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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 28th May 2021

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Insurance News

TheLloyd’s Market Association (LMA)has appointed four new members of the board and has also made a commitment to increase board member diversity. It revealed that Talbot CEO Chris Rash and Asta managing director Lorraine Harfitt have joined the board as new standing members. Other new members include Antares CEO Mark Graham; Newline COO Henry Withinshaw; QBE Insurance UK insurance division executive director Cecile Fresneau; Chaucer CEO John Fowle; AXIS Insurance international division CEO Mark Gregory; and MS Amlin CEO Johan Slabbert.

Despite the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and a shipping year that saw a record level of International Group (IG) pool claims,North P&I Clubreported positive returns for its 2020-2021 financial year. North’s recently published annual review reported robust growth across several diversified lines and a return on investments of 6.67% (equivalent to US$64.5 million) – its highest return on investments in years.

It’s the turn of British insurance giantAviva Plcto reveal how it fared in the first quarter of 2021. In its Q1 trading update, Aviva pointed to “significant” financial strength in the period, with the insurer’s Solvency II shareholder cover ratio at 209% and Solvency II debt leverage ratio at 28%. It also cited “substantial” return of capital to shareholders following completion of previously announced disposals. “We made very good progress in the first quarter,” said group chief executive Amanda Blanc. “We concluded the refocus of our portfolio, selling eight non-core businesses which will generate total cash proceeds of £7.5 billion once completed. “We have made excellent headway in reducing leverage with debt reduction of £1.9 billion in the first half of 2021 and we expect the leverage ratio to be around 26% at the half year.”

Griffiths & Armour,which has been a British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) accredited provider since 2013, will continue to be one following the renewal of its Professional Indemnity (PI) accredited broker contract with BIBA.

Generalihas opened a new representative office in Brussels, which will help the insurance group study the activities of European Union (EU) institutions and strengthen its EU public affairs activities.

Broker Insights, a Scotland-based commercial insurance start-up, has reported doubling its revenue to £2.25 million for the year ended January 31. The company said that it has also been able to double its gross written premiums to £1 billion in the same period, the second full year it’s been in business.

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limitedhas announced the launch of its new global brand identity. The company said its new brand emphasised its mission to bring “clarity from complexity,” and represents a milestone in the company’s ongoing transformation to become a leading specialty reinsurer. Aspen’s new visual identity focuses on its vision of “a world where risks are seen as opportunities, not fears,” its mission to create “clarity from complexity,” and its promise to “provide the perspective, approach and structure required to transform risk.”

Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings (R&Q), a specialty insurance company focusing on the programme management and legacy insurance businesses, has announced its 2020 results. R&Q posted record pre-tax operating profit of £16 million, an increase of 102%, driven by strong operating results across both business segments. The company posted fee income of £18.8 million – an 89% increase – representing 17% of gross operating income. Operating earnings were 5.9 pence per share, an increase of 38%. Profit before tax was £30.2 million, a decrease of 21%, reflecting a reduction in net intangibles due to the mix of legacy insurance transactions.

“Thanks to our robust back-up systems we have been able to restore all normal services to our existing policyholders who can contact us via live chat or the customer portal. We have also extended our customer services opening hours to ensure we assist as many customers as possible.” Those were the words of Doncaster-based providerOne Call Insurancewhen it published an update on the cyber incident that disrupted the company’s IT systems this month.

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd(IGI) has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2021, turning around a loss from the same period last year to a profit. According to the company’s financial statement, its gross written premium for the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 was US$100.6 million (approx. £71.1 million), up from US$99.2 million last year. IGI recorded a profit of US$14.5 million for the first quarter, compared to a loss of US$0.9 million one year ago.

Liberty Mutual Insurancehas partnered with cybersecurity rating provider SecurityScorecard to offer complementary cybersecurity analysis to qualified clients of its Global Risk Solutions North America and Liberty Specialty Markets units.

