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EC News (27 May 2021)

May 27, 2021

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Pen Underwriting, Aspen, Allianz Holdings and more.

Pen Underwriting names Neil Bowdrey as head of D&O

Pen Underwriting has announced the appointment of Neil Bowdrey to the newly created role of head of D&O as the firm looks to expand its presence in the directors’ and officers’ liability insurance market.

Joining this week, Bowdrey will be based in the UK and report to Adrian Scott, managing director of international and financial lines at Pen Underwriting.

He brings 35 years’ experience and is recognised as a D&O expert as well as a successful builder and leader of broader financial lines underwriting portfolios both in London and Australia.

He joins the business from Liberty Specialty Markets where he has served as D&O portfolio manager from Asia Pacific since 2017, based in Perth, Western Australia. Before that, he was a financial line manager for Western Australia at Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality, following a similar role at AIG, having relocated from London in 2005.

Adrian Scott, managing director of International & Financial Lines at Pen Underwriting, said: “D&O is a dynamic market with considerable pricing momentum that is attracting new capacity to the marketplace. With Neil’s appointment and Pen’s strong distribution platform for insurer partners, we can provide excellent distribution for new and existing D&O capacity. Given the current market dynamics it’s the ideal time to invest in expanding and evolving Pen’s D&O offering to the forefront of our international & financial lines portfolio.

“Neil’s extensive experience in both the London and Australian markets will see him bring to Pen not only expert knowledge, strong leadership credentials and a great international reputation but the D&O firepower needed to ensure we expand out our capabilities and deliver on our ambitious plans in these new areas. We very much look forward to welcoming Neil to the team.”


Nick Wright, chief business development officer at Pen Underwriting, added: “Investing in top industry talent like Neil, to enable us to expand into new niche areas, write more diverse risks and in turn support our broker clients in growing their own businesses, is a core part of our strategic mix for accelerated growth. Alongside acquisitions and innovation, investing in strategic new hires is what will enable Pen to really move the dial.”

William Miller joins Aspen as group chief actuarial officer

Aspen Insurance has announced the appointment of William Miller as group chief actuarial officer, effective 1 July 2021.

In his new role, Miller will be responsible for Aspen’s core actuarial services and will report to Mark Cloutier, executive chairman and group chief executive officer.

Based in Bermuda, Miller will succeed Andrew Kudera, executive vice president and group chief actuary, who has departed to pursue other opportunities.

Aspen states Miller’s appointment marks the rebuilding of Aspen’s actuarial function as part of the firm’s operational, strategic and cultural transformation that continues to gather momentum.

He brings 35 years’ experience within the non-life sector and most recently joins the business from KMPG in Bermuda where he served as managing director, actuarial, responsible for advising some of the leading international (re)insurers.

Prior to that, he spent 12 years at Chubb legacy ACE, where he held the position of chief actuary for its risk management and foreign casualty divisions. His career also includes roles at Travelers, NCCI, Reliance National and Willis Towers Watson working as a senior consultant actuary.

Cloutier commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Bill to Aspen. With three decades of actuarial and non-life expertise, he is the right person to support our evolving actuarial function at a time when risk management and pricing accuracy forms a key focus for Aspen to become a top quartile specialty (re)insurer. I would like to thank Andy for the contribution he has made to Aspen and would like to wish him well with his new endeavours.”

Miller commented: “It is tremendously exciting to join the Aspen team at this stage in its journey. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with my new colleagues – and harnessing our combined expertise to support the wider business.”

Colm Holmes succeeds Jon Dye as CEO for Allianz Holdings

Allianz Holdings plc has announced Jon Dye will be stepping down as CEO after eight years at Allianz Holdings at the end of November 2021. He will be succeeded by Colm Holmes, currently CEO of Aviva General Insurance.

Dye joined Allianz in 2003 and became its CEO in 2013. During his career, he has overseen the acquisition of the general insurance business of Liverpool Victoria (LV=) and Legal and General (L&G).

Meanwhile, Colm has held senior leadership positions in JP Morgan Chase, Zurich Financial Services and most recently, Aviva, where he served as CFO and CEO.

In his new role, Colm will work towards strengthening Allianz’s position in the UK.

Chris Townsend, board member Allianz SE, said: “I would like to thank Jon for his leadership of Allianz Holdings since July 2013, in particular for working through our recent UK acquisitions and successfully navigating through the challenges of the pandemic,”

“We look forward to Colm joining us to take our business forward and capitalizing on our strong market position.”

