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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 19th May 2023

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Insurance News

An aircraft leasing company is pursuing an $80 million claim for commercial airplanes lost in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, despite the claimant never having seen the relevant policy documents. Shearwater Aircraft Leasing made the claim, which relates to the loss of two commercial aircraft it had leased to Russian aviation group Norwind, according to a report by UK insurance buyer Mactavish. Norwind failed to return the aircraft when the Ukraine war began and has continued to use them despite Shearwater’s repeated attempts to have them returned – a practice common with many Russian airlines, Mactavish said. (Ryan Smith, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Leasing company wants $80 million claim for aircraft lost in Russia')

More brokers in the UK are now “actively implementing” their climate-ready plans, according to Aviva’s latest Broker Barometer survey. Conducted by Censuswide Research on behalf of the insurer, the poll involved 224 professional brokers of all job levels across Britain. It found that 27% are actively implementing net zero plans; the corresponding percentage in 2022 was 17%. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva survey examines UK brokers’ net zero plans')

​Specialty risks commercial insurer and reinsurer International General Insurance Holdings (IGI) has released its financial results report for the first quarter of 2023. IGI’s higher profit was attributed to the US$17.8 million increase (to US$105.1 million) in net premiums earned, the additional US$10.3 million in total investment income, and the US$2.7 million growth in foreign exchange as a result of currency revaluation against the US dollar. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'IGI reports financial results for first quarter')

​Results season continues with the turn of Zurich Insurance Group to give the lowdown on its quarterly performance. Of the P&C GWP, US$5.99 billion came from Europe, Middle East, and Africa; US$4.86 billion, North America; US$885 million, Asia-Pacific; and US$780 million, Latin America. All regions posted growth, as well as in terms of insurance revenue. “The group has made a strong start to the new financial cycle,” Zurich’s Group Chief Financial Officer George Quinn said. “We saw robust growth in property & casualty, with a double-digit increase in premiums in North America, mainly driven by rate increases." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich Insurance Group breaks down Q1 numbers')

Top reinsurer Munich Re has published its financial results for January to March 2023 – the quarter in which the company used the new accounting standards IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) 9 and 17 for the first time. Lifting the lid on the numbers, Munich Re said: “In Q1 2023, Munich Re generated a net result of €1,271 million. Whereas the Q1 result in the previous year had been bolstered in particular by low major losses in property-casualty reinsurance, as well as by currency gains, the result for the first quarter of 2023 was impacted by precisely the opposite effects." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Munich Re sees lower net result in first quarter')

Legal & General has announced changes to its commission structure for protection policy sales, returning to the commission on policy authorisation model following feedback from its advisers and partners. Starting May 30, advisers will be paid commission with immediate effect of the policy start date of a customer’s protection policy rather than upon the successful collection of a first direct debit payment. The insurer said the decision to reverse the commission on first premium system had been taken to improve the cashflow positions of adviser firms in the face of difficult economic conditions over the past 18 months. However, commission on first premium will still be an option for firms that wish to remain on this payment method. (Rommel Lontayao, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Legal & General reintroduces commission on authorisation for protection products')

International specialty insurer and reinsurer Convex Group Limited has outlined its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022. The net loss in 2022 was mainly attributed to investment losses and foreign exchange impacts. Despite the negative result, both Chief Executive Paul Brand and Executive Chair Stephen Catlin had nothing but nice words for the business and its people. “These results reflect the hard work of our colleagues and superb support from our brokers,” Brand said in a release. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished, but it’s not just about the numbers." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Convex Group publishes full-year financials')

Stubben Edge Group has joined forces with Sage to launch a competition aimed at supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK. Facilitated through Stubben Edge’s subsidiary,, the competition is open to all UK-based SMEs that have been trading for less than five years, regardless of industry or sector. Winners will be provided with a fully equipped and strategically located pop-up shop on London’s famous Oxford Street for a four-day period, along with comprehensive marketing and promotion support. (Mika Pangilinan, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Stubben Edge teams up with Sage to launch competition for UK-based SMEs')

