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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 11th March 2022

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Insurance News

Irish-domiciled and UK-headquartered Aon Plc has suspended its operations in Russia, as the world’s number two insurance Broker remains on the lookout amid the ongoing war. In a statement, Aon Chief Executive Greg Case asserted: “The escalation of the conflict in Ukraine continues to cause the senseless loss of life to innocent civilians, and the intentional destruction of schools, civilian property, and infrastructure. It is why we have made the decision to suspend operational activity in Russia, including putting our colleagues in Russia on paid leave.”

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)is marking a major milestone in 2022 – the 125th year since local institutes came together to form a federation which would later evolve into a professional body that was awarded a Royal Charter.

AXA UK&I has extended its three days per year volunteering scheme for employees to support humanitarian charities and will donate €6million to partner NGOs to help the humanitarian support of refugees. AXA home insurance customers can accommodate refugees with no requirement to seek approval from their Insurer and Hotels and guest houses with AXA insurance also able to support without additional contract necessary.

A-Plan has posted a 16% rise in turnover to £77.2m with profit before tax up 18% to £22.8m, in shortened results for 2021. The figures in a filing at Companies House were only for seven months of the year – from the start of March to the end of September – due to realigning the year-end reporting date to match Howden. Howden completed the takeover of the firm on 31 March 2021 meaning the figures covered the immediate period post the buy.

The insurance sector has welcomed the government’s move in the Online Safety Bill to crackdown on paid-for scam adverts which appear on social media. Under a fraudulent advertising duty being added to the Bill, social media platforms will be required to put in place systems to prevent or minimise fraudulent adverts appearing online, and remove them when made aware. Ofcom will set out further details on what platforms will need to do to fulfil their new duty in codes of practice.

UK providers of Russian Aviation and Space insurance have to cancel all policies by 28 March, the government confirmed. “This means cover is withdrawn on existing policies and UK Insurers and reinsurers will be unable to pay claims in respect of existing policies in these sectors,” the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the Department for Transport reported in a joint statement.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has unveiled Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, as its opening keynote speaker at The Biba Conference 2022. First elected in May 2017 Burnham was re-elected for a second term in May 2021. Formerly MP for Leigh from 2001, he also held ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and HM Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to Health as Secretary of State in 2009.

RSA is set to widen the number of Brokers it trades with and is working on becoming easier to trade with following criticism from the Broker community. Lee Mooney, who was appointed UK MD for Commercial Lines last year, said he has been focusing on simplifying the RSA proposition and ensuring there are no barriers to entry for the right Brokers.

SCOR Channel, part of SCOR Group’s (SCOR) Specialty Insurance platform, has overhauled its brand following the release of its full-year financial results for the year ended December 31, 2021 (FY21). For FY21, SCOR Channel produced a £14.1 million full-year profit despite the persistence of COVID-19 and other factors that impacted the UK insurance industry. It also achieved £266 million gross written premium (GWP) during the same year, a slight increase from £233 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 (FY20).

Marsh McLennan has announced it will exit all of its businesses in Russia. Dan Glaser, President and CEO, said, “We condemn the unprovoked attack by the Russian government against the people of Ukraine. Having watched with horror the tragic human toll in Ukraine, we feel compelled to take this action. We intend to transfer ownership of our Russian businesses to local management who will operate independently in the Russian market. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, and we join all those calling for a swift and peaceful resolution to this deadly conflict.”

HSBC has signed a new Broker agreement with Marsh. The new five-year agreement builds on an 11-year relationship which began in 2010. The agreement covers seven markets including France, Hong Kong, mainland China, Mexico, Turkey, UK and US on insurance solutions for corporates.

Pool Re, Britain’s leading Terrorism reinsurer, has completed placement of its second ILS cat bond, following the maturing of its original ground-breaking issuance from 2019. Issued through a UK domiciled special-purpose vehicle, Baltic PCC Ltd., the 2022 notes were issued in a 144A format, to enhance liquidity.  The bond increased in size to £100 million from the £75 million issued in 2019, with the risk spread reduced to 5.5% compared to 5.9% under the 2019 issue.

Aviva and Zego have announced a multi-year partnership to provide tailored Fleet policies to trades and haulage businesses. The partnership will pair Zego’s behavioural insight, data and telematics capabilities with Aviva’s experience and expertise in Fleet underwriting and claims.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Brown & Brown will pay $1.96bn (£1.48bn) for consolidator Global Risk Partners according to a New York Stock Exchange filing. The deal is subject to regulatory approval but expected to complete in Q3 this year. Brown & Brown was founded in 1939. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has a market cap of over $19bn. It posted $3.1bn of revenue in 2021 and net income of $587.1m.

Arc Legal Assistance, part of the AmTrust Financial Group, has completed the integration of recent acquisitions Legal Insurance Management and AmTrust Underwriting, to create a united business, Arc Legal Group. The combined group manages over 23m insurance policies and writes in excess of £70m net written premium across all product lines. It offers a range of bespoke ancillary insurance products including Accident & Health, legal expenses insurance and assistance products including Home and Motor breakdown.

