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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 28th April 2023

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Insurance News

LexisNexis Risk Solutions has become the 43rd associate of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association. The provider claims to serve data into more than 220 million insurance quotes a day, across motor, home and commercial lines of business. The business aims to use data resources, data technology, linking and analytics to help all types of insurance providers tackle industry-specific problems, from quote manipulation to predicting policy cancellations. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 25/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'LexisNexis Risk Solutions becomes Biba associate')

Flood Re has produced a targeted training resource for the insurance market, to drive a deeper understanding of the Build Back Better scheme within insurance companies, managing general agents, brokers and throughout the claims supply chain. The short video details the 11 core principles that drive the scheme, which enables insurers to offer householders the chance to install property flood resilience measures up to the value of £10,000 when repairing their properties after a flood. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 25/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Flood Re launches training resource to support Build Back Better')

Large brokers taking ‘silly commissions’ are being blamed for the Financial Conduct Authority’s crackdown in buildings’ insurance. The Financial Conduct Authority wants a near ban on brokers sharing commissions with property third-parties and full commission disclosure, so leaseholders can have more powers. A probe into 13 brokers and three firms in the wholesale market found widespread market failure, with ‘large’ commission being taken and leaseholders with few rights getting nowhere near value for money. (Saxon East, 25/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Big brokers making ‘silly money’ blamed for FCA property commission crackdown')

New research by Premium Credit revealed that nearly five times more SMEs expect their businesses to grow than shrink in the year ahead. Research from the Premium Credit Insurance Index, which monitors insurance buying and how it is financed, found 49% of SMEs are predicting an increase in revenue in the next 12 months as business optimism builds. About one in seven are forecasting revenue growth of 25% or more, according to the premium finance provider. (Sophie Locke-Cooper, 24/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Nearly half of SMEs expect 2023 revenue rise – Premium Credit')

The global insurance giant Chubb has reported its Q1 2023 financial results, beginning the year strong with double-digital core operating earnings growth and double-digital premium revenue growth globally. Among the key figures posted by the insurer, Chubb revealed a dip in its net income which came in at $1.89 billion compared to $1.95 billion last year. Core operating income was up 11.8% to a record $1.84 billion. (Mia Wallace, 26/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chubb reveals Q1 2023 trading results')

In further news...​Chubb is experimenting with various uses of artificial intelligence (AI) across its business and is preparing to roll out AI tools at scale, according to CEO Evan Greenberg. “We’ve been experimenting in the use of various forms of AI, against different areas of our business, depending on the opportunity or problem or enhancement we’re trying to address,” Greenberg said during the global insurer’s first-quarter earnings call with investors. (Gia Snape, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chubb testing artificial intelligence, preparing for rollout 'at scale'')

Cogent Claims has finalised its rebranding from Inspire Claims following significant investment from BHL UK, a firm with a portfolio including various motor-related services such as Minster Law, Coral Insurance, ThingCo, and Compare The Market. With the investment, BHL UK now owns a majority stake in Cogent Claims, the motor insurance claims service provider founded in 2017 by CEO Matt Rawling. Cogent Claims offers a liability-agnostic motor claims servicing proposition to the MGA, insurer, and broker markets. (Kenneth Araullo, 26/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Cogent Claims completes rebrand after investment from BHL UK')

The Lloyd’s of London insurance market posted a second consecutive year of improved underwriting results in 2022, according to a new report by ALIRT Insurance Research. Lloyd’s improved performance in recent years followed the 2018 introduction of a more stringent performance review regimen, ALIRT said. The Lloyd’s market consists of about 95 underwriting syndicates. The market reported an overall combined ratio of 91.9% in 2022, its strongest performance since 2015 despite the adverse impacts of inflation and catastrophic weather events, ALIRT reported. (Ryan Smith, 25/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd's market posts improved underwriting results')

Specialist Risk Group (SRG) has cemented its international ambitions, announcing the launch of Specialist Risk Europe – the Dublin, Ireland-headquartered platform for its European operations. In a Press release, SRG said the announcement reinforces its commitment to its ongoing growth strategy and will build on the success of its existing specialisms, providing insurance solutions and advice to clients across Europe. (Mia Wallace, 25/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialist Risk Group reinforces international ambitions with expansion')

