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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 20th August 2021

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Insurance News

FM Globalis on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by Washington State University (WSU), which claims that it is owed US$63 million (around £46.02 million) to cover business interruption losses suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

TheArdonagh Grouphas released its financial statement for the six months ended June 30, with their loss for the period going down, from £94.1 million in H1 2020 to £41.3 million this time around. The smaller loss was attributed to the company’s improved operating result, reduced financing costs, and increased tax credit. Ardonagh said its total income in the first half grew 33.4% from £324.8 million to £433.2 million, while its operating profit rose from £37.6 million to £56.2 million. It was noted that the boost in income was mainly due to the combination of material acquisitions alongside organic growth in the advisory and specialty segments. EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation), meanwhile, climbed from £80.9 million to £115.2 million. As for adjusted EBITDA, the 2021 figure represents a 53.4% leap from the corresponding amount last year.

TheFinancial Conduct Authority(FCA) – which published its final rules on general insurance pricing practices in May – has released a new policy statement (PS) to make “minor” amendments based on stakeholder feedback. “Since publishing PS21/5, we have engaged with stakeholders to understand the challenges involved in implementing our rules,” noted the FCA on its website. “PS21/11 contains updates and clarifications to address some of the issues raised.

Personal protection and insurance products and services providerCPP Grouphas partnered withJust Travel Coverto launch what is said to be the first parametric lost luggage offering in the UK.

Managing general agent platformOneAdventhas successfully negotiated with ReinsurerActive Refor the latter to provide a DUA for OneAdvent to write financial institutes and commercial D&O on a facultative basis.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience and concern caused to our customers or related parties.” Those were the words ofTokio Marine Groupwhen it revealed that one of its companies had suffered a ransomware cyberattack. The wider organisation also offered assurances that no other units had been impacted and that the incident exclusively affected Tokio Marine Insurance Singapore Ltd (TMiS).

Pro-tip: If you’re fleeing a country to avoid prosecution, don’t flee to a country that has an extradition treaty with the one you just left. That’s advice a formerAllianz SEclaims assessor could have used. Rasheed Talabi has been sentenced for stealing more than £67,000 from the insurer and fleeing halfway across the globe in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid prosecution.

Allianz Life Bermuda Limitedhas been slapped with fines to the tune of US$1.7 million. In a release, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) cited the insurer’s “significant” breaches of the Proceeds of Crime (Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing) Regulations 2008 and International Sanctions Regulations 2013, as well as “longstanding and persistent” breaches of the Insurance Act.

Ardonaghhas announced a £900m capital raise to fund acquisitions both in the UK and internationally. The business stated that its existing shareholders have subscribed for £350m of additional equity combined with a £550m additional committed Capex, Acquisition and Re-organisation Facility backed by existing lenders.

Irish public limited company Willis Towers Watson (WTW) and Delaware corporation Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG) have both published the Willis Re security and asset purchase agreement, which shows a non-solicitation clause agreed between the two camps.

Accenturehas become the victim of a ransomware attack that reportedly affected 2,500 of the company’s computers as the perpetrators made off with stolen data – but the consulting services company maintains that the cyberattack had “no impact” on its operations.

Endsleigh Insurance Services, which is part of A-Plan Group, is now actively looking across the Cheltenham business and the wider organisation for redeployment opportunities for staff impacted by its restructure. “Endsleigh has set out an ambitious strategy to become the UK’s number one insurance specialist for students, education, and charities through a change programme that delivers through to 2025,” a Gloucestershire Live report quoted an Endsleigh spokesperson as saying.

We are fast approaching the IDEX's Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride, raising money for mental health charity 'Fight for All the Feels'. We have recruited 10 brave souls to undertake the challenge, with representatives from Partners&, NFU Mutual, Aviva, Gymshark, Broker Network, Mitie and Geo Underwriting. If you'd like to support their efforts, follow the link where you can make a small donation, and if you'd like more information contact Rebecca Howarth -

Sponsorship link:

Mergers & Acquisitions

M&G Plc, the insurance and investments business that demerged from Prudential Plc in 2019, is snapping up financial advice providerSandringham Financial Partnersfor an undisclosed sum.

