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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 7th July 2023

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Insurance News

​Bridgehaven Insurance, a new insurer backed by private equity firm Flexpoint Ford, has entered the UK market to serve as a hybrid-fronting carrier with a focus on commercial and specialty lines. In a release, Bridgehaven said it will act in the best interest of reinsurers and align with select managing general agents. The hybrid-fronting carrier is headed by chief executive Paul Jewell, who has more than three decades of industry experience. (Terry Gangucangco, 7/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'New insurer Bridgehaven Insurance enters UK market')

Outlook for the managing general agent sector remains positive despite recent economic turbulence, according to a new Clyde & Co report, with 90% of MGAs and 80% of carriers expecting to increase or maintain their partnerships. This optimism persists despite expectations of a surge in claims volume and heightened legal and regulatory scrutiny, as 55% of carriers and 59% of MGAs surveyed stated that the economic environment had a neutral effect on capacity allocation for the year 2022. (Mika Pangilinan, 7/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'MGA market to continue momentum despite challenges – report')

Continuing the market trends observed at the beginning of the year, the mid-year renewals in the reinsurance industry demonstrated improved timing and agreement on terms and conditions, according to global risk and reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter, a subsidiary of Marsh McLennan. While property pricing showed ongoing risk-adjusted rate increases in various segments, the average change was moderated compared to the start of the year. (Steven Byerley, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Market continues recalibration at mid-year renewals – report')

The cyber insurance market could reach US$50 billion by 2030, according to a new report from insurance broker Howden. Howden’s third annual cyber insurance market report, titled 'Coming of Age', highlights three key factors that will determine the market's growth: distribution, tail-risk management, and attracting capital. Despite the challenges, the report suggests that the cyber insurance market is on the brink of significant expansion. (Steven Byerley, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Global cyber premiums could surpass US$50bn by 2030 – Howden')

Specialty MGA UK, a recently established managing general agent (MGA) dedicated to offering additional capacity for specialty business lines, has obtained approval as a Lloyd's Coverholder. This Coverholder status grants Specialty MGA UK the authority to bind insurance policies on behalf of Lloyd's syndicates, enabling it to deliver insurance and reinsurance solutions to businesses worldwide. (Ada Tabanao, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty MGA UK secures Lloyd's Coverholder status')

OAC, an actuarial consultant under the Broadstone group, has announced that it has officially joined the Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA). The association, since its inception 2011, has grown to encompass a membership that controls over £7.3 billion of gross written premiums. It has over 200 MGA members, 56 market practitioners, and 122. OAC, meanwhile, offers a range of services to MGAs, ranging from actuarial services like pricing, portfolio analysis, modelling, and optimisation to compliance services. The firm also provides data analytics, data quality, and calculation and modelling services with actuarial assurance on top. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'OAC joins Managing General Agents' Association')

Ecclesiastical, a specialist insurer known for its expertise in the heritage sector, is expanding its business by launching a new leisure product. The move will initially focus on providing insurance coverage for four- and five-star hotels, fine-dining restaurants, gastropubs, and visitor attractions, with plans to expand to other customer groups in the future. (Mika Pangilinan, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ecclesiastical expands insurance offerings to leisure sector')

AXA has announced that it has signed a 10-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with IGNIS, a renewable energy group in Spain. A VPPA makes it possible for both parties to contribute to the equivalent of all or part of a consumer’s energy needs, as well as supply the grid with renewable electricity. This contract also involves a solar power plant in Andalusia, Spain, which will begin construction shortly. It is targeted to be operational by May 2025. Under the VPPA, AXA commits to purchasing 90% of the renewable energy produced by this future power plant, or 84 GWh per year. This is in line with the electricity consumption of buildings and data centres of AXA’s European entities. (Kenneth Araullo, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA inks 10-year deal for development of renewables in Europe')

​Global (re)insurer Sompo International has announced the opening of its first Madrid office on July 1, located at Puerta de Europa, Torre Realia, Paseo de la Castellan 216. Insurance Iberia country Manager Jamie Cañellas welcomed clients, broker partners, colleagues, and other stakeholders to the insurer’s new office. This recent expansion follows Sompo International’s other recent global developments; earlier this year, the P&C firm expanded in the UK with its first-ever office outside of London through the opening of its Birmingham branch. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Sompo opens Madrid office')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​The news keeps coming in for Pen Underwriting’s marine division which has today announced its further expansion with the acquisition of Fender Marine AS (Fender). The underwriting business has acquired the specialist Norwegian MGA for an undisclosed sum in a bid to further broaden and deepen its marine specialism. Founded in 2005 by Chairman and Director Tore Høisæther and Director Christian Lien, Fender – which is a Lloyd’s coverholder and is backed by long-term A-rated capacity – brings onboard a 17-strong team and £14 million in GWP. The MGA is led by CEO Ola Skauge and will become part of Pen’s international & financial lines division. (Mia Wallace, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Pen Underwriting onboards new marine business')