The Movo Partnership (Movo) has announced the release of its new integration with Quote Portal, a cloud-based platform that enables brokers to gain access to exclusive products and facilitates efficient trading. With a customisable dashboard and a full suite of reporting capabilities, Quote Portal offers a range of products built to Polaris market standards and supports pricing natively or via IHP connection, Polaris imarket, or RTE. The platform uses data insights to match brokers with insurers and managing general agents, allowing direct interactive exchange for quick and efficient distribution of relevant data. (Mike Pangilinan, 25/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Movo Partnership releases new portal to facilitate trading')

The global broking giant WTW has revealed that its broking platform can now enable digital trading with Zurich. The new integration with Zurich Commercial UK is a key step in its ongoing evolution which looks to cement WTW’s role as a leader in digital broking. With the Broking Platform, WTW can now structure risks and placement data at scale.(Mia Wallace, 24/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW advances digital trading capabilities')

Lancashire Holdings Limited (Lancashire) has become the latest insurance group to announce its trading statement for the three months ended March 31, 2023. Among the highlights reported by the insurer, include; the news that its gross written premium (GWP) has risen 22.7% (or $108.3 million) year-on-year to $586.2 million, the highest the group has delivered in a first quarter. Meanwhile, the group’s IFRS 17 insurance revenue increased by $81.4 million (or 31.6%) in Q1 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. (Mia Wallace, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lancashire posts Q1 2023 results')

A newly branded insurance group, which includes what used to be known as UK General Insurance, has been introduced in the UK. Led by Group Chief Executive Tim Smyth and Chair Lord Marland, the Bspoke Group consists of the following businesses: Bspoke Underwriting (formerly UK General Insurance), Bspoke Lifestyle (formerly Binnacle Insurance Services), Bspoke Commercial (formerly One Commercial), Provego, and One Commercial Specialty. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Market sees launch of newly branded insurance group')

Arch Capital Group has released the results for the first quarter of 2023. Net income available to Arch common shareholders in Q1 amounted to US$705 million, an increase from 2022’s US$186 million. After-tax operating income available to common shareholders was also higher at US$654 million. For the three months ended March 31, Arch’s insurance segment enjoyed an increase of 81% in underwriting income; the reinsurance segment, 95.4%. Underwriting income for the group grew 24.5% to US$570 million in the period. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Financials round-up: Arch, AXIS, Markel report results')

Insurance group AXIS reported improved net income available to common shareholders in the first quarter of 2023, from US$142 million last year to US$173 million this time around. Operating income in the three-month span went up from US$180 million to US$200 million, while net investment income jumped from US$91 million to US$134 million. Total underwriting income stood at more than US$139 million, with the insurance segment contributing US$103 million and the rest coming from reinsurance. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Financials round-up: Arch, AXIS, Markel report results')

​Revealing a major turnaround is Markel, which bounced back from 2022’s comprehensive loss to shareholders worth US$512 million to over US$646 million in comprehensive income for Q1 2023. The result was attributed to positive bottom-line contributions from all of Markel’s operating engines. “The first quarter of 2023 saw all three engines – insurance, investments, and Markel Ventures – meaningfully contribute to our strong operating results,” said CEO Thomas S. Gayner. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Financials round-up: Arch, AXIS, Markel report results')

It’s the turn of insurance broking giant WTW to outline how it fared in the first quarter of 2023. According to WTW, its health, wealth and career segment contributed US$1.29 billion in revenue, while US$904 million came from the risk and broking segment. Both figures were higher compared to their 2022 counterparts. Commenting on the numbers, Chief Executive Carl Hess said: “The first quarter was a solid start to the year for WTW. Our investments in talent and technology, along with the momentum in our business, helped us achieve excellent revenue increases on both a reported and an organic basis."(Terry Gangcuangco, 28/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW announces earnings for Q1'