Specialist insurer Beazley has announced the launch of a streamlined miscellaneous medical liability product (MiscMed) in both the US and London markets. The streamlined product includes significant enhancements to wordings, Beazley said. The MiscMed product covers medical professional liability exposures for a spectrum of healthcare-related businesses. This includes more complex risks that fall around the fringes of the healthcare sector, including search-and-rescue providers, humanitarian aid organisations, and social services, Beazley said. (Ryan Smith, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Beazley announces streamlined miscellaneous medical liability product')

Global insurance broker Howden Group Holdings (Howden) will unify its business structure under one global executive. In a press release, Howden confirmed that its insurance broking, reinsurance broking, and underwriting businesses will report directly to CEO David Howden, effective October 1, 2023. The holding company and broking operations will also rebrand under the Howden name and a single visual identity during the same month. (Roxanne Libatique, 16/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden announces business overhaul')

Global reinsurer SCOR has bounced back from the group net loss it suffered in the first quarter of 2022. According to the company’s latest earnings report, SCOR posted €311 million in group net income for the first three months of 2023 – a major turnaround from last year’s €35 million net loss. “This excellent performance is driven by the group’s business units (property and casualty, life and health, and investments), all of which are reporting a strong profitability level,” SCOR said. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SCOR marks huge turnaround in Q1 financials')

Brit Ltd will be recording millions in pre-tax gains in the second quarter following the sale of its managing general underwriter operations. In a release by Brit’s parent Fairfax Financial Holdings, the latter said: “On May 10, 2023, Brit completed the sale of Ambridge Group, its managing general underwriter operations, to Amynta Group. In the second quarter of 2023, Brit will deconsolidate the assets and liabilities of Ambridge and will record a pre-tax gain of approximately US$255 million (prior to ascribing any fair value to the potential additional receivable).” (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brit to record millions in gains in second quarter')

The Talanx Group, parent of Hannover Re and HDI, has reported an increase in both its insurance revenue and group net income for the January to March 2023 period. According to the company’s quarterly statement, insurance revenue grew 6.3% to €10.7 billion in the first quarter, while group net income amounted to €423 million. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Talanx issues quarterly statement for Q1')

AXA has reported its activity indicators for the first three months of 2023. Lifting the lid on the numbers, AXA noted: “Total gross written premiums and other revenues were up 1%, driven by (i) property & casualty (+6%), with growth in commercial lines (+7%) from continued favourable price effects as well as higher volumes notably across AXA XLand Europe, and in personal lines (+4%), driven by favourable price effects, partly offset by nat cat (natural catastrophe) exposure reduction at AXA XL reinsurance (-2%)." (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA details performance in first quarter')

Insurance group Allianz has reported growth for the first quarter of 2023. Of the total business volume, €24.1 billion came from property-casualty insurance while €20.1 billion was contributed by life/health. In terms of operating profit, both segments enjoyed an increase from last year; the same can’t be said for asset management, however. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz releases quarterly earnings report')

QBE Insurance Group has raised its premium growth outlook for 2023, based on the global insurer’s performance in the first quarter. Compared to Q1 2022, QBE’s gross written premium (GWP) for January to March this year saw an 11% increase. On a constant currency basis, the jump to US$7.6 billion represents a 14% change. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE revises full-year premium growth outlook')

Specialist insurer Beazley Plc has outlined how it performed in the first quarter in a trading statement. Broken down by business division, cyber risks, digital, and property risks posted growth in GWP; MAP risks – spanning Beazley’s marine, aviation, political, accident, contingency, and portfolio underwriting – and specialty risks both reported a decline. “The first quarter saw us deliver good headline growth in line with our expectations, underpinned by growth in property, where we are taking advantage of the excellent and continuing market conditions,” Chief Executive Adrian Cox said. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Beazley issues trading statement for Q1')

