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EC News (17 December 2020)

December 17, 2020

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Aviva, Hiscox, Admiral Group and more.

Aviva names Doug Brown as CEO of UK & Ireland Life Insurance

Aviva has announced the appointment of Doug Brown as CEO of UK & Ireland Life Insurance, effective April 2021.

Brown currently serves as CEO of Canada Life in the UK and will join Aviva’s Group Executive Committee, reporting to Amanda Blanc, Aviva Group CEO.

He brings significant, senior management experience from the life insurance sector, built over 30 years in the industry.

Brown has led Canada Life’s UK business for the past six years where he transformed the operations to position it for growth. Before that, he was Canada Life’s chief operating officer.  

He has also held various other senior roles in the sector including chief risk officer at Aviva Europe and regional president of AIG Life, UK & Ireland.

Brown succeeds Angela Darlington who will leave Aviva in April 2021, after a period of handover with Doug.

Amanda Blanc, Aviva group CEO, said: “Our aim is to be the UK’s leading insurer, providing customers with all their savings, retirement and insurance needs, at every step of their lives. Doug is a great appointment for Aviva and he will play a key role as we transform Aviva’s performance in the UK.

Angela Darlington has been with Aviva for nearly two decades across a number of senior roles. She has been a relentless champion of our customers and values throughout her time at Aviva and she goes with our thanks and very best wishes.”

Brown, said: “Aviva is very well placed for success in the UK with a strong brand and excellent partner and customer relationships. I am excited to be joining Aviva and extending our leadership in the life insurance market.”

Hiscox appoints Tom Shewry as CFO for UK business

Specialist global insurer, Hiscox has announced the appointment of Tom Shewry as chief financial officer (CFO) for its UK business and Hiscox Insurance Company Limited.

Reporting to Bob Thaker, Hiscox UK’s CEO, Shewry has spent over two decades in general insurance working in a variety of commercial roles.

He joins Hiscox in 2018 as director of group finance where he led the development of the group finance function, establishing new process and capabilities before becoming CFO for Hiscox UK on an interim basis in September this year.

Since taking on the position, Shewry has played an important role in assessing Hiscox UK’s ongoing Covid-19 exposures while successfully completing the business’ 2021 financial planning process.

Thaker said: “Tom has already demonstrated strong leadership of Hiscox UK’s finance organisation during a challenging period. He brings deep and valuable experience to the role of CFO and is a welcome addition to our management team as we continue to grow the business while focusing on delivering great service to our customers and brokers.”

New CEO assumes role at Admiral Group as David Stevens steps down

Admiral Group announced the completion of a successful handover to the group CEO designate, Milena Mondini de Focatiis, and that David Stevens will retire from his position and as a director of Admiral Group plc on 31 December 2020.

Stevens will continue to work for Admiral in a part-time capacity, providing consultancy support on risk selection and as a board member of Admiral Financial Services Limited.

Annette Court, Admiral Group chair, commented: “David co-founded Admiral in 1991 and has had an immeasurable impact on the Group. He has contributed enormously to all the elements that make Admiral so special and successful, including underwriting, product innovation, the unique Admiral culture and much more. We are delighted that David has agreed to continue to work for the Group in a part-time advisory capacity focusing on risk selection, financial services and diversification.

The CEO transition has gone very smoothly. Milena is deeply embedded in the Admiral culture with an entrepreneurial spirit, excellent people development skills, and a strong commercial track record having founded the Group’s Italian insurer, ConTe, and further strengthened the Group’s other European businesses. She will lead a very strong and experienced management team that is ideally positioned to take forward David’s work and to build an even stronger Admiral for the future.”

MS Amlin Underwriting names Margot Cronin as independent non-executive director

Lloyd’s (re)insurer, MS Amlin Underwriting has appointed Margot Cronin to the MS AUL board as an independent non-executive director, effective 1 January 2021.

She will also become a member of the risk, audit, underwriting oversight and nominations committees for MS AUL. She will succeed Gilles Bonvarlet and assume her chairmanship of the risk committee when he steps down. Bonvarlet will remain on the board under 31 March 2021 to ensure a smooth handover.

Johan Slabbert, CEO of MS Amlin Underwriting Ltd, commented: “I am delighted to announce that Margot will join MS AUL as a notified independent Non-Executive Director (iNED). Margot is an accomplished and experienced industry practitioner and her appointment further demonstrates our ability to attract leading talent to the business. I am confident that her years of market expertise, combined with strong leadership capabilities, will further strengthen the MS AUL Board as we continue to implement our plans for the business.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gilles, who retires from the MS AUL board, for his exceptional contributions to the business over the years. We wish him the very best for the future.”

Pierre-Oliver Desaulle joins Beazley as non-executive director

Specialist (re)insurer, Beazley has announced the appointment of Pierre-Oliver Desaulle as a non-executive director, effective 1 January 2021.

Desaulle has been serving as a non-executive director on the company’s subsidiary board, Beazley Insurance dac, since November of 2017.

He previously served as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Hiscox Europe and has held various other senior roles within the (re)insurance industry.

David Roberts, chairman of Beazley, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Pierre-Olivier to the board of Beazley plc. Pierre-Olivier’s operational insurance experience will be extremely useful to the board as the group continues to grow its presence in Europe.”

Chubb forms new digital team for Continental Europe, UK & Ireland

Global property and casualty insurer, Chubb has announced it has formed a new digital team for Continental Europe (CE) and the United Kingdom & Ireland (UK&I).

The new team has been created to develop and execute the firm’s plans to broaden its digital product and service offerings and to create new channels for product.

The team will be led by Santiago Sanchez as head of digital for Europe.

Ana de Montvert will serve as head of digital business development for Europe and take responsibility for managing and developing digital partnerships across CE and the UK&I.

Christophe Laguet has been appointed digital marketing & analytics officer for Europe. In his new role, he will manage the development and execution of Chubb's customer-focused digital strategy in the region. He will also provide countries with targeted tools to drive planning, analytics and marketing.

Montvert and Laguet will continue to be based in Zurich and Paris respectively and their appointments are effective immediately. Both reporting to Sanchez.

Additionally, Tessaliina Ilmela has been named as A&H head of digital product, Continental Europe, effective immediately. She will be responsible for identifying consumer opportunities, executing pilot digital marketing programs using online, mobile and social tools and platforms.  

She will report to Donal Corcoran, head of consumer lines, Accident & Health Continental Europe, and Sanchez.

Adam Clifford, divisional president, Continental Europe, said: "This team, led by Santiago Sanchez, underpins the significance for Chubb Europe in developing a trusted market-leading digital proposition for our partners, who will be able to further enhance their customer brand loyalty with bespoke insurance products. With the global launch of Chubb Studio in September, it means we can now leverage the digital assets Chubb has built in other regions for our European partners.  I am confident you will see trusted brands partnering with Chubb across various industry sectors.  Santiago and the digital team have an exciting opportunity to challenge the digital insurance marketplace and to think quicker, broader and faster to develop relevant insurance protection for the end consumer."