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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 30th June 2023

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Insurance News

​Global broking business Brokerslink has announced the inclusion of Robus Group, a captive and insurance management consultancy firm, to its network. The addition enables Brokerslink to provide services to captive insurers, open market insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries, and corporate entities worldwide. (Mika Pangilinan, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerslink strengthens global network with addition of Robus Group')

On Wednesday, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a notice instructing the British insurance giant Direct Line Insurance Group to carry out a review of total losses where vehicles have been written off in order “to identify any policyholders who received unfair settlements and provide them with appropriate redress”. In a notice on its website directed at customers whose vehicle was written off in the five-year period between September 1, 2017, and August 17, 2022, Direct Line admitted that some of these car and van insurance customers “didn’t receive as much as they should have done”. The provider said it is working to identify everyone affected. (Mia Wallace, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Direct Line responds to FCA's notice to reassess claims')

Newcastle-based Winn Group, a provider of accident management services, has reported its year-end financial results for 2023. The company experienced a boost in turnover compared to the previous year. This growth can be attributed to both an industry-wide decline in claims management services and market-driven increases in vehicle repair and hire charges. The company’s success has allowed it to employ 535 individuals and achieve a turnover of £235 million, representing a 139% surge from the previous year’s £98 million.(Ada Tabanao, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Winn Group reveals full-year financial results')

Horwich Farrelly (HF) has announced its latest expansion with the opening of a new office in Baggot street, Dublin, which the firm’s growing team will move into by the first week of July. “We are thrilled to be moving into new offices as we expand our team in Dublin,” HF Partner and Head of Ireland Martin Browne said. “The new office supports our focus on our people, giving us a desirable work environment, which supports our flexible, hybrid working model and our plans for the future as we add more areas of expertise.”(Mary Or, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HF unveils new Dublin office')

Allianz Holdings has unveiled a new initiative in its quest for sustainability by introducing an electric vehicle (EV) salary sacrifice scheme for its UK employees. The scheme, which is part of the company’s new rewards and benefits roadmap, aims to encourage employees to embrace electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Through a dual-branded partnership with ElectriX (part of LV= General Insurance) and CBVC Vehicle Management, Allianz Holdings can offer its employees a wide range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle options.(Ada Tabanao, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz introduces electric vehicle salary sacrifice scheme for UK employees')

Aston Lark, the Howden subsidiary, has furthered its regional expansion by establishing a new office in Reading. It aims to provide in-person support and build on earlier office openings in Norwich and South Wales. The newly unveiled Aston Lark office, located in Winnersh Triangle, boasts a modern and futuristic glass design. Initially, a team of four, led by Alistair Matthews, will operate from the office, with plans to welcome more insurance professionals from the area in the coming months and years.(Ada Tabanao, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aston Lark expands regional presence with new Reading office')

Polo Managing Agency and Polo Commercial Insurance Services – jointly doing business under the trading name Polo Works – have announced their move into a bigger, better office in Cheltenham following a year of growth, including an 18% increase in staff. European P&C insurance services group Marco Capital Holdings first acquired Polo Works in May 2022, when it was then going by the brand name Capita. At the time, Polo Works consisted of 250 insurance specialists across its Cheltenham and London offices, but it has since evolved into a team of 300 employees in Cheltenham and 30 more in London, with backing of US$500 million in equity from global asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management. Polo Works has chosen business campus Grange Park, Bishops Cleeve in Gloucestershire to house all 300 of its Cheltenham-based staff. (Mary Or, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Polo Works follows up year of growth with new Cheltenham office')

​The Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) has welcomed its 200th member, Signature Underwriting. The milestone underscores the strength and ongoing expansion of the managing general agent (MGA) market in the UK, the association said in a news release. Signature Underwriting specialises in taxi, courier, haulage, and commercial own goods insurance, and was established in 2013. (Mika Pangilinan, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'MGAA welcomes 200th member')