Prestige Underwriting is delighted to join BGL Insurance’s own brand motor panel with its non-standard motor proposition. As a leading MGA in non-standard and niche risks, Prestige Underwriting’s non-standard motor product will provide customers of BGL Insurance with a new, flexible solution for a diverse range of risk types including modified and high-performance vehicles, imported vehicles and cover options for poor driving history and motoring or criminal convictions. Part of Markerstudy Group, BGL Insurance provides a range of motor and home insurance products through their own brands Budget Insurance, Dial Direct, Zenith, Geoffrey and Jaunt, all supported by state-of-the-art, market-leading digital platforms and award-winning contact centres. (Prestige Underwriting, 18/5/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Prestige Underwriting joins BGL motor insurance panel with its niche motor proposition')

​Everest Re Group has announced that it will rebrand to Everest Group and will trade under the new ticker symbol “EG” on the New York Stock Exchange. The name change will take effect on July 10. It comes following shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting. (Ryan Smith, 19/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Everest Re Group announces new name')

ARAG Holding SE has released its earnings report for 2022, a period in which the company continued to grow. Dr Renko Dirksen, ARAG SE’s speaker of the board of management, said in an emailed release: “We are meeting the needs of our customers. This is not only achieved selectively but applies to the entire enterprise with all segments. ARAG is growing dynamically while at the same time improving its earnings and using the profits to invest in personnel, technology, and to strengthen its solvency.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ARAG Group outlines annual growth')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Gallagher subsidiary Artex Risk Solutions has snapped up Allied Risk Management in Ireland for an undisclosed sum. “Allied Risk is a highly respected company that will enhance Artex’s insurance management and actuarial capabilities,” J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr. said in a release. “I am very pleased to welcome Frank and his associates to our growing, global team.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher subsidiary makes key acquisition in Ireland')

The planned joint venture between ASX-listed companies AUB Group and PSC Insurance Group in the UK is not proceeding. According to PSC Insurance, it has formally ended discussions regarding the memorandum of understanding for the proposed transaction, which would have seen the business acquire a 50% stake in the UK retail division of AUB-owned London brokerage Tysers. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Planned Tysers joint venture gets scrapped'

Fintech and insurance broker Acrisure has announced the acquisition of Universalis, expanding its footprint in Portugal and marking its sixth market in the European continent. The transaction is pending a review by Portuguese regulators and will be complete subject to their approval. Universalis, a Portuguese brokerage founded in 1971, has grown its insurance premiums to over €25 million and expanded its offices network across the country. With the acquisition, Acrisure now has a major presence in six European markets, including Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and now Portugal. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Acrisure expands to Portugal with broker acquisition')

​European life and pensions consolidator Chesnara Plc is acquiring the onshore individual protection business of Canada Life UK for an undisclosed sum. Closed to new business in November 2022, the book spans approximately 47,000 life insurance and critical illness customers whose policies will be transferred to Countrywide Assured Plc, the UK subsidiary of Chesnara. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chesnara acquires Canada Life UK's onshore individual protection business')

Bedford-based Mayfair Insurance & Mortgage Consultants Limited is now 49% owned by The Broker Investment Group, in what is the latter’s first new deal for the year. Managing Director Guy Moliterno, who founded the business in 1979, continues to hold a controlling stake and will remain at the helm of Mayfair Insurance. The company’s roster of eight people will stay intact, as well. (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Mayfair Insurance gets new part-owner')

SiriusPoint has confirmed the conclusion of discussions with Daniel Loeb and certain affiliates regarding a potential transaction to acquire the company. Following public disclosure of Loeb’s interest in acquiring SiriusPoint on April 12, the SiriusPoint board formed a special committee to consider any acquisition proposals. The committee, which included all non-executive directors of the board, engaged in exploratory discussions with Loeb regarding a potential transaction. In a statement, SiriusPoint revealed the committee’s unanimous decision that the current strategy of the company is “the best path to deliver enhanced long-term value for shareholders.” (Mika Pangilinan, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SiriusPoint concludes discussions regarding potential acquisition')

