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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 14th July 2023

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​The UK pharmaceutical sector is poised to outperform its European counterparts in terms of growth, but persistent productivity challenges could impede progress and profitability, according to new research by QBE. QBE’s latest report on the UK life sciences sector projected that pharmaceutical output would increase by 4.1% in real terms in 2023. (Mika Pangilinan, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UK pharmaceutical sector poised for growth but challenges loom – QBE report')

Specialist insurance provider CFC has announced the launch of an innovation facility aimed at developing and underwriting products under the Lloyd's "ICX" innovation risk code. The facility, led by the CFC 1988 syndicate, will utilize CFC's unique innovation approach to explore underwriting opportunities while managing downside risk, the company said. (Steven Byerley, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'CFC unveils innovation facility')

​Global broker WTW has announced that it will integrate climate data into its broking property renewals, a move that aims to help clients assess their long-term risks associated with their property portfolios and develop effective risk management strategies. The inclusion of climate data will enable clients to evaluate future exposures to climate change, WTW said. By analysing a range of climate indicators, companies can gain insights into how climate change may impact their portfolio by 2050. Some key indicators include extreme heat, rainfall, and fire weather risk. Assessing these indicators can help organisations contextualise climate change and its potential effects on their property assets. (Steven Byerley, 11/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW to add climate data in broking property renewals')

Blink Parametric is looking to hire 30 colleagues, the majority of which will be based in the insurtech’s new European Union headquarters in Cork. Unveiling the new City Quarter office on Monday, Blink Parametric said the vacancies span presales, full stack developers, and QA and data analytics roles. The hiring spree will effectively double the company’s workforce in Cork by the end of 2025. (Terry Gangcuangco, 11/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Blink Parametric unveils new headquarters and hiring plans')

Specialist insurer Beazley has announced the next phase of its ESG Consortium's development. Starting from January 2024, subject to regulatory approval, the consortium's capacity will fully transition to Syndicate 5623. This move is expected to support the future growth of the ESG Consortium, leveraging the size, cost effectiveness, and expertise of Syndicate 5623 as a leading follow syndicate, Beazley said. (Steven Byerley, 11/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialist insurer unveils next phase of ESG Consortium')

Energy giant BP is reportedly in talks with multiple insurance providers over a possible record-breaking pension scheme deal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times said BP is looking to pass on its pension liabilities to insurers in a transaction that is potentially the largest in the industry’s history. It was highlighted that a deal for BP’s £30 billion final salary pension fund in the UK would be bigger than the £6.5 billion in liabilities taken over by Pension Insurance Corporation from RSA earlier this year. (Terry Gangcuangco, 10/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'BP looking to pass on pension liabilities to insurers in possible record-breaking deal')

International broker Howden has announced that Pernix Specialty Limited has teamed up with Howden CAP to become its latest API (application programming interfaces) partner. The move is said to highlight both Howden CAP and Pernix’s commitment to utilise digital platforms to enhance market efficiency, offer improved solutions to clients, and drive the adoption of digital transactions within the London Market. (Mika Pangilinan, 10/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden CAP names Pernix as latest API partner')

In further news...Howden has announced a new partnership with The British & Irish Lions that will span the next four years. The agreement positions Howden as a principal partner of the Lions and the official front of jersey sponsor for the upcoming 2025 Lions Tour to Australia. Howden’s sponsorship will also go towards supporting The British & Irish Lions at the community level through the Lions Origin Clubs, an initiative that recognises and celebrates clubs that have contributed to the development of Lions players throughout their rugby journeys. (Mika Pangilinan, 14/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden enters four-year partnership with The British & Irish Lions')

The biggest Para swimming event of the year has been officially named as the Manchester 2023 Allianz Para Swimming World Championships. The competition will take place from 31 July to 6 August at the Manchester Aquatics Centre. This will be the 11th edition of the World Championships and it marks the second time Allianz joins the event as title sponsor, following a successful partnership at London 2019. (Allianz, 13/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Allianz announced as title partner of 2023 Para Swimming World Championships')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Leeds-headquartered insurance law firm Plexus, which consists of Plexus Legal LLP in England and Plexus North LLP in Scotland, has been bought out of administration by Axiom Ince Limited. The Plexus sale, financial terms of which were not disclosed, came shortly after administrators from Interpath Advisory were appointed. Woes at Plexus stemmed from financial irregularities and overstatement of profits. It was found that the law firm was at a loss-making position and needed new funding. (Terry Gangcuangco, 10/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Plexus gets bought out of administration by Axiom Ince')

Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP), a Brown & Brown company, has completed the purchase of 100% of the share capital of commercial broker SB2 Limited, the holding company for KPTI Ltd trading as IS Insurance Solutions (KPTI). KPTI is a commercial lines broker specialising in the property owners and combined commercial markets. The holding company, SB2 Ltd, was formed in 2019 by current directors Bram Vyas and Shamit Malhotra. (Global Risk Partners, 13/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'GRP buys London based commercial broker KPTI Ltd')

The Clear Group has announced the acquisition of Speciality Lines MGA, One Commercial Specialty Limited. This represents the Clear Group’s second MGA deal and is a continuation of its strategy to build a market leading MGA capability. One Commercial Specialty Limited’s MGA expertise will sit alongside Clear’s retail broking business. One Commercial Speciality Limited offer Professional Indemnity and Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance products across a wide range of professions and industry sectors. Its Directors Dan Mitchell and James Russell will continue to lead the business and play a key role in developing Clear’s MGA proposition to brokers. (Clear Group, 13/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Clear Group buys MGA')

In further news...Leading independent broker, the Clear Group has announced the acquisition of two brokers, Mayor Broking Limited and MJB Finningley Limited. Mayor Broking Ltd provides insurance solutions for property owners, fleet, commercial motor and HNW properties. Managing Director Nigel Mayor will now join forces with Clear’s team based in Amersham. MJB Finningley Ltd Is a specialist broker, which provides risk management solutions across fleet, commercial motor and commercial combined. Managing Director Mike Blackham will now work closely with the ProAktive team based in Doncaster. (Clear Group, 10/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Clear Group buys 2 broking businesses')

Green Insurance Group (Greens), the South Eastern hub brokerage for Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP), a Brown & Brown company, has completed the acquisition of Brighton-based Petherwick Insurance Brokers Ltd (Petherwicks) for an undisclosed fee. Petherwicks is a predominantly commercial lines broker with over 40 years of trading experience in the Sussex area, and according to Duncan Coleman, CEO of Greens, “is an excellent business that expands our footprint along the South East coast.” (Greens Insurance Group, 10/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Greens acquire Brighton based broker Petherwicks')

Ardonagh Advisory has acquired Sentinel Insurance Solutions Ltd, a leading commercial broker specialising in Self-Drive Hire insurance products for clients across the UK. Based in Reading, Sentinel was established in 2008 by Managing Director Jon Duncan, who having worked extensively in the field, identified a gap in the market for quality Self-Drive Hire insurance products. (youTalk Insurance, 10/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Ethos Broking offering boosted with broker acquisition')

In further news...Ardonagh Advisory announces the acquisition of AMS Insurance Solutions Ltd, further bolstering Ardonagh’s presence in the south-west of England. AMS is a highly regarded regional broker, providing commercial and personal lines insurance, with specialisms in construction, manufacturing, liability and warehousing and distribution products as well as a range of insurance solutions for small businesses. (Ardonagh Advisory, 10/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Ardonagh Advisory buys AMS Insurance Solutions')


​Lloyd's has announced the appointment of Rebekah Clement as Corporate Affairs Director, effective immediately. Clement has more than 20 years of experience in corporate affairs, and brings a wealth of expertise in government policy, brand reputation, media, and communications. She has held senior positions in both the public and private sectors, including roles in New Zealand's Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Most recently, Clement played a key role in developing and leading Lloyd's sustainability framework and initiatives. (Steven Byerley, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd's reveals new corporate affairs director')

Insurance-focused consultancy GreenKite Associates has added a Chief Commercial Officer to its executive team. Joining the all-female leadership roster with immediate effect is Sharon Brown, who served as a board advisor to the firm from last November. In the newly created role, Brown will have oversight of all sales, marketing, and related customer service activities at GreenKite. Leveraging her broker and managing general agent market expertise, the new executive team member will be in charge of developing and executing commercial strategies that support GreenKite’s overall business objectives. (Terry Gangucangco, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'GreenKite Associates adds chief commercial officer to executive team')

