Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 3rd December 2021

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

Willis Towers Watsonhas announced the launch of a dedicated risk forum for the ports and terminals industry. The forum includes ports and terminals client members worldwide, as well as risk forum specialists from Willis Towers Watson. It acts as a members’ network to explore risk identification and response while delivering customised risk management services.

Mosaic Insurancehas announced the launch of a syndicated programme inviting capital from commercial partners to underwrite complex specialty risks in regional markets around the world. The programme will provide additional capacity to clients at a time of increased demand amid market constraints, Mosaic said. Under the programme, Mosaic sources and selects specialty risks in domestic markets typically not seen in London and underwrites them through its network of hubs.

“This is so wrong that I am ashamed to work in this profession.” That was the bold assertion made by Julian Edwards – Chief Executive of UK BrokerMCE Insurance Ltdand of Gibraltar-based under-administration Underwriter MCE Insurance Company Ltd (now known as Green Realisations Ltd or GR Ltd) – when he talked about his latest woes involving Gibraltar. As previously reported, Edwards had accused the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) of acting in bad faith and negligently in relation to GR Ltd being placed into administration on November 19.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has published the civil county court statistics for the July to September quarter, and theAssociation of Consumer Support Organisations (ACSO)is not the least bit pleased. According to the newly released civil justice data, there were 72,000 claims defended and 13,000 that went to trial in the three-month span. Compared to the same quarter in 2019, or prior to COVID-19, the latest number of defended claims is 8% lower; those that went to trial, down 24%.

Convex Group Limited– the international specialty (re)insurer set up in 2019 by Catlin Founder Stephen Catlin and former Catlin Chief Underwriting Officer Paul Brand – has received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority for the UK branch of Convex Europe SA (CES). With the regulatory nod, Luxembourg-based CES will now be able to write European business via the insurer’s London branch. The recently established firm, which provides a full-service insurance solution within the European Economic Area (EEA), allows Convex to write business across the region.

TheBritish Insurance Brokers’ Association (Biba)has welcomed the "long-awaited" response to the HM Revenue & Customs’ consultation on Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). Biba’s Head of Compliance and Training, David Sparkes, commented: "Biba responded in the strongest terms to this HMRC consultation against proposals it contained that Brokers could be made liable for any unpaid IPT where they used IPT unregistered Insurers and for IPT being introduced on brokers’ administration fees."

(Re)insurance BrokerConsiliumhas announced that it has boosted its asbestos scheme for removers and surveyors by adding Professional Indemnity (PI) cover. The new addition complements its existing cover for Employer’s Liability, Public Liability and Plant.

LexisNexishas launched a new data enrichment solution through which commercial insurance Brokers in the SME market can validate customer-provided data prior to quote as an integral part of the e-trading process. The product, known as Commercial PreQuote, is available via the Acturis e-trading platform and directly from LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

Specialty InsurerIQUWwill be hoping to fly high after the launch of a new Aviation portfolio. Launching with immediate effect after approval from Lloyd’s, it will consist of a hull and liability account for second and third tier airlines, as well as a general Aviation account that addresses commercial fixed wing and rotor fleets. Both will write business around the world, with the exception of the USA.

QBEhas formed a new partnership withEvo Suretyto help provide service to the UK SME contractor bond market for the first time. Under this partnership, Evo Surety will be able to issue guarantees up to £750,000 on behalf of QBE and together they will be able to provide much needed capacity to this marketplace. Customers will also benefit from QBE’s S&P A+ rated financial strength. 

Mergers & Acquisitions

Howdenhas boughtRoss Insurance Group, a commercial Broker servicing corporate and technology clients, for an undisclosed sum. The Broker said the move was a sign of its continued investment in expertise for its UK business.

Xenia Broking Grouphas purchasedPeter Hill Credit & Financial Risks, a specialist trade credit insurance and surety Broker based in Northampton. The business stated that Peter Hill has a particular focus on the Construction sector, adding that the transaction was completed on 30 November 2021. The deal is Xenia’s seventh in two and a half years, and the company noted that it reinforces its strategy of combining M&A and organic growth.

Gallagherhas completed the acquisition of substantially all of the treaty reinsurance brokerage operations fromWillis Towers Watson. The business stated that, together with Gallagher’s existing reinsurance operations, the combined businesses will trade as Gallagher Re from more than 70 offices across 31 countries and incorporate approximately 2,400 colleagues.

TheClear Grouphas purchasedH R Jennings & Co, the 31st acquisition made by the group since it was formed in 2001. Established in 1922 and based in South Croydon, H R Jennings & Co provides Aviation and Small Craft insurance, while also handling Business, Home, Travel, and Motor insurance.

Aviva Plc– which earlier this year completed the €453 million sale of its entire 80% shareholding in Italian life insurance joint venture Aviva Vita S.p.A. to UBI Banca – has now also finalised its €543 million transaction withCNP Assurancesin Italy. The now-done deal with France-headquartered CNP Assurances involved 51% of Aviva S.p.A., 100% of Aviva Life S.p.A., and 92.99% of Aviva Italia Servizi S.c.a.r.l.

