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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 19th November 2021

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Insurance News

MCE Insurancehas put its Gibraltar-based insurance arm into run-off following difficulties complying with Solvency II requirements, according to Chief Executive Officer Julian Edwards. Edwards said that the specialist motorbike Broker had been looking to restructure the business and transfer its portfolio to an onshore capacity provider for a period of time.

Aventushas launched what it describes as a flexible and affordable Digital Underwriting solution for both complex and standard insurance products. The fresh proposition is designed to allow underwriters to automate some, or all, of the underwriting process through a single system. Aventus detailed that it is suitable for vanilla high volume Personal Lines products and for more complex commercial products requiring a high degree of flexibility. It has also been developed to ensure Underwriters can now offer the same personalised approach to underwriting that customers now expect, as standard across all product lines.

NFPhas formed an exclusive partnership withLoadsure, a Managing General Agent and Insurtech in the UK, to offer on-demand cargo and shippers’ insurance coverage to NFP’s logistics clients in Canada. Loadsure provides an end-to-end, API-connected digital solution that can handle critical underwriting processes such as premium pricing and claims payment delivery. The platform can eliminate costs associated with conventional underwriting of low complexity risk and claims processing.

DuringZurich Insurance Group’sInvestor Day, the Insurer said it is taking “decisive” steps in its sustainability strategy and is deepening the company’s commitment to the energy transition. According to Zurich’s presentation, it will no longer underwrite new greenfield oil exploration projects, unless meaningful transition plans are considered to be in place. Additionally, it will not underwrite oil and gas drilling and production in the Artic.

Avivahas published the second edition of its annual look into the biggest risks facing businesses in the UK, and public health events no longer holds the top spot. “Aviva’s Risk Insights Report captures British businesses as they emerge from the pandemic, eager to grow, but still clearly constrained by a host of pressing and interconnected risks,” said UK & Ireland general insurance Chief Executive Adam Winslow.

Crawford & Company, the world’s largest publicly listed independent provider of claims management and outsourcing services to carriers, Brokers and corporations and global professional services firm Aon have announced the joint publication of the Aon|Crawford Guide to Successfully Managing Cyber Claims. The guide is a joint effort between the firms to help organisations better mitigate Cyber risk and manage insurance claims more effectively in the event of an incident.

Former Be Wiser Boss Mark Bower-Dyke has launched a consultancy business focusing on the insurance industry. According to Companies House the business, which is calledBlieve Consulting, was incorporated on 5 May 2021. Bower-Dyke said that he had seen a gap in the market for giving quality advice.

The trial betweenMulsanne InsuranceandMarshmallow Financial Servicesbegan this week with the court hearing opening statements from both sides. The trial, which is taking place in  the Chancery Division of the High Court in London, is overseen by Judge Sir Anthony Mann. Gibraltar-based Motor Insurer Mulsanne launched legal proceedings against Insurtech start-up Marshmallow in March this year, accusing Marshmallow of misusing confidential information and stealing trade secrets, claiming damages of at least £39m. Marshmallow has denied all accusations.

Acrisurecarried out a review of the broking sector, highlighting firms’ top priorities, challenges and M&A appetite. Brokers have ranked the capacity challenge and Insurer relationships as their joint top priorities in the survey carried out by Acrisure in conjunction with Insurance Age last month. Respondents were asked to rank their top three current priorities, and the findings revealed that Insurer relations and capacity topped the strategic priority list. Capacity was also deemed the primary challenge that firms have faced in the past 12 months, with 30% of Brokers identifying it as such.

In the week a Conservative Councillor was suspended following an ill-advised tweet, theChartered Insurance Institutehas developed a guide for insurance professionals to help them navigate the world of social media without getting into trouble. The CII alerted members whose social media accounts are linked to their professional organisation to ensure their posts are conducted in a professional manner. The body has developed a guide on using platforms such as Twitter and Facebook in a professional manner.