Specialist Risk Group (SRG) has acquired TLO Risk Services. TLO is a leading firm of professional risk specialists, who will play an integral role in the development of SRG's professional lines capability. Specialising primarily in the legal sector, TLO provides insurance solutions to a wide range of firms and individuals that provide professional advisory services.  These include barristers, law firms, arbitrators and mediators, as well as accountants, investment agents, surveyors and estate trustees. The team at TLO has deep expertise of the professional indemnity market, which is underpinned by its highly respected contract and claims support. This means that TLO can provide tailored insurance solutions to firms of all sizes. (Specialist Risk Group,18/5/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Specialist Risk Group buys TLO Risk Services')


​International insurance broker Howden has appointed three new senior hires for Howden CAP’s surety division. The new senior hires – Kevin Barrett, Patrick Shields, and Warren Withfield – are from the banking industry and will be based in London in their new roles. Barrett is a Senior Investment and Coverage Banker with more than 20 years of experience and extensive financial institution relationships. Most recently, he was the Head of Distribution and Syndication at Moore South Africa. Shields is a Senior FIG and Investment Banker with over 30 years of experience across capital markets and insurance banking. Withfield is a Loan Market Specialist with over 20 years of experience. He joined Howden CAP from MUFG Securities, where he spent 17 years in the syndications origination team. (Roxanne Libatique, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden CAP bolsters surety division with senior appointments')

Allianz Commercial has announced the formation of a new financial lines team that will operate across three regional hubs. This newly formed team will focus exclusively on Allianz’s directors & office and professional indemnity propositions. By working closely with branch distribution teams and local brokers, they aim to increase market presence and enable streamlined trading. The appointments for the specialist hubs are as follows: Gareth Machin – Senior Financial Lines Underwriter, Maggie Kwok – Financial Lines Underwriter, David Aguirreburualde – Financial Lines Underwriter, Luke Hayne – Senior Financial Lines Underwriter, Antionette Amory – Financial Lines Underwriter, Caitlin Davies – Financial Lines Underwriter, Daniel West – Financial Lines Underwriter and Lucy Bunnett – Senior Professional Indemnity Underwriter. (Mika Pangilinan, 18/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Commercial forms new financial lines team')

​Ageas UK, one of the largest personal lines insurers in the UK, has appointed Nerissa Naidu as an Independent Non-Executive Director for its board. Naidu has served as a board member to several businesses globally over the last five years and has filled numerous senior executive roles. She is experienced in advising on ESG, technology enablement, and revenue generation strategies as businesses grow. (Roxanne Libatique, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ageas UK appoints new board member')

Davies, a specialist professional services and technology firm serving insurance and highly regulated markets, has announced the appointment of Jen Morrissey to the newly created position of Group Chief Operations Officer. She will be based in the US. Morrissey has more than 20 years of experience in leading global strategic information technology and operations in the risk management and professional services sectors, Davies said. Prior to joining Davies, she served as Chief Information Officer at Union Risk Advisors. Morrissey also previously served in roles at Willis Towers Watson and Electronic Data Systems. (Ryan Smith, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Davies announces new COO')

International specialty re/insurance group Chaucer has announced the appointment of Simon Tighe to Group Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), in addition to his current role as Group Head of Investments and Treasury. Tighe has been instrumental in driving Chaucer’s ESG sustainability strategy, the company said. (Ryan Smith, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chaucer names group ESG head')

Canopius Group, a global specialty (re)insurer, has made a strategic move by launching its aviation reinsurance business and appointing Andrew Hartley as the Head of Aviation Treaty in London. Hartley has more than four decades of industry experience. He previously served as the Head of Aviation at Axis Capital and spent 17 years as the Divisional Director for Aviation at Novae Group. Additionally, Hartley has held positions at Kingsmead Underwriting Agency, Nicholson Chamberlain Colls, and CT Bowring & Co. (Miko Pagaduan, 17/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Canopius Group launches aviation reinsurance division')