Howden, the international insurance broker, has announced the acquisition of Media Insurance Brokers International Limited (“Media Insurance Brokers”, or “MIB”), a major independent UK and Irish film and television broker, representing a significant step in Howden’s strategy to become the leading insurance broker in this market. Operating since 1990, MIB offers specialist insurance products to the film, television, music and events sectors, and has strong relationships with many of the leading broadcasters and media buying companies, as well as with many independent production companies. The acquisition significantly enhances Howden’s media and entertainment offering and reflects Howden’s strategy to be the preeminent choice for sport and entertainment clients. (Howden, 6/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden acquires Media Insurance Brokers International Limited')

​Ardonagh Advisory strengthens Ethos’ presence in Yorkshire with acquisition of PB Curran. Ardonagh Advisory announced that it has acquired PB Curran, an independent, family-run broker, specialising in commercial, landlords, farming and private clients insurance. With more than 50 years’ experience in General Insurance, PB Curran has long-standing relationships in place with insurers and clients across the UK. (Ardonagh Advisory, 6/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Ardonagh Advisory buys independent broker PB Curran')

​TheClear Group has announced the acquisition of a 50% shareholding in Thomond Underwriting Limited based in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This partnership represents the Clear Group’s first MGA deal and is a continuation of its strategy to broaden its capability and international reach. Thomond Underwriting is a commercial MGA and Lloyd’s Coverholder, which has been operating in Ireland and Northern Ireland since 2007. It deals exclusively through brokers and offers a wide range of commercial insurance solutions including commercial liability, commercial material damage and BI, commercial property owners, contractors all risks, personal accident & illness, professional indemnity and cyber. (The Clear Group, 6/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Clear Group broadens capability with first MGA investment')


​Ecclesiastical Insurance has tapped a new leader for its schemes business following the retirement of Tony Fletcher. Chris Withers is set to take over Fletcher’s position as Schemes and Facilities Director, having served as Broker Distribution Director at Ecclesiastical since 2016. Prior to joining Ecclesiastical, Withers worked as Schemes Manager and Head of Distribution at Covea. He also held several business development and leadership roles at RSA. (Mika Pangilinan, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ecclesiastical taps new head for schemes business')

Evolution Claims Management has promoted Operations Head Martin Thompson to Chief Operating Officer. As part of his new position, Thompson – whose 18-year career includes time spent as Davies Group Strategic Accounts Associate Director and Direct Group Limited Operations Manager – will also become a member of the Evolution board. (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Evolution Claims Management names chief operating officer')

BMS Re, the specialty reinsurance division of global broking group BMS, has announced appointments in the US and the UK to strengthen its facultative practice and drive expansion in key markets. Steve Housse has been appointed as Managing Director and Facultative Practice Lead, while Dan Shea has been named Senior Vice President of property facultative. Both will be based in Atlanta. Housse has extensive experience in the property facultative space, having previously led the US property practice at Guy Carpenter. Shea, formerly of Lockton Re, joins BMS Re with expertise in the hybrid, facultative obligatory, and industrial sectors. In addition to these appointments, James Elliott, currently a Managing Director at Gallagher Re, will join BMS Re as Managing Director and Facultative Practice Lead in the UK once his current contractual obligations are completed in March 2024. (Steven Byerley, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'BMS Re announces key appointments in UK, US')

Howden company Aston Lark has added another Account Executive to its new team in South Wales. Launched earlier this year, the Welsh office recently welcomed Alex Davies to its rapidly growing roster. Davies, who hails from Brynmawr, brings more than 13 years of industry experience to Aston Lark. Her credentials include time spent at FR Ball and Thomas Carroll. (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/7/2023, Inusrance Business UK, 'Aston Lark adds to growing team in Wales')