Ansvar and ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) have announced a five-year strategic partnership aimed at providing tailored insurance solutions for non-profit organisations in the UK. Ansvar, a charity and faith insurance expert, will be supporting ACEVO’s various activities including its national conference which brings together over 300 CEOs from local and national charities, as well as ACEVO’s women in leadership meetings. In turn, ACEVO will support Ansvar employees who wish to become charity trustees. (Mike Pagaduan, 28/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ansvar, ACEVO join forces')

Lack of data is hindering private equity investors from making informed decisions based on environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) risks. To help investors gain a clearer understanding of these risks in their portfolio and future acquisition targets, AXA Climate has introduced a new functionality on its platform for asset managers. The update allows users to obtain a consolidated view of ESG exposures at both the fund and portfolio level, helping them meet key reporting requirements from regulators and institutional investors. (Gia Snape, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA Climate enhances platform to fill ESG risk data gaps for investors')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Ardonagh Advisory has signed up to buy a majority shareholding in high-net-worth broker Stanhope Cooper and MGA Renovation Underwriting. Founded in 2006, Petersfield-based Stanhope Cooper is led by Managing Director William Cooper. He took over the reins in 2012 from his father and company Chairman, former Sterling owner Nicholas Cooper, who sold HNW specialist insurer Sterling to Covéa in 2014. William Cooper will continue to lead Stanhope Cooper as it becomes part of Ardonagh Advisory. (Insurance Age Reporter, 26/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Ardonagh buys Stanhope Cooper and Renovation Underwriting')

Direct Line Group has acquired By Miles, the insurtech managing general agent and provider of real-time pay-by-mile insurance policies. DLG already underwrites By Miles’ new business, and added the acquisition has negligible impact on the group’s capital position. When it formally launched in 2018, the business was underwritten by AXA. After a fundraiser of £15m, led by CommerzVentures in 2020, By Miles signed a deal to work with Broker Network so members could gain access to its products. (Insurance Age Reporter, 25/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Direct Line acquires By Miles')

Ageas is to sell its French life insurance, savings and pension business to La Mutuelle Epargne Retraite Prévoyance Carac. The business produced €6.1m (£5.4m) net profit at the end of 2022. Carac is a mutual operating in the domain of savings, protection and pension business in France. The sale will bolster Ageas group’s solvency by 9%. Regulators are expected to approve the sale, likely to be finished during the third quarter of this year. (Saxon East, 24/4/2023, Insurance Age, 'Ageas to bolster solvency after selling business')


​Markel Corporation has appointed Amandeep Dhillon as Managing Director, Global Head of Catastrophe and Exposure Management. Dhillon has over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, with expertise in catastrophe risk management and ceded reinsurance. He joins Markel after nearly eight years with AIG, where he most recently held the role of Senior Ceded Reinsurance Officer - property & credit lines. (Mika Pangilinan, 26/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markel names global head of catastrophe and exposure management')

International insurance broker Howden has “reshaped” its German operations with the creation of a new entity, Howden Deutschland AG, to be led by Karl-Heinz Holz in his capacity as Chief Executive come October. Howden Deutschland’s new board will consist of Holz, Himmelseher Sports Insurance Chief Executive Kai Bockelmann, Hendricks CEO Marcel Braun, and Howden Caninenberg Managing Director Axel Meyer. The goal is for the leadership team to “harness the collective power” of the German businesses behind one Howden brand. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden names chief executive for “reshaped” German operations')

After coming to life in 2022, Arc Legal Group has now brought in a Chief Operating Officer in the form of Jason Logan. Logan’s credentials include time spent as Change Director at Gallagher and as Provident Financial Group’s Transformation Integration Director. His more than three decades of financial services experience also features a financial services management consultancy business that worked with the likes of QBE. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Arc Legal Group adds chief operating officer to management team')

