AM Best has upgraded the financial strength rating of Aviva Insurance to A+ (Superior) from A (Excellent). The Insurer’s long-term issuer credit rating has also been raised to “aa-” (Superior) from “a+” (Excellent). AM Best’s upgrades have also been applied to Aviva International Insurance and the ratings specialists have upgraded the group’s non-operating holding company.
CDL has reported a rise in profit after tax to £11.2m in 2021, up from £9.8m the year before. Operating profit was also up year-on-year from £11.7m to £15.5m. The rises for the year to 30 September came as turnover increased by just over £1m to £53.8m.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has reported a £211,410 rise in net assets for 2021. The increase took member funds up to £4.22m. The trade body’s results, filed at Companies House, did not detail profit or loss or level of turnover.
Few Inns has launched court proceedings against Towergate over a Gable policy which failed to pay out following a fire at one of its pubs in 2015. In documents filed with the High Court in May the hospitality provider is seeking £3.3m and has claimed that Towergate Underwriting (T/A Towergate Insurance Brokers) breached its obligations as a broker by failing in its duty on a number of counts.
Thomas Carroll achieved turnover of £12.9m for the full year 2021, an uptick of 10.6% on the £11.7m in reported in 2020. Operating profit also grew to £2.1m from £1.9m the previous year. Companies House documents showed that profit after tax was £1.7m (2020: £1.5m).
Strikes at the Financial Conduct Authority were been paused this week after negotiations between disgruntled staff and the regulator re-opened. Union Unite confirmed that the action had been suspended after the watchdog agreed to talk to staff about better recognition for their work.
Rock Insurance has developed its relationship with AXA Partners with a multi-million pound deal which will see the Insurer underwrite a range of travel products. The partnership will see AXA underwrite several of Rock’s Travel insurance policies including Jet2, Onthebeach, Travel Republic, Insurefor, Leisure Guard and Big Blue.
Broker Konsileo has raised £4.7m in a Series A funding round led by Growth Tech VC Committed Capital. Committed Capital originally invested in Konsileo in 2018 and provided £3.23m in the current round. New investors include a £900,000 investment from ACF Investors, a UK venture capital fund, and angel investors.
Ecclesiastical has agreed to pay a child sexual abuse (CSA) survivor £30,000 plus costs after it publicly revealed his identity. The Insurer has also agreed to a mediation on its response to a review into church child abuse and has apologised for the distress caused by the breach. The survivor, known as Gilo, received a settlement for his CSA claim in 2015. It was after this that the data breach occurred.
Boris Johnson is set to resign as Conservative leader – but plans to continue as Prime Minister until the autumn. A Conservative party leadership race is set to take place this summer, putting a new PM in place in time for the Tory party conference in October.
Gallagher has announced that its Oslo, Norway-based specialist Marine and Energy Brokers, Parisco and Bergvall Marine, will be rebranded as Gallagher. The rebranding takes effect from July 11, 2022. Bergvall Marine was acquired by Gallagher in 2013 and Parisco become part of the global Broker in 2021.
Property, Commercial and Specialty reinsurer IQUW has selected RQA Group to be its global crisis consultants for its recently launched cover for specialty product recall. The group will provide 24/7 incident support and pre-incident risk management services to IQUW’s product recall policyholders.
Ryan Specialty has just opened an office in Madrid to take its transactional risk MGU, Ryan Specialty Transactional Risks International, to the next level. This marks the firm’s third office in Europe/UK and second in Spain. The Madrid office is led by Marta Batalla and focuses on the core transactional risks of Warranty and Indemnity insurance and Commercial Tax Liability insurance. It will service Brokers across continental Europe.
The British Insurance Brokers’ Association is delighted to welcome Covéa Insurance as a partner. Being a BIBA partner allows members to gain a real understanding of the needs facing the Broker market through; participation in the many different industry committees (Motor, Liability, Property), access to the research and insight carried out by the Association and provides an opportunity to share best practice with the Broker community.
American International Group, Inc. will report financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022 after the market closes on Monday, August 8, 2022. AIG will also host a conference call on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. ET to review these results.
Lycetts has grown its turnover to £23.5m for the full year 2021 from £22.4m in 2020 according to documents filed on Companies House. Profit before tax reached £2.7m, up from 2020’s reported figure of £1.1m. Profit overall for the financial year was £2.2m (2020: £812,000).
In January of this year, Lloyd’s of London raised eyebrows across the insurance market when it was reported that the world’s oldest insurance marketplace was exploring a move away from the Richard Rogers-designed building. However, the latest news is that Lloyd’s plans to stay in its landmark building until at least 2031. The successful transition to home-working during COVID-19 led some Brokers and Insurers to predict the death of face-to-face trading, and this announcement affirms the importance of face-to-face contact for the global insurance marketplace.
UK Insurtech firm YuLife has successfully raised $120 million to improve and expand its mission to transform how people view Life insurance through gamification. In its pitch, YuLife said the existing $6 trillion industry is not fit for the future due to its low perceived value, low trust and low engagement – and the company has made it a mission to target the latter problem through an app built by gaming industry veterans.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Lorega will go to the “next level” under Ardonagh’s ownership, former Leader and current CEO of Vizion Insurance Brokers John Sims has predicted. The consolidator’s Managing General Agent segment Geo Underwriting snapped up the loss recovery insurance specialists on Monday. It will continue to be led by Managing Director Neill Johnstone and operate independently under the Lorega brand. Johnstone and the management team have retained a shareholding in the new entity.