Zywavehas acquiredClarionDoor, a California-based developer of commercial product distribution software. The acquisition boosts the capabilities of Zywave and its subsidiary Web Connectivity Ltd (WCL) in the end-to-end configure, price and quote (CPQ) technology space.

Movers & Shakers

Chartered insurance Broker Partners&, which in September welcomed Client Director Chris Boothman, has now hired Matt Crisp as an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) Executive. Crisp made the switch from corporate finance house Benchmark International.

UK General Insurance (UKG)has hiredJames Starlingas its Head for a new public sector division within UKG’s underwriting team. He will be responsible for growing UKG’s market presence in the social housing sector. He is joined by recent hiresIan ChoplasandNatalie Newellin the three-person underwriting team. Prior to joining UKG, Starling began his career at Hill House Hammond and later moved to Alan & Thomas. Most notable was his work at Ocaso S.A. for 14 years, taking on various business development roles before becoming its Managing Director for the UK.

Marshhas announced the appointment ofRyan Bondas Head of Climate and Sustainability Insurance Innovation, effective Jan. 1. Bond joined Marsh in 2007. Most recently, he served as Chief Executive, UK and Ireland, for Bowring Marsh, the company’s international placement business. Prior to joining the brokerage giant, he served as a Division Director at Willis Towers Watson. Bond is a board member of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and also serves on BIBA’s International & Wholesale Advisory Board.

MS Amlin Corporate Services Limited (MS ACS)has tapped The Hartford’sMatthew Pasterfieldas Chief Executive Officer of its MS Amlin Business Services (MS ABS) unit. Pasterfield boasts more than two decades of industry experience, heading information technology and operations at several insurance giants. He was most recently the International Chief Operating Officer at Property and Casualty Insurer The Hartford. 

TheArdonagh Grouphas appointedAndy Higginsonas Chairman of Ardonagh Retail, subject to regulatory approval. Higginson was previously Chairman of Wm Morrison supermarkets from January 2015 until October 2021. He also worked with the executive team and the board on a turnaround of the business, which resulted in its £7bn sale to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

In further news...TheArdonagh Grouphas announced the promotions of two Senior Leaders within its platforms.Jaime Swindleis joining the leadership team at Geo Underwriting to support the development of its UK commercial MGA proposition from 1 December.Scott Bennettwill become Managing Director of Bravo Networks from 1 December.

Financial services risk and regulation consultancySicsic Advisoryhas appointedJames Maxwellas Partner, to lead its operational resilience and risk control practice. Most recently, Maxwell worked as Interim Chief Risk Officer (CRO) at Lloyd’s Insurer MS Amlin and, prior to that, he was Partner at PwC, where he led its governance, risk and controls risk assurance proposition for Insurers. He also previously served as CRO at BG Group.

Hiscoxhas appointedSteven Pearsallas D&O Line Underwriter within its London Market business. Pearsall has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance market including underwriting roles for AIG and, most recently, The Hartford, where he was Head of Financial Lines within the London Market division.

Willis Towers Watsonhas namedAnthony Monaghanas Industry Transportation Leader for its risk and broking division in the UK. Monaghan joins from Marsh, where he most recently led its manufacturing and automotive industry. Prior to MMC’s acquisition of JLT, he was Marsh’s Transportation Leader for the UK and Ireland.

Canopius Grouphas appointedLindsay Astorto the newly-created role of Chief of Staff, and Head of Strategic Development. Astor joins from Axa XL, where she was most recently Head of Underwriting Management, UK & Lloyd’s.

Avivahas appointedWaseem Malikinto the role of Chief Claims Officer (CCO), UK & Ireland General Insurance. Malik has spent the last 15 years at Axa Insurance, where he most recently worked as executive Managing Director of claims, a role he held since 2018. Malik previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer of Axa. 

MS Amlin Underwritinghas appointedAmir Sethuas Head of Sustainability & ESG, a newly created role. He joins MS Amlin from Lendurance, a boutique ESG focused commercial lender he co-founded in Singapore before exiting the business earlier this year. 

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)has announced the appointment ofJody Yeeas Global Industry Solution Director for technology, media and telecom (TMT), effective Jan. 1. Yee has 18 years of industry experience. Yee’s appointment follows the launch of AGCS’s Financial Services industry practice in 2020 withPaul Schiavoneas Global Industry Solution Director.

Allianz Holdings– the name behind Allianz SE’s principal insurance operations in Great Britain – has ushered in the final month of 2021 with the arrival of new Chief ExecutiveColm Holmes. Holmes succeededJon Dye, who was with Allianz for 18 years, eight of which were spent at the helm. The new CEO was most recently in charge of general insurance at Aviva.

In further news...Allianz Holdingshas announced that Chief Operations OfficerStephanie Smithis stepping down, effective 31 December 2021, to pursue fresh opportunities. Stephanie joined Allianz Insurance in 2009 as a Senior IT Manager, quickly moving on to become Director, operations for its Retail Division. In 2016 she was appointed Chief Operations Officer, joining the Management Board. In that capacity she oversaw the complex programme of work following the acquisition of LV= GI, through the joint venture phase and into 100% ownership. More recently, Stephanie has led Allianz’s operational response to the pandemic and has been instrumental in designing Allianz’s return to office programme and New Work Model.

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