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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 7th January 2022

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Insurance News

Fresh Insurance Founder and former Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Powis, was made a medallist of the Order of the British Empire in the 2022 New Years Honours List. Powis is also the Founder of Painting Our World In Silver, a charity launched in 2016 to help combat social isolation and loneliness in the elderly population. She was rewarded for her “services to tackling loneliness particularly during Covid-19”.

Over 20,000 Life insurance and capitalisation policies for total assets of €2.1 billion have now been transferred from Allianz France to CNP Assurances. “We applaud the completion of this transaction, which fully corresponds to our strategy by helping to simplify our operating model,” stated Allianz France Chief Executive Fabien Wathlé in a release, which noted that the products were distributed to individual customers of La Banque Postale between 2009 and 2019.

The Cyber risk landscape is likely to increase during 2022, according to an expert from Beazley. Raf Sanchez, Head of Cyber Services at Beazley, said that a relatively unexpected impact of Cyber incidents is the damage to reputation and goodwill an incident can cause. Sanchez said that Beazley expects an increase in Directors and Officers claims linked to Cyber attacks in 2022, as well as a rise in third-party litigation arising from Cyber events.

If insurance giant Aviva has its way, it will get the UK government to immediately put in place a plan for how and when changes to automatic Pension enrolment thresholds will be implemented. “The current auto-enrolment system disproportionately disadvantages younger workers, part-time workers and those with multiple lower-paid or part-time jobs,” said Aviva workplace Savings Director Emma Douglas, whose camp supports recommendations not only to lower the age threshold to 18 years old but also abolish the lower qualifying earnings threshold.

Airmic has released a new 21-page guide that is calling for organisations to “learn the lessons, boost preparedness, and build resilience” following two years of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Produced in association with specialist risk consultancy Control Risks, the report entitled “The pandemic goes endemic” revisits the pandemic crisis management issues examined in an earlier guide, this time highlighting the “looping” nature of the crisis.

McGill and Partners, a boutique specialist (re)insurance Broker focused on clients with complex needs, has officially opened a Bermuda branch after receiving regulatory approval for the operation in October 2021.The Bermuda office will complement McGill and Partners’ other international operations in London, New York, Miami and Dublin, and will strengthen the Broker’s capabilities as it continues to rapidly expand its global specialty business.

The Chartered Insurance Institute’s President Peter Blanc is kicking off his presidency by calling on the profession to address the unmet needs of society and show the true value of advice. Mr Blanc said: “The insurance and personal finance profession needs to work together to address the unmet needs that exist today – everything from climate change and flooding to Cyber risk, scams, later-life care and protection gaps."

NIG are thrilled to announce the launch of their NIG Apprenticeship Programme, that will fully train 6 new field-based Risk Control Surveyors. Each Apprentice will receive a Level 4 Insurance Professional Diploma with Cert CII as well as externally recognised industry qualifications. This is the first of its kind for such a technical role.

In further news...NIG have partnered with Radius Telematics to offer Kinesis Solution. As the number of company cars and vans on the roads rises, so do the associated risks. Using telematics is one way your clients can improve the management and efficiency of their Fleet, as well as identifying ways they can proactively take steps to reduce their risk levels.

Marsh has announced that it has increased its shareholding in Marsh India Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd. from 49% to 92%. The enhanced investment will enable Marsh to more effectively meet the increasingly complex needs of companies across all sectors of the fast-growing Indian economy and provide a platform from which it can further strengthen its presence in the future.

From 1 January 2022 Insurers will be banned from quoting customers a higher price for renewing their Home or Motor insurance than they would pay if they were a new customer. The new rules brought in by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are expected to save consumers £4.2bn over the next 10 years. The FCA’s reforms follow a review that uncovered that many Insurers were increasing prices for renewing customers year-on-year – a practice known as price walking.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced that it expects to release financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021, on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, after the close of the financial markets.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Northern Ireland Broker Dickson & Co has furthered its plans for expansion with the acquisition of Morrison Associates, a Limavady-based brokerage. The deal follows its recent acquisition of E. McParland Insurances of earlier in 2021 and will see Dickson & Co grow its reach, with seven offices in Northern Ireland alongside its recent expansion into the Midlands.

Phoenix Healthcare, which was established in 1996 and is based in Oadby, Leicestershire has been acquired by Aston Lark for an undisclosed sum. Paul Wright, Founding Director of Phoenix Healthcare, said: “Both Lee Shorter and I have over 35 years’ experience in the industry, and are delighted to choose Aston Lark as the long-term partner for our business. We firmly believe that they will be a great home for our staff and share our client-first approach to corporate healthcare broking.”

Markerstudy has bought BGL Insurance (BGLi) from BGL Group, subject to regulatory approval. BGL confirmed in September last year that it had appointed Fenchurch Advisory Partners to handle a review of strategic options for BGL Insurance. Kevin Spencer, Group Chief Executive Officer of Markerstudy, commented: “As a leading distributor in the market, taking ownership of BGLi provides us with a unique opportunity to further accelerate and increase our growth potential."

Alan & Thomas Insurance Group (A&T) has bought BIG Insurance, trading as Bournemouth Insurance Group (BIG), for an undisclosed sum. Following the deal, BIG will remain in its Winton office, and all the team including vendors Jason Hicks and Paul Hicks will stay on under new ownership.