Chartered insurance brokerTalbot Jones Ltdhas announced its acquisition ofMarch Insurance Services, a commercial insurance broker based in Pwllheli, North Wales. In a Press release, Talbot Jones Ltd noted that the deal, which started in March 2021, is in line with the business’s growth plans, to focus on providing high-quality employment opportunities and its ambition of building public trust in insurance.

Aston Lark Irelandhas announced its acquisition ofA.R. Brassington & Co. Limited(Brassington Insurance), a subsidiary of the ARB Group. Dublin-based Brassington Insurance was established in 1929 by Arthur Rochelle Brassington and is one of Ireland’s oldest insurance brokerages, having served the market for over 90 years.

A deal has been struck between two giants across the financial spectrum – one from banking, and the other from insurance.HSBChas reached an agreement to acquireAXA Singapore, in a move the bank has deemed a “key milestone” in an ambition to be the leading insurance and wealth provider in the region. It will acquire 100% of the issued share capital of the firm for US$575 million, subject to regulatory approval.

The insurance industry is only just coming to terms with the jolt that was the collapse of the proposed Aon-Willis Towers Watson mega-merger, but another major acquisition is already on the cards.Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (Gallagher) has announced an agreement to acquire the treaty reinsurance brokerage operations ofWillis Towers Watson plc. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

International financial services companyNN Grouphas agreed to sell NN Investment Partners (NN IP) toGoldman Sachs Groupfor approximately €1.7 billion in total proceeds. Expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2022, the transaction involves a base purchase price of €1.515 billion, a ticking fee, and excess capital to be distributed in the form of a dividend before completion. NN IP staff will be joining Goldman Sachs Asset Management when the deal is finalised.

Movers & Shakers

Broker relationships are a firm focus forArch Insurance, with its UK regional division today announcing the appointment ofCaroline Fisheras Broker Relationship Development Manager. Fisher, who takes the role with immediate effect, assumes responsibility for existing relationships across the South West region, while also looking to establish new relationships.

Alesco Risk Management Serviceshas promotedDonald Alcornto the role of Managing Director of the company’s global delegated authority practice. Alcorn will head up the 50-strong team, which is primarily based in London and serves clients across the world. 

Lockyer Insurance (Lockyers), part of Ethos Broking UK, has recruitedDan Barnfatheras Branch Director. The smei and Marsh alumnus has made the switch from JSW Insurance, bringing more than 16 years of sales and operational management experience within financial services to Lockyers.

Lloyd’s InsurerAEGIS Londonhas announced two moves within its claims team. First,Kerry Williamshas become Deputy Head of Claims alongside her role as Head of Technical Claims. Meanwhile,Carrie Trudeau, who was SVP Claims Canada, will now take on the role of Head of Claims Operations, while continuing to support broader activity across Canada.
In other news...AEGIS Londonhas appointedMark Degenaaras its first Chief Technology Officer. In his new role, Degenaar will lead AEGIS London’s technology department and support the development of the business’s digital and technology strategy. 

The Chartered insurance brokerPartners& has announced the appointment ofRoss Dingwallas Managing Partner (Scotland). He will report to Aaron Devitt and join the group executive team on November 01, in a move that the firm said underscores its commitment to growing its business through the acquisition of talent. Dingwall joins from Hiscox where he had held several roles since 2000, including serving as UK sales director, UK broker channel MD and, most recently, distribution director, overseeing broker, direct, schemes, partnerships and marketing. He was also a member of its UK leadership team for the last 12 years and partner since 2014.

Willis Towers Watson(WTW) stalwartCarl Hesshas become the company’s President with immediate effect before replacing John Haley as Chief Executive on the first day of 2022.

Crawford & Companyhas appointedFrancine Lagna-Fiettato the role of client management for Crawford TPA in the UK.

MS Amlin Underwriting Limited(MS AUL) has appointedJulie Hopesto its board as an independent non-executive director.

LV GIhas hiredMatt Crabtreeas head of financial crime strategy, effective from 16 August. The insurer noted that Crabtree will be responsible for overseeing LV GI’s Intelligence Team, Special Investigations, and Linked and Organised Crime areas, which will involve identifying emerging financial crime threats, as well as opportunities for strategic and tactical fraud and financial crime solutions across the business.

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