Hagerty, a specialty insurance provider catering to the global automotive enthusiast market, has announced that it is raising $105 million from existing strategic investors. The investors include State Farm, Markel Group, and the Hagerty family. This funding infusion comprises $80 million of convertible preferred equity, which was finalised on the 23rd June, and an additional commitment of $25 million in long-term debt financing for Hagerty Reinsurance Limited. (Steven Byerley, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Hagerty reveals $105 million capital raise')

The global insurance industry is currently experiencing a “neutral” outlook, although several key non-life insurance sectors in developed markets show signs of deterioration, despite improved credit drivers for global reinsurance and the UK London market, according to Fitch Ratings. In light of Guatemala's sovereign upgrade and an expected moderation in sector growth, Fitch Ratings has shifted its outlook for Guatemala to “neutral” from “improving.” Non-life insurance lines face significant challenges as premium growth may not adequately compensate for inflationary cost pressures, and the normalisation of claims frequency will further strain earnings, Fitch reported. (Steven Byerley, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Fitch releases global insurance outlook')

​Insurtech incubator Innovative Risk Labs (IRL) is now a Lloyd’s broker. “This milestone represents a true game-changer for IRL, enabling us to secure Lloyd’s capacity for insurtech brokers and MGAs (managing general agents) worldwide,” IRL Chief Executive Ed Gazesaid in a release. “With direct access to world-class innovative underwriters, we can now collaborate on new opportunities without the need for third-party brokers.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Innovative Risk Labs gets Lloyd’s broker status')

​Respected as a talented leader by colleagues and friends across the insurance industry, Toby Ducker, who passed away in May, is remembered for the warmth of his personality, humour, and drive for excellence in all that he turned his hand to. Toby was well known across the London and international insurance markets as a leader whose commitment to excellence set him apart professionally as it did in his personal life. As Head of International Operations at AXIS since 2019, Toby helped the company to develop its infrastructure and to deliver improved performance throughout a time of significant growth in London and beyond. (youTalk Insurance, 29/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Obituary: AXIS pay tribute to their colleague and friend Toby Ducker')

​R&Q Insurance Holdings, which recently secured approval for the separation of its program management and legacy insurance units, has published the group’s financial results for the year ended 31st December, 2022. During the period, the non-life specialty insurance company posted an IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) loss after tax worth US$297 million, which is double the loss recorded in 2021. The firm also suffered a higher pre-tax operating loss.(Terry Gangcuangco, 30/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'R&Q Insurance posts US$297 million loss')

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, which the UK government described as a ground-breaking law, has been welcomed by the specialty insurance market. Granted Royal Assent, the Financial Services and Markets Bill was introduced in the House of Commons in July 2022 to tailor financial services regulation to fit UK markets following Brexit. Aside from new powers that will set the path for reforms to Solvency II, the law consists of new secondary objectives for the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. (Terry Gangcuangco, 30/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty insurance market welcomes “ground-breaking” new law')

Consumer Intelligence, which has released its latest motor insurance index, describes quoted premiums in the UK as accelerating at an alarming rate. In an emailed release, Consumer Intelligence Insurance Insight Manager Max Thompson stated: “The motor insurance market is witnessing unprecedented premium inflation. “The sudden vanishing of lower-priced deals particularly threatens younger drivers, who are already grappling with higher-than-average premiums.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 30/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'New motor insurance index shows record premium inflation')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Howden, the international insurance broker, has announced that it has expanded its offering in Switzerland with the acquisition of insurance brokers argenius Risk Experts AG (“argenius”) and RVA Versicherungsbroker AG (“RVA”). Born Consulting AG, which has been part of Howden Switzerland since 2022, is acquiring RVA. Both argenius and RVA are highly regarded Swiss insurance brokers and will strengthen Howden Switzerland’s offering to large institutions and SMEs, providing clients with greater access to specialist expertise and international reach via their local market.(Howden, 26/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden acquires two Swiss broking firms')


​Marsh has announced the appointment of Kelly Butler as UK Cyber Leader, effective October 2023. Butler currently serves as Marsh’s Chief Client Officer & Cyber Practice Leader, Pacific, based in Melbourne. Joining Marsh in 2016, she has held several senior positions within the field of cyber insurance and has served as a Senior Cyber Advisor to Marsh’s largest clients. (Ada Tabanao, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Marsh appoints UK cyber leader')

