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EC News (25 March 2021)

March 25, 2021

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from MS Amlin Underwriting Limited, Specialist Risk Group, Concirrus and more.

MS Amlin Underwriting Limited names Matthew Wilken as head of reinsurance division

Lloyd’s of London (re)insurer, MS Amlin Underwriting Limited (MS AUL) has appointed Matthew Wilken to the newly created position of head of reinsurance division, effective early May 2021.

Based in London, Wilken will report to Andrew Carrier, chief underwriting officer of MS AUL.

Wilken brings more than three decades of reinsurance experience to the firm and most recently served as active underwriter of Syndicate 1910 and deputy global head of reinsurance for Ariel Re.

He started his career at Kiln Syndicate where he held a number of positions before taking on the role of deputy active underwriter. He joined Argo Re in 2008 as chief underwriting officer and in 2013 became president.

Carrier commented: “I am delighted to announce Matthew’s appointment as Head of Reinsurance Division as we continue to build out our global reinsurance proposition. Matthew brings a wealth of experience and market expertise to MS AUL; during the course of his career, he has held a number of senior roles and earned a reputation as a leader in the reinsurance market.

His appointment demonstrates our commitment to enhance both the bench strength of our reinsurance team and support our ongoing business transformation. I am pleased to welcome him to MS AUL and am confident he will prove a valuable addition to our senior underwriting management team.”

SRG welcomes team of 16 from AFL Insurance Brokers

Specialist Risk Group (SRG) has announced they have added a team of 16 from AFL Insurance Brokers, led by Jonathan Bines, to further expand their specialist (re)insurance broking activities.

Bines previously held leadership positions at JLT and Integro and has been chief executive officer at AFL since 2019.

The new team includes Chris Cavani, David Thomas, Sarah Stephen, Neil Cullis and Chris Gagg and has particular strength in US, Canadian and Australian specialist wholesale, binding authorities and London market facultative reinsurance.

SRG has agreed with AFL an orderly transfer for the team and their clients and are working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.  

Warren Downey, SRG Group CEO said: “I am thrilled that Jonathan and his colleagues are joining SRG as we expand our specialist team which now numbers more than 400.

The incoming team will be welcomed with open arms to SRG and I am looking forward to working with them as we expand our international reach and relevance. Jonathan is an experienced leader who will bring great value to the SRG Executive Committee as he leads this endeavour.

Ever mindful of client service and disruption we are pleased to have agreed an orderly transfer with AFL.”

Bines commented: “We are delighted to be joining Specialist Risk Group at such an exciting stage of their growth journey. We have been working closely with the SRG team to ensure a smooth transition and I am confident this will be achieved in the coming weeks.

“We have a fantastic opportunity to build on the offering we have created to date and to provide even better solutions for our producers and clients who now more than ever need specialist and expert advice which is delivered with energy, passion, and determination. I am excited to be joining SRG’s leadership team as we extend our international ambitions.”

Concirrus announces formation of new advisory panel

London based insurtech, Concirrus, has announced it has formed a new advisory panel comprised of experienced global insurance and technology market experts.

Over the last two years, Concirrus has grown its client base of respected market leaders including Hiscox, Marsh, Willis Re and numerous P&I clubs. In 2020, the business reinforced its market leader position with Beazley, AEGIS London and Arch Insurance being added to its client base.

Concirrus has announced the new advisory panel, which includes Paul Jardine, ex-COO of Catlin; David Croom-Johnson, MD of AEGIS London; Jonathan Ibbott, ex-COO of AXA XL’s Specialty unit; Jeremy Roche, ex-CEO of FinancialForce; Martin Henley, ex-CIO at AXA and XL Catlin; and Professor Andy Pardoe, a global expert in AI and machine learning.

Paul Jardine said: “I’ve been really impressed with the Concirrus offering and the strength of its management team and I strongly believe that there are enormous opportunities for the business to reshape the insurance industry. The panel is much more than a network – it’s about providing Concirrus with extensive experience and knowledge in a collaborative and supportive environment, away from the day-to-day travails of a growing tech company.”

Andrew Yeoman, Concirrus CEO, commented: “As insurance companies and the market begins to digitise, we are looking to play a key supporting role. This advisory panel allows us to bring together a unique set of skills and knowledge to help speed this transformation and guide our company.”

Henley added: “I am a great believer that how the insurance industry manages to utilise today’s technology to understand data will change the industry forever. Concirrus is at the heart of this change and I am excited and proud to be involved in this panel, which has the opportunity to drive data innovation. The majority of insurers are struggling with the problem of how best to harness the vast amount of data that is now available. Concirrus has the means and talent to help solve this challenge for the industry, and this will change the face of underwriting.”

LMG appoints Caroline Wagstaff as interim chief executive officer

London Market Group (LMG) has announced the appointment of Caroline Wagstaff as interim chief executive officer from 1 April 2021.

Wagstaff will be seconded on a part time basis till the end of 2021, replacing outgoing CEO Clare Lebecq.

Matthew Moore, chairman of the LMG commented: “We are delighted that Caroline is joining us. With over 20 years’ experience working in the London Market, her understanding of and commitment to it will be invaluable in helping us to shape and deliver the LMG’s agenda in the coming year.”

Wagstaff said: “I am a passionate advocate for the London Market, and the LMG has a unique role as the only forum that can help to articulate, debate and take action on the key topics that affect everyone across the market. I am delighted to be taking over from Clare, building on the great work she has done, and excited to work with all our stakeholders to enhance the market’s reputation and help drive future growth and success.”

Wagstaff will remain as a director of communications agency Luther Pendragon.

Ian Burford joins Argenta as active underwriter & underwriting director

Argenta Syndicate Management Limited (ASML) has announced the appointment of Ian Burford as active underwriter of Syndicate 2121 and SPA 6134. Burford will also join the Board of ASML as its underwriting director.

In his new role, he will report to Andrew Annandale, managing director of ASML and CEO of Argenta Holdings Limited.

Both appointments are subject to Lloyd’s and other regulatory approvals and are expected to take effect once Burford has completed his current contractual obligations.

Burford brings more than three decades of underwriting and portfolio management experience across a range of business classes and will join the company from Fidelis Underwriting Limited, where he is currently UK CEO. Prior to Fidelis, he served at Novae for almost 20 years, becoming active underwriter of its flagship Lloyd’s Syndicate 2007 in 2011.

Annandale said: “I am delighted that we have recruited someone with such extensive underwriting experience and I look forward to working closely with Ian as we continue to develop Syndicate 2121, both in terms of its scale and business lines.”

Gurpreet Johal appointed to lead Deloitte’s global reinsurance & London market team

Deloitte has announced the appointment of Gurpreet Johal as UK and global sector leader for its reinsurance and London market team.

Johal joined Deloitte in 1995 and most recently served as the firm’s global artificial intelligence financial services leader and is also a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries.

Deloitte’s global reinsurance & London market practice delivers audit and assurance, risk advisory, tax and legal, consulting and financial advisory services to carriers, brokers and other market participants in the global commercial, specialty and reinsurance markets.

Johal commented: “This announcement marks the increased focus that Deloitte is placing on servicing this specific sector of the reinsurance industry. It is a very exciting sector of the market which is going through a period of major change, investment and innovation.

“We recognise the specific challenges the sector faces and will use our global expertise – be it M&A and tax advisory, post-merger integration, underwriting excellence, functional or broader digital transformation – to help our clients successfully navigate these shifting dynamics.”

Neal Baumann, global insurance leader at Deloitte said: “We recognise the importance of these segments and the role that London plays in the global market. Guru’s deep experience and broad network makes him a natural choice as our leader.”