AXA XL has increased its cyber capabilities in Europe and Australia with the addition of 10 new cyber underwriting experts to the team. The new Underwriters, based in Switzerland, Italy, Iberia, the Nordics, and Australia, will collaborate with Brokers in their respective markets to help AXA XL’s clients manage their cyber-related risks. AXA XL’s new cyber underwriting experts are the following: Sylvie Verdier, Switzerland, Niccolò Magnani, Italy, Diego Rodríguez Vázquez, Iberia, Maria Silvia Demattei, Iberia, Magnus Flyrin, Nordics, Rabia Ok, Nordics, Giovanni Belhadj, Nordics, Grace Coleman, Australia, Nicholas “Nick” Maxwell, Australia and Alberto Piccena, Australia. (Mika Pangilinan, 16/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA XL expands cyber capabilities in Europe and Australia')

Insurance and commercial legal adviser Horwich Farrelly (HF) has announced that it has strengthened its flagship office in Manchester with 21 new hires. These new hires will be based in the Media City office, in the firm’s rapidly growing recoveries department. With this announcement, HF’s personnel in the specialist area total more than 100 people, making it one of the largest teams in their field. The HF recoveries division works for several large insurers and have been instrumental in the success of their clients. During the first quarter of 2023 alone, the team has recovered over £14.4 million for the firm’s clients, in addition to taking over 57,000 instructions during 2022. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HF bolsters Manchester office with slew of new hires')

Gallagher Re has announced the appointment of Ian Kerton to the role of CEO of the reinsurance broking giant’s UK operations. Kerton has served as a Partner in its UK business since 2021. Before joining, he was MD of the UK property & casualty team at Guy Carpenter and a Director of the UK board. He has held multiple roles within the reinsurance sector over the last 30 years, including a decade spent as Executive Director at HSBC Insurance Brokers, where he headed up the treaty broking team and was responsible for its business in the UK & Asia. (Mia Wallace, 15/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher Re selects new UK CEO')

​AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced the appointment of Rebecca O’Kill as Chief Data & Analytics Officer, effective immediately. Ms. O’Kill joins AXIS following 16 years with Beazley, where she held a series of leadership roles with increasing levels of responsibility including Interim Chief Data Officer and Head of Actuarial Analytics. (AXIS, 18/5/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS appoints Rebecca O’Kill as Chief Data and Analytics Officer')

​Marsh McLennan stockholders elected the entire slate of director nominees for a one-year term at the company’s annual meeting. The Directors are: Anthony K. Anderson, John Q. Doyle, President and CEO, Hafize Gaye Erkan, Oscar Fanjul, H. Edward Hanway, Judith Hartmann, Deborah C. Hopkins, Tamara Ingram, Jane H. Lute, Steven A. Mills, Bruce P. Nolop, Morton O. Shapiro, Lloyd Yates and Ray G. Young. David Yost, who is retiring from the board, did not stand for re-election. (Ryan Smith, 19/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh McLennan stockholders choose board of directors')

Lee Bright, who currently serves as a senior vice president at Marsh, is joining specialist re/insurance broker Miller in November as an Account Executive within the direct marine team. Bright’s credentials include time spent as an Amtrust at Lloyd’s Marine Underwriter and as Swiss Re’s Deputy Head of Marine Hull in London. At Miller, the senior hire will focus on marine hull. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Miller snaps up Marsh hire')

Insurance financing provider Premium Credit has announced the appointment of Mark Morley as its new Operations Director. Morley comes to the role from a previous tenure at Close Brothers, where he worked as Retail Operations Director. Before that, he worked at Swinton Group for almost nine years, with his most recent role there being Head of Premium Finance. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/5/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Premium Credit taps new operations director')

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