Fidelis MGU has named Deborah Leen as Head of Human Resources, in addition to appointing her as a member of the managing general underwriter’s executive committee. Fidelis MGU also announced two more for its executive committee, with Ben Fortune and Simon Crone appointed to the roles. Leen, a 25-year veteran in the financial services sector, joins Fidelis from Arrow Global Group, where she worked as HR Director for the investments division. Before that, she was interim Head of HR at Fidelis Insurance. She also held several senior HR roles at companies such as Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, Insight Investment, Gulf International Bank, and ING. Fidelis MGU has also announced several internal promotions. Nadia Beckert has been named Senior Underwriter for the reinsurance division, while Jordan Ray will take on the senior underwriting role for the renewables division. Lastly, Henry Edwards was named Head of Contingency. (Kenneth Araullo, 25/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Fidelis MGU names head of HR, additions for executive committee')

Chubb has announced the appointment of Annmarie Camp as North America Business Development Leader. Camp currently serves as Head of Personal Risk Services for Chubb in Europe. Camp has more than 20 years of insurance industry experience. Since joining Chubb in 2009, she has held a variety of national and regional roles. Prior to joining Chubb, Camp held marketing positions at AIG Private Client Group and Progressive Insurance. (Ryan Smith, 24/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chubb selects new business development leader')

David Croom-Johnson, who retired in the middle of 2022 after serving as Chief Executive of AEGIS London, has emerged at the board of Munich Re Syndicate. In a LinkedIn job update that now has more than 230 reactions, Croom-Johnson said: “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as non-executive board member at Munich Re Syndicate Limited.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Retired CEO emerges at Munich Re Syndicate’s board')

​QBE Re has announced the appointment of Jamie Cook as Chief Partnership Officer. Cook has more than 30 years of industry experience. He joined QBE two years ago as Global Head of Client Management. Prior to QBE Re, Cook worked at Guy Carpenter. (Ryan Smith, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE Re selects chief partnership officer')

Swiss Re has now revealed the last day of Sergio P. Ermotti as Chairman of the reinsurance giant. “Sergio P. Ermotti will step down as Chairman of the board of directors on April 30, 2023, after completing the agreed handover period, to fully focus on his role at UBS,” stated Swiss Re. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re confirms exit date for outgoing chairman')

​Mike Rogers has officially succeeded Annette Court, who retired from the board at Admiral Group Plc’s annual general meeting, as Chair of the financial services group. Aside from Admiral, Rogers also chairs Experian Plc and Aegon UK. His credentials include time spent as top boss at LV=, UK retail banking Managing Director at Barclays, and Non-Executive Director at the Association of British Insurers. (Terry Gangcuangco, 28/4/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Admiral Group seals chairmanship succession')

RSA Insurance has announced that Danielle Skipper will join its UK Speciality Lines business as Senior Specialist Underwriter - Accident & Health (A&H). Danielle will be responsible for contributing to the delivery of RSA’s growth strategy for A&H, working with our valued clients and partners. She joins RSA from AXA XL. Danielle Skipper is an experienced A&H Underwriter, who started her insurance career at RSA in 2015. Initially working as Trading Underwriter in the A&H business before becoming a Specialist Underwriter, in Power, Engineering and Renewables. She left RSA for Chubb before joining AXA XL in 2019. (RSA, 27/4/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'RSA adds experienced underwriter to A&H team')

AXA XL Insurance has announced that Carlos Rodriguez Sanz has been promoted to Regional Product Leader, Cyber – APAC & Europe. Mr. Rodriguez Sanz has more than 10 years’ experience in cyber insurance. He joined AXA XL in 2020 from AIG as Cyber Product Leader for Iberia before being promoted to Cyber Product Manager, APAC & Europe in 2021. Prior to working in the insurance industry, Mr. Rodriguez held a number of positions in IT consulting and risk management, advising major corporates on their technological risks. (AXA XL, 27/4/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA XL promotes Carlos Rodriguez Sanz to Regional Product Leader, Cyber for APAC & Europe')

Howden Group Holdings has announced that it has successfully raised more than £875m across both debt and equity, with total cash and facilities available for investment in M&A, new initiatives and talent in excess of £1bn. Peter Blanc, Executive Chairman of Howden UK&I, will now take on the new role of Head of M&A.(Howden Group, 27/4/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden raises £1bn of fresh investment - Peter Blanc appointed Head of M&A')

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from Insurance Age and Insurance Business UK.