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has appointed Anthony Vassallo to the newly created role of Global Head of Natural Resources, effective immediately. Vassallo joined Allianz in 2003. Throughout his tenure, he has held diverse positions within the specialty lines of the business, spanning the London Market, Asia, and South America. His roles have encompassed underwriting and distribution in both regional and global capacities.(Steven Byerley, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AGCS taps head of natural resources')

Arch Insurance’s UK regional division has announced the appointment of Janine Starkie as Manchester Branch Manager, effective immediately. According to her LinkedIn, Starkie previously worked as a Sales Manager for AXAUK, as well as an Insurer Relations Manager for Broker Network. She has also worked previously at PowerPlace, Towergate Partnership, Groupama, and the RSA. (Kenneth Araullo, 29/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch UK taps branch manager for Manchester')

Everest Re Group has announced the appointment of Don Good as Chief Information Security Officer. Good has more than 30 years of cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and risk management expertise. He spent 21 years at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as Deputy Assistant Director of the Cyber Division, overseeing national security and criminal cyber investigations, as well as cyber threat intelligence. Good has also held leadership positions in cybersecurity and fraud prevention at financial and technology organisations such as Ernst & Young, FTI Consulting, Citigroup, and Navigant. (Steven Byerley, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Everest Re taps new information security chief')

Global insurance group Howden has announced the appointment of Rowan Douglas as its new CEO for Climate Risk and Resilience, effective June 26. Prior to joining Howden, he held a key role at Willis Towers Watson (WTW), leading the Climate and Resilience Hub (CRH) and expanding it to include over 130 climate risk professionals. Douglas was also instrumental in establishing the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) and currently chairs its Operating Committee. He also played a key role in incubating the award-winning Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment. In addition, Douglas served as CEO analytics for Willis Re and founded the Willis Research Network, which pioneered groundbreaking work on climate modelling in 2006. He served on the UK Prime Minister’s Council for Science & Technology from 2011 to 2016 and was honored with a CBE in 2016 for his contributions to the economy through risk, insurance, and sustainable growth. (Ada Tabanao, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden appoints new CEO for Climate Risk and Resilience')

​Lockton has announced the appointment of Clarissa Franks as Head of UK P&C Retail. According to her LinkedIn, Franks comes to the role with more than 15 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Lockton, she worked at Marsh in various senior roles, most recently as Retail Placement Leader for the firm’s UK and Ireland’s three client-facing divisions – risk management, corporate, and commercial. (Kenneth Araullo, 28/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton adds head of UK P&C retail')

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer to its board of management. Claire-Marie Coste-Lepoutre, who has served as CFO of AGCS for over four years, will be succeeded by Oskar Buchauer, the current Head of Allianz Group Actuarial, Planning and Controlling and Group Chief Actuary. In her new role, Coste-Lepoutre will assume Buchauer's position at Allianz SE as the Head of Allianz Group Actuarial, Planning and Controlling and Group Chief Actuary. Buchauer assumes the role of CFO. (Steven Byerley, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AGCS reveals new CFO')

The next City of London Sheriffs have been named, and they’re both from the insurance industry. Alderwoman Dame Susan Langley, Non-Executive Chair at Gallagher UK, and SiriusPoint Chair Alderman Bronek Masojada are succeeding Alderman Alastair King and Andrew Marsden on September 28 after being elected at Guildhall’s Common Hall on Monday. As Sheriffs, the two will serve as ambassadors for the UK’s financial and professional services industry while supporting the Lord Mayor in civic duties. Also part of their one-year remit is promoting the work of the Judges of the Old Bailey and the rule of law. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher UK, SiriusPoint chairs elected as City of London Sheriffs')

Fabrice Brégier has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of the board of directors at SCOR following the passing of Denis Kessler. A former Advisor to several French ministers, Brégier previously spent time as Chief Executive of companies like Eurocopter and Airbus. (Terry Gangcuangco, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SCOR names new board chair')

