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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 5th August 2022

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Insurance News

Hannover Re has achieved what Chief Executive Jean-Jacques Henchoz described as a “satisfactory result” in the first half of the year. “Our consistently strong and profitable growth shows how highly sought-after Hannover Re’s reinsurance protection is among our clients during difficult times,” commented Henchoz. “We delivered a satisfactory result in the first half-year, not least thanks to our superlative risk and capital management."

Swiss Rehas announced the launch of a new investment advisory company and wholly owned subsidiary, Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Investment Advisors Corporation (SRILIAC), an SEC-registered investment advisor. The company will offer investment management services to qualified institutional investors, with a special focus on catastrophe bonds.

Peppy, a digital health app, has formed a new partnership with global insurance brokerage Lockton to provide gender-specific health services for the employees of clients in the UK. Through Peppy’s app, the employees of Lockton’s clients can access personalised support from health practitioners for family and reproductive health. The health professionals can provide guidance on things such as trying to start a family, becoming a parent, going through the menopause, and specialist support for both men’s health and women’s health.

Insurance giant Allianz has published its latest set of earnings results – and, while some key numbers are lower compared to 2021, group boss Oliver Bäte sees the profitable second quarter as a sign of “robust” financial performance. Lifting the lid on the numbers, Allianz noted: “Operating profit increased 5.3% to €3.5 billion, driven by improved underwriting and investment results in the Property-Casualty segment. Growth was partially offset by the life/health business segment, reflecting the impact of volatile market conditions and a lower investment margin in Germany and the United States."

SiriusPoint’s financial report card is looking a little red, with the global Insurer and reinsurer suffering losses in the second quarter and first half of 2022. According to SiriusPoint, its Q2 net loss available to common shareholders amounted to US$61 million; in H1, a whopping US$278 million. In the same periods in 2021, the corresponding sums were US$65 million and US$233 million, respectively, in net income.

TL Dallas will open at least one more branch this year, Managing Director Polly Staveley has revealed, as she confirmed the recent cost of living pay rises for all staff. The group currently has 11 offices after opening Dallas Scott Davey in Lincolnshire at the end of last year which followed on from participating in the launch of Dallas Wilding Drew in North Yorkshire in April 2021.

The Financial Conduct Authority has warned of a clone using the name William Fountain Insurance Brokers. The FCA revealed yesterday that the clone is using the website At the time of writing the scam site is still active online.

In further news...The FCA has confirmed new rules to make authorised financial firms more responsible for their appointed representatives. The watchdog detailed that principal firms are responsible for ensuring their ARs comply with its rules. It pointed out that, while some principals do this effectively, many do not adequately oversee the activities of their ARs.

TDI Academy has launched scholarships for women in insurance. The Digital Insurer has announced it will provide fully paid scholarships to support the development of women leaders in the insurance industry. TDI noted in a statement that the scholarship has been developed to help women who have less chance of accessing education on insurance.

The Financial Conduct Authority has announced that it is set to open a Digital Delivery Centre in Leeds and is in the process of recruiting 100 new staff members. The body has signed a deal for premises at 6 Queen Street in the heart of its business district. The FCA’s Digital Delivery Centre will be based in Leeds alongside other key FCA business teams.

​NuVenture International has launched BluNiche, which is the incubator’s third Managing General Agent in the UK. Founded by Neil Evans, BluNiche will specialise in product recall insurance with capacity provided by Chaucer Syndicate 1084. Prior to going it alone, Evans was Crisis Management Senior Class Underwriter at Talbot Underwriting.

Poor claims experiences could put up to $170 billion (approx. £139.84 billion) of insurance premiums at risk in the next five years, with process inefficiencies in underwriting potentially risking another $160 billion over the same period, according to a new report from Accenture.

London-headquartered RSA Insurance Group, whose Middle East operation was sold in July, has published its interim management report. In the first half, RSA posted an underwriting profit worth £31 million – a turnaround from last year’s £143 million underwriting loss. Meanwhile, net written premiums for the Insurer’s continuing operations amounted to £1.5 billion, which is lower than 2021’s £1.7 billion.