Dye commented: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 18 years at Allianz. It has been a great privilege to lead such a fantastic business as part of such a successful team. I will be working with my colleagues over the next 6 months to ensure that Allianz is in the best possible shape for Colm to take on.”

Generali opens new representative office for the EU in Brussels

Generali has announced it has opened a representative office in Brussels to study the activities of European Union institutions and strengthen EU public affairs activities as well as contributing to sustainable recovery and the European Green Deal.

To mark its 90th anniversary, the firm launched the ‘Fenice 190’, a €3.5bn plan that will be delivered through a range of funds over the next five years focusing on infrastructure, innovation and digitalisation, SMEs, green housing, health facilities, and education, with €1bn being invested last year.

The insurance sector can also help to manage risks from unforeseen crises such as Covid-19, by transferring funds to individuals and businesses and supporting economic recovery by allocating capital to infrastructure investments and sustainable projects.

From this came a new proposal by Philippe Donnet for a multi-level international pandemic fund (Pandemic Risk Pool), that brings together European institutions, member states and the leading (re)insurance companies to create a public-private partnership and the means to protect against future risks.

In addition, insurers can support the EU’s ambition to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Generali states it is essential to ensure the right legislative framework to stimulate investment in long term sustainable projects.

The Solvency II Directive, which is currently under review, is a key instrument for freeing up capital and directing it towards projects in line with the Commission’s political agenda such as the Green Deal, the Capital Markets Union and, more generally, the long term investments that can support economic recovery.

Philippe Donnet, Generali group CEO: “Strengthening our presence in Brussels”, “will enable Generali to be even more actively involved in the EU’s key strategic issues. The European capital is where the recovery is orchestrated and the decisions that will determine the future of the insurance sector will come from – from Solvency II to sustainability regulations and the standards for Green Bonds. We want to give our contribution to the definition of these standards that will effective one of the world’s most significant economies and the lives of over 500 million citizens.”

James Shea appointed chairman at Sompo International

Sompo International Holdings has announced the appointment of James Shea as executive chairman of the board of directors and CEO of overseas (re)insurance business, Sompo Holdings, succeeding John Charman who will retire from the business in April 2022.

Shea will also be appointed CEO of Sompo International Holdings and his appointment will be effective from 1 September 2021. He will report to Kengo Sakurada, group chief executive officer of Sompo Holdings

Shea will inherit the leadership of a segment that represents more than 30% of Sompo Holdings Group’s projected adjusted profit. The segment includes SI’s Commercial Property and Casualty operations led by CEO Chris Gallagher, and SI’s Retail platform, led by CEO Katsuyuki Tajiri.

He brings over 25 years of global insurance experience and most recently served as CEO of commercial insurance for Zurich Insurance Group and as a member of their executive committee based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Prior to this, Shea spent nearly two decades at AIG in a variety of underwriting and leadership roles in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore.

Charman commented: “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a relatively short time at Sompo International. We have delivered on our promise of creating a truly formidable, integrated, global franchise that now has the scale, ratings, capital, talent and desire to compete and win in any market we choose to operate in.

“Having accomplished what we set out to do following the acquisition of Endurance by Sompo in 2017, I believe that the time is now appropriate for me to hand over the reins to Jim and to retire when my current contract expires.

“I am both very happy and extremely confident that Jim will continue to lead with the values that Sompo International has become known for – standing behind the promises we make to our clients, business partners and employees. Jim is an outstanding professional and he has my total support in his new role.”

Sakurada-san commented: “We are extremely grateful for the immense success and advancement that Mr. Charman has contributed to the Sompo Group. He will leave our organisation in a much stronger position than when he began and his dedication, accomplishments and legacy have impacted our company and industry significantly.

“Under his leadership, Sompo International transformed into a globally relevant, trusted partner to our brokers and clients and most importantly, a place where our employees are proud to work. We wish him all the very best in his upcoming retirement.”

“We believe Jim has the experience, vision and confidence to build on John’s incredible record and take Sompo International to the next level. We look forward to his contribution to the overall vision and success of Sompo Holdings in this particularly challenging global business environment and to his input on group-wide strategic decisions as a member of our Global Executive Committee.

Shea added: “I am delighted and honoured to be joining Sompo at this historic point in time for the organisation. Building on the extremely strong franchise, significant balance sheet and the ability to transact complex business of scale on a global basis is energising and I am looking forward to working with the talented and highly regarded executives and colleagues at both Sompo Group and Sompo International. I would like to thank Sakurada-san and John for their confidence and support in providing me with this opportunity.”