Months after it suffered a cyberattack, it has been revealed thatCNAhas paid off the ones responsible for infecting its systems with ransomware, costing the insurer $40 million. Two people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the insurer paid the hackers about two weeks after the cyber incident. Malicious actors not only locked CNA’s employees from their network with encryption, but also stole company data, the sources noted.

Global multiline Insurers (GMIs)took an US$8 billion hit in 2020 thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report fromS&P Global Ratings. S&P Global Ratings calculated that for the 16 GMIs it rates, net income fell about US$8 billion in 2020 on net profit of US$36 billion due to the pandemic.

TheFinancial Conduct Authority(FCA) has published its policy statement outlining the new rules to be implemented by the regulator in relation to general insurance pricing practices. “Our rules ensure that renewing home and motor insurance consumers are quoted prices that are no more than they would be quoted as a new customer through the same channel,” said the watchdog, whose policy statement is available on the FCA website.

A new managing general agent,Rising Edge, has arrived. In a release, it was noted that the London-based Directors’ and Officers’ (D&O) MGA is launched ahead of target. The business is headed by Chief Executive Philippe Gouraud and Managing Director Yoel Brightman. Supporting the duo are Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer Miles Murphy, claims Head Owen Dacey, and Underwriters Eleanor Fisher and Jamie Banks. Murphy’s appointment is effective immediately; Dacey’s on September 01; Fisher’s, over the next few weeks; and Banks’, June 01.

Mergers & Acquisitions

The Ardonagh Grouphas revealed its agreement to acquire the insurance operations ofBGC Partners, Inc. for a cash consideration of $500 million (approx. £353.33 million). The group intends to house the entities within the Ardonagh Specialty segment, which is currently comprised of Price Forbes, Bishopsgate and Compass London Markets. Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Ardonagh will acquire 100% of Ed Broking Group and Besso Insurance (collectively now grouped under the Corant Global brand), comprising global wholesale and specialty (re)insurance broker Ed, Lloyd’s broker Besso, aviation specialist Piiq Risk Partners, German marine broker Junge, UK based MGA Globe Underwriting, Australian MGA Epsilon Underwriting and European MGA Cooper Gay.

Global integrated legal and business services providerDWFhas made two acquisitions: the Canadian claims and adjusting businessBarnescraig & Associates; and UK-based compliance training firmZing365.

The High Court of Justice in England and Wales has now sanctioned the scheme of arrangement pursuant to which the sale of London-headquarteredRSA Insurance Group Plcis being implemented. In an update, RSA said the effective date is likely to be on June 01, which is when a copy of the court order is expected to be delivered to the Registrar of Companies.

Irish intermediaryArachas Corporate Brokershas snapped up Dublin peerBrian J Pierce Ltdfor an undisclosed sum. Trading as BJP Insurance Brokers, the acquired business is described as a taxi insurance leader in Ireland.

Specialist BrokerPartners&has revealed its acquisition of the Devon-based BrokerTown and Country Insurance Services(TCIS), bolstering its presence in the South West while establishing a regional hub for the business. TCIS, which is one of the oldest independent insurance brokers in the UK, will bring a team of 37 experienced professionals into Partners&, with areas of specialism including care, construction, retail and leisure.

Scotland-based vertically integrated insurance groupKinnell Holdingshas been snapped up byAccelerant Holdingsfor an undisclosed sum. The acquisition will see Kinnell and its subsidiaries join the insurance distribution and underwriting sub-groups within Accelerant. 

London-headquartered loss adjusting firmThompson & Bryan (UK) Ltdhas been acquired byArdonagh Advisory Holdings, the SME broking platform of The Ardonagh Group. The swoop, financial terms of which were not disclosed, means Thompson & Bryan will now operate within Ardonagh Advisory while continuing to provide complex claims support to businesses across the country.

It’s only a month sinceAston Lark Irelandmade its last acquisition announcement but the business is already back on the deal-making path and revealed its purchase ofVeritan Consultants Limited(trading as Brady Burns & Associates). The Kildare based brokerage, which was founded in 1989 by Joe Brady and Breda Burns, specialises in delivering commercial and personal lines insurance solutions to both retail and business customers.