Swiss Re is undergoing a thorough succession process for its new chairperson following the resignation of Sergio P. Ermotti. After an extensive identification and selection process involving external candidates, the governance and nomination committee, led by Joerg Reinhardt, has determined that Jacques de Vaucleroy, the current Vice Chairman, should continue leading the board of directors. Ermotti. De Vaucleroy's nomination as the new Swiss Re Chairman will be proposed for election at the next annual general meeting in April 2024, a decision fully supported by the board members, the company said. (Steven Byerley, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re reveals new chairman nominee')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Group has announced the appointment of new institute Directors to its Personal Finance Society (PFS) board, with five new Directors joining the longest-established society. The new institute Directors are as follows: Andy Briscoe - a former Chair of Indesser, Briscoe has more than 25 years of experience leading firms across a variety of industries, including financial services and insurance, Neil Buckley – former Chief Executive of the Legal Services Board and Director of investigations at Ofcom, Buckley is currently with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, a Royal Charter body, Christine Elliott – former Chief Executive of The Institute for Turnaround and Transformation and Director of Bletchley Park, Elliott has a wealth of board experience and is currently chairing the Positive Planet UK advisory board, among others, Edward Grant– a Director with St. James’ Place, Grant is a Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager and Fellow of PFS, and has previously served as past President for the society and Catherine Seddon – currently holding roles in the Gambling Commission, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, Legal Services Board, and more, Seddon has a wealth of experience from leadership roles across a range of professions. (Kenneth Araullo, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'CII unveils new institute directors for PFS Board')

ICMIF also announced that Liz Green, Executive Vice President, has been appointed as CEO-designate with immediate effect. She will officially assume the role of CEO in November 2024, following the conclusion of the next ICMIF Biennial Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) has announced that CEO Shaun Tarbuck will retire in November 2024 after 28 years of service to the global organisation. (Steven Byerley, 12/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Global insurance body unveils leadership change')

Brokerslink Vice Chairman and outgoing Inver Re Chief Executive Steve Hearn will be succeeding SiriusPoint Chair Bronek Masojada as Chair of Placing Platform Limited (PPL). The announcement comes following Hearn’s confirmation on LinkedIn that he is leaving The Ardonagh Group, parent of reinsurance broker Inver Re. News of him exiting the business this summer began circulating last week. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'PPL names Bronek Masojada’s successor as chair')

Aon has restructured its reinsurance solutions UK leadership team to drive internal collaboration and deliver enhanced value to clients more efficiently. Global Re Specialty (GRS) will be jointly led by Richard Wheeler and Tom Murray. The London-based co-leaders will be working alongside Mark Skilton, the team’s Chair. All three will report to UK Chief Executive for reinsurance solutions Rupert Moore. Meanwhile, the executive committee at GRS will consist of Moore; Don Magee, UK Chair for reinsurance solutions; Jeremy Goodman, Reinsurance Solutions UK President; Fred Streeton, specialty client segment head; Anshuman Srivastava, reinsurer client segment head; and Ben Love, strategic growth leader. Additionally, James Milne will lead a newly combined UK & Ireland property, casualty, and motor business in his capacity as Head of UK within the simplified structure. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon announces restructure of reinsurance solutions UK leadership')

Global legacy acquirer Compre has appointed Daniel Fiehn as Group Chief Operating Officer with immediate effect. Fiehn’s credentials include time spent as COO at insurtech Incited and Markerstudy Insurance Group. He also previously worked at Aon, HBOS, LTSB, and Sterling Insurance, bringing more than three decades of experience in operational, technology, and leadership roles in global financial services to Compre. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Compre hires group chief operating officer')

​Markel has named Martin Parker as its new Head of Construction Underwriting UK as the firm looks to grow its market share in the class and create a new specialist product for client needs. Parker comes to Markel following a 19-year career in HSB Engineering Insurance, which he joined in 2004. During his tenure there, he held various senior roles in underwriting, operations, and business development. According to his LinkedIn, he was most recently the Head of Digital Trading, where he helped create an e-trade proposition from scratch, incorporating product builds and team implementation before taking responsibility for profitability and strategic direction. (Kenneth Araullo, 12/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markel names new head of construction underwriting in UK')

K2 Financial, a division of K2 International and part of K2 Insurance Services, an independent specialty insurance program manager, has announced the appointment of Kevin Leach as Senior Vice President and Founder of its US operation. This move is part of K2 Financial's commitment to establishing a presence in the US market. Leach has extensive experience in the insurance sector. Prior to joining K2, he served as the Head of Financial Institutions at Hanover in the US, as well as holding roles at Allianz and CNA. His appointment reflects K2 Financial's strategic focus on expanding its capabilities and accessibility in the US market, the company said. (Steven Byerley, 10/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'K2 Financial appoints SVP to spearhead US operation')