The global insurance industry will reach a new record in premiums by mid-2022, exceeding US$7 trillion, according to a new forecast bySwiss Re Institute. The record is projected to come earlier than Swiss Re Institute predicted in mid-July, reflecting rising risk awareness, increasing demand for protection and rate hardening in non-life insurance commercial lines.

Marsh Commercial, which will have a new Chief Executive come 2022, has partnered with specialist cycling InsurerPedalsure.“We are excited to announce our collaboration with Pedalsure,” said Marsh Commercial Sales Director Chris Barclay. “Their dedication to customer service and innovation aligns closely with Marsh Commercial’s."

Sompo International Holdingshas announced the expansion of its partnership withPraedicat, a Liability emerging risk analytics company. Under the expanded partnership, Sompo will use Praedicat’s emerging risk framework, probabilistic Liability catastrophe model and a new litigation tracking capability to support the proactive management of its global Casualty portfolio.

TheArdonagh Grouphas announced its results for the nine months ended 30 September 2021. Income increased by 30.1% from £519.5 million to £675.7 million with especially strong growth in the Specialty and International platforms. Organic growth in the third quarter was 10%. Adjusted EBITDA grew by 44.5% to £238.7 million due to acquisitions, organic growth and cost reduction from operational improvements and integration synergies.

RSAhas announced that its London Market and European Specialty Lines teams will join forces withIntact’sglobal Specialty team with a goal to strengthen both brands’ customer offer and standing in the international market. Following Intact’s acquisition of RSA’s UK & International business (UK&I) in June this year, teams from both organisations will develop an integrated global proposition for Brokers and customers with more complex international risks.

Avivahas announced the launch of an ESG Profiling tool (ESG Profiler)1 on its adviser platform, enabling independently verifiable assessment of a client’s holdings against six key ESG preferences. The ESG Profiler, which is openly available via the platform, uses data sourced from MSCI and other ESG data providers to measure and review the holdings, where data is available, against six ESG preferences. Ratings are then totalled up to fund level and, at a higher level, the whole of a client’s portfolio can be assigned an ESG rating.

Avivais calling for greater consumer protection from online financial fraud by urging government to include financial scams promoted by paid-for adverts in the scope of the Online Safety Bill. The call comes as Aviva’s research shows a correlation between having debt and falling victim to fraud.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Aston Larkhas acquiredPhilip Williams & Company. The Warrington Broker, which provides insurance to Police Federations and other law enforcement agencies in the UK, is the second deal in a week for the consolidator. Philip Williams & Company was established in 1975 in Stockton Heath, Warrington and over the next two decades became the leading provider of group insurance schemes to the Police Federations and other law enforcement agencies in the UK.  Aston Lark said that the 30-strong team has an excellent reputation for innovation and exemplary service in the police market.

Essex-headquartered independent commercial and high net worth Broker,Ascend Broking, has acquired fellow Chelmsford-based company,SMP Healthcare Insurance Brokers, as part of a strategy focused on significant growth over the next two years. The six-figure acquisition provides multi-award-winning Ascend Broking with a new private medical insurance proposition for its mid-to-high-net-worth clients and will take its gross written premium (GWP) beyond £10m. The brokerage will be investing in its new business and keeping itself at the forefront of advice-driven, personal service.

Movers & Shakers

Former Lloyd’s Chief ExecutiveDame Inga Bealeis joining the board of Directors atWillis Towers Watson (WTW)in the New Year. Also coming onboard on the first day of 2022 – when Director Jaymin Patel steps down – areMichael HammondandMichelle Swanback.Fumbi Chima, meanwhile, is ending another commitment before making the switch in April next year.  