Movers & Shakers

Howden has revealed a series of changes to its global management team following on from the deal to buy Aston Lark. Chris Evans has been promoted to the newly created role of Deputy CEO of Howden Broking. In addition, Alistair Barrett assumes the role of Chief Operating Officer at Howden Broking. The Broker has also named Rebecca Scott as Chief Risk Officer for Howden Group adding that she will also continue to lead Howden Group operations. And Isabelle Cadignan has been appointed Chief of Staff and Head of Planning for Howden Broking with a remit of ensuring regional coordination across internal strategies.

Realty Insurances, the insurance Broker which forms part of Grosvenor, has appointed John Dilley as its new Managing Director, effective 1 April 2022. Dilley succeeds Graham Salmon, who retires on 31 March after leading the business for 21 years. Dilley brings to Realty an insurance market career spanning nearly 40 years, the majority of which has been focused on the Real Estate sector.

AXA UK has announced the appointment of Dave Pearce as Director of Retail Direct. Pearce joins from Aviva where he was Head of Retail New Business and played a pivotal role in the creation of and the delivery of Aviva Online. 

MS Amlin Underwriting has appointed Nathan O’Donnell as Senior Underwriter. According to the Insurer, O’Donnell brings more than twenty years’ experience within the Lloyd’s market, with expertise in Direct and Facultative Property insurance and knowledge of the US and International Property markets. He was most recently a Senior Property Underwriter at Sirius International since 2017. Prior to this, he held roles at Novae Group, Mitsui Sumitomo, Chaucer, and Heritage Managing Agency.

Konsileo have announced the appointment of six Client Directors as part of its ongoing expansion. Jackilyn Jack joins from NFU Mutual, Julie Clarke joins from March, Katie Cooper was previously at Coversure, Terry Butcher joins from  M&DH Insurance Services, Jamie Colvin and Michelle Eames both join from PIB Group.

Sompo International has unveiled a reorganisation of its insurance business in a move it said would prepare the company for expansion and sustainable growth. Michael Chang has been appointed as Global Head of Customer and Distribution Management, Julian James will be responsible for the EMEA region, Daniel Neo leads the Asia Pacific region for P&C Commercial and Consumer Insurance and Chris Sparro will oversee the North America region. 

AmTrust International, the global arm of New York based AmTrust Financial Services Inc., has announced the appointment of David Smith as Senior Underwriter and Callum Harding as Assistant Underwriter, to the Warranty team, based in London.

Willis Towers Watson has appointed David Singh as Head of Climate Analytics and Exposure Management for its Insurance Consulting and Technology business. Singh served as the Group Head of Exposure & Portfolio Management at global Insurer MS Amlin, where he was responsible for the Group’s risk aggregation and reporting activities across all its legal entities.

Inherent Risks has announced the appointment of Mike O’Halloran to its executive team in the role of Associate Director, Managed Risk Services. Prior to joining Inherent Risks, O’Halloran served as the Director of Risk & Insurance at Northcott Global Solutions where for over 10-years his Board level experience focused on mitigating and managing risk for international organisations, and included spearheading the design and implementation of the travel risk management, medical and security assistance, and incident response capabilities.

Markel International has appointed Emma Clegg as an Underwriting Assistant for Media and Entertainment. The new arrival forms part of the organisation’s strategy to accelerate further growth across its Entertainment and Media Liability portfolios. Clegg has over eight years of experience in the insurance industry, spending over three of them at Tysers Insurance Brokers, where she specialised as a Broker in film, media, and television.

Marsh has announced three senior appointments to its Affinity business, international division. Rebecca Bleek has been appointed as Affinity Leader for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA);Leo Gibbons has been named Placement Leader for International Affinity; and Sam Suen has been appointed Business Digital Strategy Leader for International Affinity.

AXA XL has announced the appointment of Nancy Bewlay as Chief Executive of reinsurance. Bewlay succeeds Charles Cooper, who is stepping down after more than 20 years as a Senior Executive in the company’s reinsurance business. Bewlay has more than 30 years of industry experience, and has held numerous senior roles at XL Catlin and later AXA XL. 

Insurance platform provider EIS has appointed Rory Yates as Head of Strategy for EMEA. Yates has 24 years of experience across sectors such as Technology and Banking, and has worked at companies including WPP, Cognizant and Santander. He joins EIS from DXC, where he helped transform client businesses with in-depth analytics & AI, consulting, UX & UI and digital engineering.

Aviva has appointed Matthew Washington into the role of Global Corporate and Specialty Director in Aviva’s Commercial Lines division. Matthew joins Aviva from Neon, a specialist Insurer operating in Lloyd's. Matthew worked for Neon for six years, most recently as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Matthew worked at Ascot Underwriting, where he served in a number of roles, culminating in a role as a Director.

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