Risk management and insurance services provider U.M. Association Limited (UMAL), which serves the higher education (HE) and further education (FE) sector, has named Paul Cusition’s successor as Chief Executive. On September 4, James Roberts will take on the role of CEO designate at the mutual entity before officially assuming the top post when Cusition transitions to Chair in 2024. “I am very much looking forward to settling into the role, getting to know the team and our members,” Roberts, whose more than three decades of commercial insurance experience includes time spent at Zurich, said in an emailed release. Meanwhile, Chair Allan Guest, who will be retiring at the annual general meeting in December, thanked Cusition for his time as UMAL’s Chief Executive. (Terry Gangcuangco, 10/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UMAL names next CEO')

Peter Wilson, who served as Chief Executive of AXIS Insurance from 2013 to 2022, is joining the group board of QBE Insurance Group as a Non-Executive Director (NED). “It is my pleasure to welcome Peter Wilson to the board,” Chair Mike Wilkins said in a release. “Pete has an outstanding career in the insurance industry with extensive experience in both executive and board positions and brings a strong focus on governance, process improvement, and collaboration." (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE adds former AXIS Insurance CEO to its board')

WTW has strengthened its insurance investment business with the appointment of Punil Chaubal as its Insurance Investment Advisory Proposition Leader in the UK. Chaubal joined WTW in June 2022 as an Associate Director. Prior to this, he also worked as a Manager at EY, as well as an Associate Director for River and Mercantile. According to his LinkedIn, Chaubal also worked at Aviva as a Capital Projects Manager, in addition to various analyst and managerial roles at Direct Line Group. He also spent time at Lane Clark & Peacock, Generali, and NFU Mutual. Chaubal also served as Special Constable with the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police. (Kenneth Araullo, 14/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW bolsters insurance investment business with key appointment')

Allianz Personal has announced the appointment of James Hillon as the new Director of Pricing for personal lines, following the decision by Hugh Kenyon to retire after 17 years in the business. James brings with him a wealth of experience and industry knowledge from his time at ManyPets and previous roles including Director, Actuarial and Insurance Risk at KPMG UK LLP where he worked across the personal lines, health and commercial lines sectors and supporting insurers with the FCA General Pricing Practices (GIPP). He also spent four years as Pricing and Propositions Director of Co-op Insurance, leading a large team with responsibility for pricing, product development, underwriting and 1st line risk management. (Allianz, 13/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Allianz appoints new Personal Lines Director of Pricing')

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced the appointment of Lauren Kent as President, AXIS Re International. Ms. Kent brings more than 25 years of experience in reinsurance spanning London, European and U.S. markets. Her expertise extends across multiple specialist lines of business, with a strong focus in the Casualty Treaty market. Most recently, Ms. Kent was Senior Vice President, International Casualty Manager at Chubb Tempest Re in Zurich. She has also held positions at companies including Endurance Specialty Limited, Endurance Worldwide Limited, GE Employers Reinsurance Corporation and Zurich Reinsurance. (AXIS, 13/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS appoints Lauren Kent to lead AXIS Re International')

AXA XL has announced that Carol Richmond joined the Boards of AXA XL Underwriting Agencies Ltd and AXA XL Insurance Company UK Ltd (AXA XL UK) as an Independent Non-Executive Director on 10 July 2023. Until March 2023, Carol was Chief Risk, Compliance and ESG Officer at Gallagher, having joined Gallagher in 2015 to lead the transformation of their risk, compliance and financial crime functions, bringing with her 30 years’ experience in regulatory, governance and customer-focused roles in the financial services sector. Carol served on the boards of all Gallagher UK-regulated entities. Prior to Gallagher, Carol was Chief Risk Officer and Board Director at Aon UK Limited, a role that encompassed driving the company’s strategy and development plans. She was also previously an Independent Governor on the Board of the University of Bedfordshire and a Trustee of Regent’s University London. In 2016, Carol was voted one of the most influential women in insurance by Intelligent Insurer magazine. In 2017 she won the Business Insurance award of Women to Watch for EMEA. In both 2019 and 2020 she was recognised by Insurance Business as one of the Insurance Business Global 100 high-fliers. (AXA XL, 11/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA XL Underwriting Agencies Ltd and AXA XL Insurance Company UK Ltd announce independent NED')

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has hired David Corrigan as Head of Property for the UK. Based in London, Corrigan joins BHSI from Aviva where he served as Head of Property, Global Corporate & Specialty. The key hire brings more than two and a half decades of experience in the UK large corporate property market and the London Market wholesale segment. (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance appoints UK property head')

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