PartnerRe is the bearer of difficult news this results season. PartnerRe said the net loss was due to unrealised losses on fixed maturities of US$591 million in the second quarter and US$1.41 billion for the first half because of increasing interest rates.

Lloyd’s can now set up a second protected cell company (PCC), building on the success of London Bridge Risk PCC (LBR), after securing the nod from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Global commercial insurance prices increased 9% in the second quarter of 2022 (down from an 11% increase in Q1), according to the Global Insurance Market Index released by Marsh, continuing a trend of moderating rate increases that began in Q1 2021. While this is the 19th consecutive quarter of increases, the rate of increase continued to moderate across most lines of business and in almost all geographies.

Aon has released its second quarter 2022 key metrics. Total revenue increased 3% to $3.0 billion, including organic revenue growth of 8% and operating margin increased 20 basis points to 23.5%, and operating margin, adjusted for certain items, increased 40 basis points to 26.2%. EPS increased 40% to $2.33, and EPS, adjusted for certain items, increased 15% to $2.63. For the first six months of 2022, cash flows from operations decreased 16% to $1,131 million, and free cash flow decreased 17% to $1,063 million Second.

Prestige Underwriting celebrated 25 Years in business this week. Established in 1997 with the vision of being one of the leading providers of non-standard insurance, Prestige Underwriting is now an award-winning MGA specialising in niche products for an extensive Broker network across Ireland and Great Britain.

Global investment in the InsurTech sector of $2.41 billion in Q2 2022 was 8.3% greater than the total in Q1, but still 50.2% below 2021’s record-breaking second quarter. The average deal size was up 18.3% to $22.11 million over Q1, which masks a 7.7% fall in total deal numbers. The quarter saw 132 InsurTech deals, compared to 143 in Q1. The lower Q2 number includes six mega-rounds, including four in the US, which raised $948 million in total, according to the latest quarterly Global InsurTech Report from Gallagher Re.

The great resignation is upon us all, and even the insurance industry is not safe from this growing trend of talent leaving their jobs. But a new poll by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has revealed that the industry is fighting back, with a focus on retaining talent through career development and flexible work conditions. Through a social media poll of 623 insurance professionals, the CII found that 44% are chiefly focusing on offering flexible working in order to attract and retain talent. Another 23% said that ensuring clear routes for career progression was their primary focus to appeal to talent, while 22% indicated that they were investing in training and development.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Aviva has penned a deal to buy Azur Underwriting’s high net worth Personal Lines business in the UK and Ireland. The binding agreement followed on from the Insurer confirming in May that it had entered exclusive talks with the specialist Managing General Agent. Under the agreement, Azur’s team will transfer to Aviva under TUPE terms and manage the run-off of the existing Azur Underwriting book. New business written following completion of the deal will be under the Aviva brand, as part of the Aviva Private Clients business.

Seventeen Group has completed the purchase of London-based Bryce Smith & Partners for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was successfully made on 29 July. The purchase saw BSP integrated into Seventeen Group’s broking subsidiary James Hallam and Richard Bryce Smith will remain with the business to help maintain client relationships.

The Jensten Group has bought SME specialist managing general agent Origin UW for an undisclosed sum. According to the MGA, it has appetite to consider insurance for 95% of businesses in the UK. Its specialisms include Commercial Combined, Contractors Combined, Motor Trade and Fleet, Excess Liability, Professional Indemnity and Property Owners.

Long-term savings and retirement giant Phoenix Group Holdings plc (Phoenix) has got its hands on Sun Life Financial’s UK life insurance business for £248 million. Phoenix expects the latest acquisition to deliver c.£470 million of incremental long-term cash generation, with approximately 30% of this cash generation to emerge in the first three years. It also aims to deliver c.£125 million of integration synergies, net of costs, from cost efficiencies and capital management actions, representing c.50% of the consideration paid.