Hiscoxhas announced thatLiz Breezewill take on the role of interim Group Chief Financial Officer (CFO) while the search for a permanent CFO is conducted. Breeze, who is currently Chief Financial Officer of Hiscox Re & ILS, joined Hiscox in 2012 and has held several senior finance roles across the group, including Group Technical Accountant and Head of Finance for Hiscox UK. According to Hiscox, Breeze oversaw significant improvements in both financial systems and capital efficiency during her tenure as Hiscox Re & ILS leadership team.

Lycettshas bolstered its rural and estates activity with the two key appointments. The farm and estate insurance specialist has namedAmanda Harmanas Divisional Director at Lycetts’ Sussex office. In addition, the Broker announced thatVince Kellywould be joining the company’s Newmarket team as an Associate Director. 

Markel International, a subsidiary of the Markel Corporation has recently addedCharlie RichardsonandSarah McCarthyto its Renewable Energy team, who will be based in Markel’s London office.

Trade Credit InsurerAtradiushas appointedOliver Fordas Country Manager. In his new role as Country Manager, he will lead a team of Senior Account Managers, providing personal service to Atradius’ multinational customers.

TheJensten Grouphas appointedSteve Folkardas Group Risk and Compliance Director. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading the Risk and Compliance team across the Jensten Group portfolio.

TheLloyd’s Market Association (LMA)has confirmed thatAndrew Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Ascot Underwriting, will serve a consecutive term as Chairman of the LMA following a unanimous vote by the board for his reappointment.

AXA XLhas promotedOlivia Shingto Head of Underwriting Management, UK & Lloyd’s. She will transfer to London from Axa XL in Singapore to undertake the role.

Gallagherhas appointedAdam Finchas Managing Director of its Landlord and Property specialist, Rentguard. Rentguard was acquired by Gallagher in 2019 and is part of the Broker’s SME and Personal Lines offering.

Arch Insurancehas appointedTom Stoyleas Senior Underwriter, contingency. Stoyle will join Arch from Hiscox. Having worked there since 2013, he initially held roles within the political risk, contingency and kidnap and ransom teams before becoming a Contingency Underwriter in 2016.

TheGeneva Associationhas announced thatAmanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva, was elected a new board member at the Statutory Assembly of the Association on 11 November. The organisation, which is a think tank for the global insurance industry, also revealed thatChristian Mumenthaler, CEO of Swiss Re, was appointed as the new Chairman of the organisation.

Marsh McLennanhas announced several key changes to its executive committee:John Doylehas been promoted to Group President and Chief Operating Officer of Marsh McLennan,Martin Southhas been named President and CEO of Marsh andDean Klisurahas been named President and CEO of Guy Carpenter.

London-headquartered Managing General AgentLandmark Underwriting, which earlier this year achieved chartered status and expanded into Canada, has made board memberDavid Ratledgeits first-ever Managing Director. Ratledge came onboard the MGA in 2020, bringing three decades of industry experience to Landmark. He is described as having been integral in the company’s ongoing strategic and operational development.

EIS, a digital platform provider for the insurance industry, has appointedRupert Jarronto the role of Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Gallagher Rehas announced thatTheo Norrishas joined its 40-strong Cyber reinsurance team as a dedicated Cyber Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) Broker, continuing its strategic investment in industry talent and specialist expertise to best meet the evolving needs of clients. Theo will build and lead the development of Gallagher Re’s capabilities and expertise in this highly specialist area to help bring new and alternative capacity into the global Cyber reinsurance market as demand for cover continues to grow significantly.

Willis Towers Watsonhas announced the appointment ofHugo Wegbransas Global Head of Broking and Broking Strategy within its Risk and Broking business segment. He will join the company in early 2022. Hugo joins WTW from Aon, where he has most recently been Leader, Global Strategies, for its Commercial Risk Solutions business. Prior to that, he served as Global Chief Broking Officer. He has spent the majority of his 35-year career with Aon.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limitedhas announced thatPatrick WitteveenandKyle Freemanhave joined AXIS as Head of AXIS ILS Business Development and Head of ILS Structuring, Property, respectively.

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