In further news...Ardonagh Europe Limited a subsidiary of The Ardonagh Group headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, has announced it has agreed to acquire, subject to the receipt of unconditional regulatory approvals, Léons Group, an independent family-owned insurance brokerage and consultancy firm in the Netherlands.
US-headquartered Brown & Brown has completed the takeover of consolidator Global Risk Partners. The deal to buy GRP from private equity house Searchlight Capital Partners was first revealed in March with a price-tag of £1.48bn. It had been expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.
RSA Insurance Group – the UK and Ireland insurance subsidiary of Canadian P&C carrier Intact Financial Corporation – has unveiled that it has completed the previously-announced sale of its shareholding in RSA Middle East to National Life & General Insurance Company. Providing P&C insurance in the Middle East region for the past 70 years, RSA Middle East is a joint venture of RSA Insurance with a majority shareholding and regional shareholders in the Middle East.
Movers & Shakers
John Glen resigns as Economic Secretary to the Treasury. The Minister handed in his notice to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stating that he “can no longer reconcile my commitment to the role and to the financial services sector with the complete lack of confidence I have in your continuing leadership of our country”. Glen was appointed Economic Secretary in 2018 under then Prime Minister Theresa May. As part of his role he was responsible for governance of the insurance sector in the UK.
QBE has appointed Leroy Hobson as Head of Surety, UK. Leroy has over 25 years’ experience in the Surety market, having held Head of Surety roles at Zurich, Chubb and Aon.
Howden has announced the appointment of Mary O’Connor as CEO of HowdenCAP, its new capital, advisory and placement business for financial institutions and corporates. O’Connor has joined from KPMG, where she held the position of Acting CEO. Prior to this, she held the role of Head of Clients and Markets, having joined KPMG in 2018 as Chief Risk Officer. O’Connor spent the previous six years at Willis Towers Watson as Head of Client, Industry and Business Development, and Global Head of Financial Institutions.
Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has appointed Alli MacLean to the newly created role of Head of Accident & Health and Contingency. MacLean joins LSM from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty where he was Global Product Leader – Live Entertainment. He has 20 years of experience in the industry in various broking and underwriting roles focusing on Accident & Health and Contingency.
In further news...Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), announced the appointment of Parul Kaul-Green, to the newly created role of Chief Digital Strategy Officer, which she takes up with immediate effect. In addition, Carol Baker has been appointed to the new role of Head of Digital Strategy, London & Global Products. Kaul-Green joins from AXA XL where she was Chief of Staff, Asia Pacific and Europe, responsible for developing the corporate strategy, ESG governance and strategic communication. She joined AXA in 2015. She has over 20 years of experience in strategy and technology innovation in financial services. Baker joined Liberty in 2014. Prior to this new role she was Head of Customer Proposition, a role she took up in 2019. She has over 20 years of experience in business development, product strategy and IT solutions.
The Board of Convex Group Limited, the international Specialty Insurer and reinsurer, is pleased to announce that Paul Brand, who founded the business in 2019 with Stephen Catlin, became Group CEO with effect from 1st July 2022. Mr Brand has been Deputy CEO since Convex was founded.
BMS the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance Broker, has announced that Ian Gormley shall become UK CEO, effective immediately. Since joining BMS as Managing Director of global risks in 2012, Gormley has led BMS’s specialty business to become one of the highest regarded and most respected platforms in London, doubling the platform into a multi-faceted global business with revenues of more than GBP100million.
Markel International has promoted Simon Philpin to Head of Trade Credit. Philpin will be responsible for leading the Trade Credit team, which operates across Markel’s offices in London, Asia, and the United States. He will also focus on developing responsiveness and service levels for the organisation’s Broker network.
In further news...Markel International, a subsidiary of Markel Corporation, has announced the appointments of Matthew Rowland and Clifford Blayney as Senior Underwriters in its Renewable Energy team, where they will specialise in offshore wind. Rowland has 15 years of offshore wind experience, including underwriting, broking, and, most recently, as a lead risk and insurance specialist at a large offshore wind developer. Blayney joins from Markel’s Upstream Energy team and has more than 10 years of upstream energy experience. He joined Markel International eight years ago, and most recently served as Senior Underwriter for upstream and midstream energy.
The Financial Conduct Authority has appointed six Directors. Roma Pearson has been made the FCA’s Director of Consumer Finance, Camille Blackburn will join the FCA in October to the newly created role of Director of Wholesale Buy-Side, Matthew Long has been appointed Director of Payments and Digital Assets, Anthony Monaghan has been promoted within the FCA to Director of Retail and Regulatory Investigations, Karen Baxter will join the FCA’s enforcement team as Director of Strategy, Policy, International and Intelligence and Simon Walls, who was appointed Interim Director in May, will continue in the role of Director of Wholesale, Sell-Side.
In further news...HM Treasury has appointed Ashley Alder as the new Chair of the Financial Conduct Authority succeeding Charles Randell. Alder is currently Chief Executive Officer of the securities and futures commission in Hong Kong, a role he has held since 2011. He also chairs the board of the international organisation of securities commissions and sits on the financial stability board’s plenary.
Chubbhas announced the appointment of David Kirk as Head of Marine for Chubb Global Markets (CGM), the company’s London market Wholesale and Specialty business including its Lloyd’s platform. Kirk is currently Cargo Product Head and Deputy Head of Marine at CGM.
Lloyd’s Europe has tapped Bertrand Heugues as its Chief Underwriting Officer, effective on July 14. Heugues has more than 18 years of experience in the industry as a Non-Life Actuary, with a broad depth of practice in underwriting, pricing and risk and portfolio management.
All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple General Insurance Media sources and individual company press releases.