Movers & Shakers

Specialist global InsurerHiscoxhas announced the appointment ofErica Fletcheras Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Prior to joining Hiscox, Fletcher held a Global D&I Leadership role at Avanade, a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft. There, she designed strategies that improved diversity across gender, race and other demographics.

Aspen Insurance Holdings Limitedhas announced the appointment ofWilliam Milleras its new group chief actuarial officer, effective July 01, subject to immigration approval. Miller has more than 35 years of industry experience. He joins Aspen from KPMG in Bermuda, where he serves as managing director for actuarial. 

Specialist boutique BrokerMcGill and Partnershas announced the appointment ofKen Lorberas Partner specialising in portfolio solutions in the US. Lorber has 10 years of industry experience. He began his career at Aon Risk Solutions and joined Aon Reinsurance Solutions in 2014. There, he was responsible for structuring treaties for global and regional carriers, developing MGA solutions for clients, and establishing markets for new insurance products.

Peak Reinsurance Company(Peak Re) has appointedMatteo Cussighas CEO for its wholly-owned Switzerland subsidiary Peak Re AG. Cussigh will also take on the role of head of marketing & production, Europe, Peak Re.

Colm Holmes, currently CEO of Aviva General Insurance, will be taking over from Jon Dye as CEO ofAllianz Holdings. After eight years leading Allianz Holdings, Dye will step down as CEO in November 2021. Dye joined Allianz in 2003, becoming its CEO in 2013, and during his tenure he has overseen several acquisitions including that of the general insurance businesses of Liverpool Victoria (LV=) and Legal and General (L&G), aiding Allianz in becoming one of the leading personal and commercial lines insurers in the UK.

After eight years withSompo International, and more than five decades in insurance, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive John Charman is retiring in April 2022 when his current contract ends. Replacing Charman as eEecutive Chair of the Sompo International Holdings board, CEO of overseas insurance and reinsurance business at Sompo Holdings, and Chief Executive of Sompo International Holdings isJames Shea. Subject to regulatory approvals, Shea will take on the three posts on September 01 this year.  

Direct Line Insurance Group Plc(DLG) has made changes to its executive committee as part of the insurer’s ongoing transformation. The changes include the creation of two new roles – Chief Information Officer and Managing Director of Customer Sales, Service, and Claims – which will replace outgoing Chief Operating Officer Steve Maddock. Taking on the broadened MD post and joining the leadership roster is former Group Financial ControllerJessie Burrows, who has been with DLG since 2016 and at present serves as Claims Managing Director. The CIO position, meanwhile, is yet to be filled.

Three lawyers specialising in catastrophic injury claims have joined global law firmKennedysin London as new partners –Antony French, Anthony Rawlins and Deirdre Burgess. Formerly part of BLM, the partners will also be joined by six associates and a litigation assistant. The move is part of Kennedys’ push to grow its insurance law practice.

Global insurance BrokerAcrisurehas tappedMark McIlquhamto serve as the company’s UK retail president. McIlquham, who brings more than two decades of experience to the post, most recently served as UK financial services audit & assurance head at Deloitte. The London-based hire will come onboard on August 01.

Burnley-based chartered insurance BrokerThomas Sagar Insurancehas announced the appointment ofNeil Poultonas Managing Director. Poulton takes over from business founder John Meadows – who will remain involved with the Global Risk Partners (GRP)-owned firm in a client relationship management capacity – and will report to Neil Thornton, Managing Director of GRP Retail.

Gallagheris growing its capabilities in the UK’s premier economic hub with the appointment ofNeil Williamsas Commercial Director. Based in London, he reports to Simon Waine, Regional Director for the London and South East team.

Global insurance services ProviderMcLarenshas announced the appointment ofKristen Earlyto the newly created role of Global Head of Third-party Administration (TPA). In her new role, Early will spearhead the strategic expansion of McLarens TPA.

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple General Insurance Media sources and individual company press releases.