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EC News (18 March 2021)

March 18, 2021

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Castel, AEGIS London, Pool Re and more.

Castel adds Matthew Melville to lead its renewable energy underwriting cell

Managing General Agent, Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited, has named Matthew Melville to lead its renewable energy underwriting cell.

Melville joins the firm from Albus Underwriting and brings 20 years of renewable energy sector experience.

He previously served as chief underwriting officer at GCube Underwriting Limited and founder and global head of renewable energy at Axis. He joins Garrod Hill who joined Castel at the launch of the underwriting cell in December 2020.

Mark Birrell, chief executive of Castel, said: “Matt’s expertise in and understanding of renewable energy will play a pivotal role in leveraging the growing demand for coverage in this sector to deliver profitable business.” 

Castel’s renewable energy proposition is primarily aimed at asset and revenue protection for wind and solar energy with a book of marine, construction and operating risks, business interruption, general liability, terrorism and natural catastrophe coverages. 

Simon Cooper promoted to head of underwriting insight at AEGIS London

AEGIS London has announced the promotion of Simon Cooper, to the newly created role of head of underwriting insight.

Previously head of speciality, Cooper will be succeeded by Ben Lockwood who was previously the specialty team’s deputy head.

The new role has been created to echo the growing importance of managing data throughout the underwriting process.

Cooper joined AEGIS London in 2012 after 30 years with Atrium Syndicate. He has also held positions on various Lloyd’s market committees including deputy chairman of the Joint Hull Committee.

Alex Powell, chief underwriting officer added: “AEGIS London is always proud to build out its team organically whenever possible. Simon’s role recognises our intent to keep developing our business by investing further in our underwriting knowledge. Ben has been close to the specialty teams for a few years and his promotion bears testament to us fulfilling our development plans.”

Cooper said: “This is a fascinating time for the insurance market as we grapple with digital opportunities and threats. As an underwriter, I’m all too aware that our decisions are frequently based on imperfect knowledge but by deploying data we collect strategically we can radically improve that.”

Lockwood commented: “Having had the privilege to be Simon’s deputy, I’m greatly looking forward to the challenge of leading our specialty team. This is an exciting market for specialty classes which AEGIS London is ideally positioned to benefit from.”

Pool Re appoints Gienal & Rubenstein to its Board

UK terrorism reinsurer, Pool Re has announced the appointments of Claudio Gienal and Alan Rubenstein to its Board, effective 11 March 2021.

Gienal serves as CEO of AXA UK & Ireland and Rubenstein chairman of NHBC. Both appointments will contribute their extensive expertise in commercial insurance to Pool Re at a key time for the business as it navigates the outcomes of the ONS classification and the HM Treasury Review.

Rubenstein will serve as chair of the Investment Committee, following the retirement of Alan Brown after more than 12 years’ service.

Julian Enoizi, Pool Re’s CEO, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Claudio and Alan to the Pool Re board. Their combined experience will be of huge benefit to us as we chart the future direction of Pool Re. Our board members are vital as part of stimulating further innovative thinking within the organisation and the industry as we continue to meet the challenges of the evolving terrorism threat together as well as the emergence of other systemic risks.

I very much look forward to working with Claudio and Alan. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Brown for his many years of dedicated service to our board.”

Mazars appoints James Isherwood as partner in the insurance actuarial team

Mazars, the international tax, audit and advisory firm has announced the appointment of James Isherwood as partner in the insurance actuarial team, based in London.

Isherwood joins the firm from Boston Consulting Group and in his new role will focus on developing Mazars’ presence in the life insurance sector. Additionally, he will provide expertise on IFRS 17 implementation, Solvency ll, technological change and actuarial finance insights.

Dorian Hicks, general insurance Actuarial lead at Mazars, said: “We are delighted to welcome James to the team and, indeed, the partnership. 

“Having previously worked with James I know his wealth of expertise in the insurance market, as well as his strong leadership and vision, will be huge assets to the team and to our clients. 

“This is a period of disruption across the market and, against this backdrop, we are growing. James’ arrival is pivotal in ensuring we can continue on that journey.”

Charlie Simpson joins Miller to lead new broking platform in Bermuda

Specialist (re)insurance broker Miller has announced the appointment of Charlie Simpson to lead its new broking platform in Bermuda.

Simpson joins the business as head of Bermuda and in his new role he will focus on Miller’s presence by launching an independent offering, initially focused on reinsurance and insurance-linked securities, with more key hires to be announced soon.

He brings over four decades of experience in the sector and joins from Aon where he most recently served as executive vice president of Non-Marine. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Guy Carpenter, R K Carvill, JLT and BMS Reinsurance.

Greg Collins, Miller CEO, commented: “Miller is committed to providing best-in-class service and solutions and we continue to hire exceptional people to deliver on our commitments to clients. Bermuda was an obvious choice of location for our continued expansion given its excellent reputation. With his considerable experience and market contacts, we are delighted that Charlie has joined us to shape and drive our strategy on the island.”

Simpson added: “I am delighted to join Miller given its excellent reputation and collaborative culture. The opportunity to develop Miller’s strategy in Bermuda is a unique and exciting challenge and I look forward to reconnecting with my contacts on the island and fostering new relationships as we expand our platform.”

QBE promotes Cécile Fresneau to lead QBE European operations’ insurance division

QBE Insurance Group has promoted Cécile Fresneau to lead its European operations’ division, overseeing the business in Europe and International markets in addition to the UK, effective 1 April 2021.

Fresneau replaces Sam Harrison, who will join the group executive committee as group chief underwriting officer.

In her new role, she will focus on the execution and delivery of key customer and operational initiatives while overseeing the development of QBE in its key markets.

For the last three years, she has served as executive director for QBE UK. She has over two decades of insurance industry experience and was recently appointed active underwriter for syndicate 386, a position she will continue to hold.

Additionally, Nick Hankin’s appointment as chief underwriting officer for QBE International, including QBE European Operation and Asia has been made permanent, following the retirement of Colin O’Farrell at the end of 2020.

Jason Harris, CEO of QBE International said: “Since joining QBE in 2018 Cécile has driven very positive change in our UK business to further cement the success of the division and to ensure that our customers remain central to our proposition. We have an ambitious agenda for our European business, and I look forward to working with Cécile to achieve it and more.”