Aston Lark
has bought Hove-based Mainstay Insurance for an undisclosed sum. Mainstay was founded in 2013 by Managing Director Richard Gorrill and offers bespoke commercial insurance and risk management solutions. The Broker specialises in the Leisure industry, Property Owners, and Professional Indemnity.

Optio Group (Optio), a Managing General Agency (MGA) focusing on emerging insurance risks, has kicked off 2022 by announcing its acquisition of Warranty and Indemnity (W&I) MGA Brockwell Capital Limited (Brockwell) for an undisclosed sum. An approved Lloyd's coverholder, Brockwell writes c.$40 million (c.£30 million) of gross written premium (GWP). Since its launch in 2017, the agency has built a solid and high-quality client base across the UK, Nordic regions, and Australasia, with a growing presence in Continental Europe. Additionally, it is supported by several markets at Lloyd's and in the company market, some new to Optio.

Aviva plc has announced that it has completed the sale of its entire shareholding in Aviva Vietnam to Manulife. The transaction was announced on 14 December 2020. This concludes Aviva’s divestment programme in which eight non-core businesses have been sold. Aviva is now significantly simpler and completely focused on its strongest businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada.

Global dealmakers achieved their first positive merger and acquisition (M&A) performance for a whole year in 2021 since 2016, according to global insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Considering this, WTW has released its latest Quarterly Deal Performance Monitor (QDPM) that analysed last year's global M&A performance to find out what we can expect for 2022. The data, run in partnership with the M&A Research Centre at The Bayes Business School (formerly known as Cass), revealed that global activity breached new highs as completed deals of over $100 million reached 1,047 in 2021, a dramatic increase from the previous year (674), and the highest annual volume since the analysis began in 2008.

Movers & Shakers

UK General has appointed David Boulcott as Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO). Boulcott is a permanent replacement for David Brown, who returns to the USA after fulfilling the role on an interim basis during 2021. Prior to joining UK General, David was CUO at Primary Group companies Best Doctors Insurance and Surestone Reinsurance.

Consilium, part of the Aventum Group, has appointed Lee Raikes as Business Development Manager (BDM) in the UK for the South. With 14 years’ experience in the insurance market, Raikes joins from Citynet Insurance Brokers where he was a Development Executive for the last two years. Before that he was a Development Executive for Cobra London Markets for nearly four years.

Fidelis Insurance has promoted Louise Jarvis to the position of Deputy Director of Underwriting in addition to her current role of Group Head of Contract Wordings. Jarvis joined Fidelis in 2017 as Senior Wordings Specialist and was promoted to Group Head of Contract Wordings in 2019 where she is responsible for overseeing all risk related contracts. 

Gallagher has named Andrew Delves as Head of Office for Bolton. Delves joined Gallagher as part of the Bollington acquisition, having been a shareholder and Director at Watson Laurie for the last 14 years. He has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years and prior to joining Watson Laurie held senior broking roles at Bradstock PLC and Alexander Forbes.

Allianz Claims
has appointed Chantelle Carroll to the newly created role of Process and Improvement Manager, in charge of a team driving new technologies, innovation and improving processes that foster personalised claims solutions. Carroll joined Allianz earlier this month from the Eden Motor Group, where she was Business Change Manager. Prior to this, she held claims management roles at LV, RSA and Esure.

KPMG in the UK has appointed Trevor Jones as the new Head of its insurance practice. He replaces Simon Ranger, who will now focus on leading the Vice Chairs’ office. Jones has over 30 years of insurance experience and has spent 24 of those with KPMG. Trevor previously led the firm’s UK actuarial practice and his extensive experience across the insurance industry means he has a deep understanding of the current issues impacting UK and global insurers. He will lead KPMG’s team serving clients across the insurance spectrum, including insurers, reinsurers and brokers.

Brit has appointed Bilge Mert as Chief Technology Officer. In this role, Bilge will be responsible for leading Brit’s technology and data strategy to further advance the business’ focus on delivering an innovative, data-driven and technology empowered platform for underwriting, claims and operations. Bilge brings 18 years’ experience in technology, with a strong track record in driving commercial value and business transformation through the integration of automation and technology.

Markel International has hired Andrew McMellin as Managing Director of its Wholesale division. McMellin has more than 30 years of experience in specialty insurance, and he joins from Pioneer Underwriters, where he was CEO. Prior to that, he was CEO for UK and Ireland at XL Catlin. In these roles, he managed multibillion-dollar portfolios of specialty product lines and helped accelerate growth in new and existing markets, including Asia.

Canopius Group has announced that Neil Robertson has been appointed as Group Chief Executive Officer. Neil joined Canopius as Deputy Group CEO in May 2021, reporting to Group Chairman and CEO Michael Watson, and takes up his new role immediately. Michael Watson will continue as Group Chairman.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced a planned executive transition within the Insurance segment. Specifically: Peter Wilson, currently CEO of the Insurance Segment, will depart AXIS at the end of the year, timed to the completion of his contract. Vincent C. Tizzio has joined the Company as Senior Advisor – Insurance Market Strategy, effective immediately. He is reporting to Albert Benchimol, President and CEO of AXIS, and is part of the Company’s Executive Committee. Mr. Tizzio will become the CEO of AXIS Insurance on June 1, 2022. Following the transition, Mr. Wilson will continue with the Company through December 31, 2022, on a consultative basis.

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