Aston Lark Ireland, the rapidly growing insurance Broker that recently became part of the Howden Broking Group, has announced the acquisition of Sparrow Insurances Limited. Sparrow Insurances has a great history of success and growth across Leinster and Munster, operating out of offices in Portlaoise, Blanchardstown, Nenagh and Thurles.

Independent insurance Broker the Clear Group has announced the acquisition of GSI Commercial Services. This latest deal represents the 35th acquisition made by Clear since it was established in 2001. It is also the first deal to complete since Clear attracted new investment from Goldman Sachs last month as part of its refinance plan. The GSI team including Partners David Bramley-Harker and Terry Charlesworth will now work closely with colleagues across the Clear Group to drive business growth and opportunities. The team of 9 currently based in Rochester, Kent will move to Clear offices located in Maidstone from early 2023.  The business handles in excess of £5.5m GWP.

International General Insurance Holdings Ltd. has announced that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire Energy Insurance Oslo AS (“EIO”), a Managing General Agency duly incorporated under the laws of Norway. The proposed transaction includes the acquisition of 100% of EIO’s shares. Pending satisfactory completion of due diligence and subject to regulatory approval, IGI and EIO intend to enter into a binding definitive agreement.

Howden has announced its agreement to acquire C.R.F. Conseils (“CRF”), an independent Broker specialising in Financial Lines. This is Howden’s first acquisition in France since appointing Nicolas Aubert as CEO, Howden France, and will enable Howden to launch operational capabilities in this key market.

Quotech, the Insurtech led by former Lloyd’s Underwriter Guillaume Bonnissent, is now partly owned by Specialty reinsurer Convex Group. “We were drawn to Quotech as a supplier because they understand what we, as a London Market Underwriter, need technology to do for us,” said Convex Chief Executive Paul Brand, who took the helm on July 1 and whose camp recently acquired a 7.7% shareholding in Quotech.

Movers & Shakers

BP has announced the appointment of Amanda Blanc, to its board as a Non-Executive Director. Her appointment will take effect from 1 September 2022. Blanc has been Group CEO of Aviva plc, the UK’s leading insurance, wealth and retirement business, since 2020. She was formerly Group CEO at Axa UK, PPP & Ireland and a previous CEO of Europe, Middle East, Africa & Global Banking at Zurich Insurance Group.

​AmTrust Europe Limited (AEL), a subsidiary of New York-headquartered AmTrust Financial Services, has appointed Andrew Bulley and Peter Goddard to its board. Bulley will become Chair of AEL's board and Chair of its remuneration and nomination committee, succeeding Robert Stansbury following his retirement. Bulley joined AmTrust last year as Chair of AEL's risk and compliance committee.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has appointed Kerry Hall to the newly created role of Head of Property and Casualty Binders. She takes up the role with immediate effect. Prior to her promotion, she was Underwriting Manager – Property Binders. During this role, she gained significant experience of working within the Delegated Authority market, notably in the US E&S market. Hall joined LSM in 2009 from PCM Risk Solutions, where she was a Broker.

MCE Insurance has increased the headcount of its tech solutions team with four new hires and internal promotions. Joe Wellington joins the team as a Second Tech Solutions Manager and has experience from previous roles at MCE. Jessica Condon, Ellie Height, and Chris Lewis all join as Technical Business Analysts tasked with projects and developing new processes.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has appointed Tom Lawrie-Fussey as Director of Automotive for its insurance business in the UK and Ireland. He is the former Head of Sales Engineering at Cazoo Data Services. Lawrie-Fussey has close to two decades’ experience working in engineering, project management and business development.

Sedgwick has appointed Giles Fairmann as Development Director for its private clients division. Before joining Sedgwick, Fairmann ran his own private client-focused consultancy business for five years. There, he was engaged in sales consultancy, project implementation for a leading insurance incubator and worked with a wide range of businesses in insurtech and art insurance.

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