Tokio Marine HCC International (TMHCCI) has announced a restructuring of its IT and operations teams as part of the company’s ongoing growth strategy. As part of the change, Des Burke, who previously served as Chief Information Officer, has been promoted to the role of Group Chief Operations Officer. Joining from Lloyd’s in 2021, Burke played a pivotal role in transforming TMHCCI’s technology infrastructure and establishing its architectural capabilities. He has more than 25 years of experience in operations and technology posts at large corporations across various sectors. Nicki Tang, previously Head of Technology and Shared Services, has been promoted to the role of Chief Information Officer. She joined TMHCCI in 2019 as Head of Business Intelligence and has held similar positions in different industries over the past two decades. Furthermore, David Fletcher has been promoted to the role of Chief Analytics and Innovation Officer, expanding his current responsibilities. Meanwhile, Head of Procurement Nick Scully will take on additional accountability for workplace management (property and facilities) and travel. (Mika Pangilinan, 27/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Tokio Marine HCC International restructures IT and operations teams')

Lockton Re, the reinsurance arm of the largest privately held insurance brokerage, has announced the appointment of Chris Parish as Market Innovation Leader. He comes to this new role with 25 years of industry experience, most recently as Partner and Portfolio Management and Funds Team Leader at Nephilia Capital, in addition to a Senior Business Adviser role in London for the same company. He has also worked at Aon Benfield Securities, Aon Benfield Re, and Benfield in London, Bermuda, Canada, and the US. (Kenneth Araullo, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton Re appoints market innovation leader')

International General Insurance Holdings (IGI) has announced that its Founder and current CEO Wasef Jabsheh will step down, while current President Waleed Jabsheh will succeed him as the company’s Chief Executive. Waleed Jabsheh will take on expanded responsibilities beyond the insurance and reinsurance business, to include all aspects of the holding company activities, according to a Press statement. He joined IGI in 2002 shortly after inception and has served as president since 2011. Wasef Jabsheh will continue to be engaged in overseeing the strategic direction of IGI as executive chairman. (Gia Snape, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'IGI announces new CEO to succeed founder')

Chubb Limited has announced the appointment of Michael O'Donnell as Chief Operating Officer of global reinsurance. O'Donnell, currently serving as the Division President of Chubb Tempest Re USA, will now take on an expanded role overseeing the strategic and tactical operations of Chubb's global reinsurance operations while continuing to be responsible for the US operations of Chubb Tempest Re. O’Donnell has more than 30 years of industry experience. He joined Chubb Tempest Re Bermuda in 2006 as a Casualty Treaty Underwriter, and has since held roles of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President at ACE Tempest Re USA. Since 2014, O’Donnell has been in charge of Chubb’s US property-casualty assumed reinsurance operations. Prior to joining Chubb, O’Donnell worked at General Reinsurance Corp. focusing on underwriting casualty facultative business. (Steven Byerley, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chubb names operations chief for global reinsurance')

​Aspen Insurance Holdings has announced the appointment of Mike Rastigue as Vice President of cyber risk management at Aspen Insurance. He will be based in the company’s Chicago office. Rastigue has more than 20 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining Aspen, he served as Vice President of cyber risk practice at Marsh and Director of cyber solutions at Verisk. He has also held positions as a Broker at RT Specialty and, most recently, as the Cyber Solutions Team Leader at Crum & Forster. (Steven Byerley, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aspen announces cyber risk management leader')

Industry veteran Graham White, who worked in the Lloyd’s Market for more than five decades, has passed away. “We at Argenta were saddened to learn of the death of Graham White on Wednesday, 21st June,” Argenta Group said in a statement. White, whose career began in 1968, retired from Argenta in 2017. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/6/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Former Lloyd’s deputy chair passes away')

Alan Boswell Group has appointed a new Director to its Peterborough branch. Steve Seekings, who has over 40 years’ experience in the insurance industry, including roles for Marsh and Aon, joins from Saffron Insurance, where he was Managing Director. Steve joins the Group as it goes from strength to strength; with the company recently announcing a number of acquisitions and being awarded Insurance Broker of the Year at the FM Insurance Awards. (Alan Boswell, 26/6/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Alan Boswell Group appoints former Saffron Insurance MD as new Regional Manager')

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