice by bringing in innovative, cutting-edge risk assessment tools, digital analytics and new customer service offerings. I'm proud to have worked with Martin and he will be greatly missed."

BMS appoints Chris Madell as director of financial lines division

Independent specialist (re)insurance broker BMS Group has named Chris Madell as director of its new financial lines division, effective immediately.

Based in London, Madell will repot to Ian Gormley, managing director of the BMS Global Risks division.

Madell has over 33 years of insurance industry experience in both the London and Australian markets. In his new role, he will be responsible for the build out of the financial lines capability for BMS, working closely with both the London headquarters and the Australian office.

Prior to joining BMS, Madell served as CEO at Allstate Underwriting Agencies since 2017. Before that, he was head of distribution in the global broker unit of ACE Australia (now Chubb Insurance Australia).

Gormley said: “BMS is continually looking to bring in high quality individuals like Chris. He has an excellent reputation and his international experience and management skill will be a great addition to BMS. Chris will be working closely with our overseas offices in Australia and Miami to complement their FI focus. Financial Lines and D&O are in a true hard market right now and having a proven specialist such as Chris with deep technical understanding will help our clients navigate in the current market.”

Madell said: “I’m delighted to be joining BMS, an independent with an investment strategy that really piqued my interest. Financial Lines is in a state of dislocation, the likes of which I’ve never seen before. The team is investing in talented market professionals with a passionate appetite for client service excellence. We will be taking a thoughtful approach to certain industry sectors, utilising in-house expertise to deliver a very different partner experience.”

AXA XL promotes Nicola Harris to head of energy, UK & Lloyd’s market 

AXA XL has announced the promotion of Nicola Harris to head of energy, UK and Lloyd’s market.

Harris succeeds Peter Welton, who was promoted to chief underwriting officer for Marine, Energy & Aerospace, UK & Lloyd’s market earlier this year.

In her new role, Harris will lead a team of underwriters in London and will be responsible for developing the UK energy book, implementing strategy, and designing innovative insurance solutions for AXA XL’s energy clients.

Harris has held a number of senior energy roles within AXA XL since joining from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) in 2018, most recently chief of staff, global energy. Since 2014, she had previously held the role of regional head of energy & marine at AGCS and prior to that, she held various roles at Marsh in London and then Cape Town, where she was appointed regional leader for power & energy in 2011.

Peter Welton, chief underwriting officer for Marine, Energy & Aerospace, UK & Lloyd’s market, commented: “Global economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the global energy market, which was already facing several headwinds. Having the right team in place is an integral part of our commitment to our clients, as they manage the associated risks today and in the future.

“I am delighted that Nicola will be taking on the role of Head of Energy, UK & Lloyd’s market. Nicola has more than 20 years’ experience in the Energy insurance sector, both on the broking and underwriting side, and I have every confidence that her high level of knowledge and experience gained throughout her career positions her ideally to lead the team.”

Hamish Roberts appointed global renewable energy leader within Marsh JLT Specialty

Leading (re)insurance broker Marsh, announced the appointment of Hamish Roberts as global renewable energy leader, Marsh JLT Specialty, effective 1 January 2021.

Based in London, Roberts will report to Andrew George, global head, energy and power, Marsh JLT Specialty.

In this newly created role, Roberts will develop the business’ renewable energy proposition and create new services and solutions that will support the fast-growing renewable energy industry globally, as well as enable traditional providers to continue their transition to renewable power sources.

Roberts brings over 35 experience in insurance and risk management for the renewable energy industry. He was previously Power Leader, Marsh JLT Specialty, and served as CEO of Aon’s Global Power Specialty for six years, from 2008-2014.

Andrew George said: “Over the last 12 months, Marsh has invested significantly in expanding our specialist capabilities and geographical reach to support our clients in renewable energy and power. Hamish is an outstanding leader who has dedicated his career to the development of insurance and risk solutions that support the global transition to renewable energy. Under his leadership, we are strongly placed to assist the sector as it adapts to the challenges and opportunities it faces.”

Roberts added: “There is renewed political will as we approach the end of 2020 to move towards greater decarbonization and more sustainable energy sources. As traditional energy companies continue to decarbonize their footprints – and market challengers seek to redefine the energy landscape – Marsh JLT Specialty’s Global Renewable Energy team will play a key role in supporting our clients and communities as they transition towards more sustainable and carbon-neutral futures.”