Financial and professional lines (finpro) managing general agent Spring Insure, which is looking to significantly expand its footprint in the UK and European finpro market, has hired additional specialist Underwriters. New hires James O’Halloran and Charlie Cooper bring the MGA’s roster count to 27 across London, Dublin, and Guernsey. O’Halloran joins as Development Underwriter from CFC Underwriting and brings more than eight years of industry experience to Spring Insure. Cooper, meanwhile, will serve as Underwriter for financial institutions, fintech, and cyber insurance programmes for commercial and financial services SME businesses. His insurance experience spans six years and includes time spent at Protean Risk. (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Spring Insure raises staff count with double hire')

Brokerslink has announced a change in its governance with the introduction of a two-tier board structure. The recent merger between Brokerslink Management AG and Brokerslink AG resulted in Brokerslink AG becoming the sole legal entity, paving the way for this adjustment. The established board of directors includes José Manuel Fonseca (founder and chairman of Brokerslink and CEO of MDS Group, Portugal), Steve Hearn (vice-chairman of Brokerslink, CEO of Inver Re, and member of the Ardonagh Group's Executive Leadership team, UK), Edoardo Leusciatti (SRB, Switzerland), Grégory Allard (Filhet-Allard, France), Jamie Crystal (Alliant Insurance Services, US), Patrick Chi Kong Chan (Nova Insurances Consultants, Hong Kong), Stefan Müller (Wenger & Vieli, Switzerland), and Sunny Léons (Léons, Netherlands). (Ada tabanao, 6/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerslink announces new board structure')

The sports and entertainment team at (re)insurance broker Miller has a new member in the form of Account Executive Juan Hernandez. Based in London, Hernandez will focus on the team’s media, TV, and film offering. He brings more than 25 years of insurance experience – including 12 years spent at specialist broker Media Insurance – to the post. The Account Executive’s credentials also include stints at Aon and Abbeygate Insurance Brokers. (Terry Gangcuangco, 5/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Miller grows sports and entertainment team')

Benjamin Turner has been appointed as Chief Information Officer for Allianz Holdings in the UK. The appointment was announced by Allianz in a release, following Turner’s six-month stint serving as Interim CIO. Turner joined Allianz in 2020 through the acquisition of Legal & General’s general insurance division (L&G GI), where he oversaw IT, information security, and data protection as Chief Technology Officer. He retained this role at Allianz, while taking on additional responsibilities as IT Delivery Director for Allianz Personal in 2021. He was appointed CIO of Allianz Personal in 2022 and was later tapped to serve as Interim CIO for Allianz Holdings. (Mika Pangilinan, 5/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz appoints UK chief information officer')

Earlier this year at the 2023 BIBA Conference in Manchester, Steve White revealed that he would be stepping down as CEO of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA). The association has announced it has found his successor in former Executive Director Graeme Trudgill who steps into the role with immediate effect. Trudgill, who has been a member of BIBA’s main board for 10 years, has led the policy team in incorporating corporate affairs, technical services and communications. In addition, he was personally responsible for BIBA’s public affairs lobby with government, displaying a keen understanding of members’ issues including through his authorship of BIBA’s annual Manifesto and his involvement with its advisory boards. Trudgill is also a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Chartered insurance practitioner - and was previously a practising insurance broker. (Mia Wallace, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'BIBA names its new chief executive')

Pen Underwriting has made further strides in bolstering its new marine specialism with the appointment of Munro Anderson as Head of Operations at Vessel Protect. Anderson assumes his new role with over 15 years of experience in the field, having been a Founding Partner at real-time risk intelligence and maritime security solutions provider Dryad Global. Prior to this, he also spent eight years working in intelligence and security at the UK Ministry of Defence. (Mika Pangilinan, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Pen Underwriting continues expansion of marine specialism')

Zurich UK Chief Executive Tim Bailey and M&G Plc’s Retail and Savings CEO Clare Bousfield have been named as the new President and Deputy President, respectively, of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). "I’m delighted to announce Tim Bailey and Clare Bousfield as ABI President and Deputy President,” ABI Chair Baroness Nicky Morgan said in a release. “Their experience, insight, and leadership will be greatly valued, particularly at such an important time for the industry as we prepare for the introduction of Solvency UK.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ABI announces new president and deputy')

The Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA) has named John Bissell as incoming Executive Director. Bissell’s credentials include time spent at ACORD, Pro-Global Insurance Solutions, Capita Insurance Services, Miller Insurance Services, and Aviva. (Terry Gangcuangco, 4/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters picks incoming executive director')

Markerstudy has announced the appointment of Amanda Fox as its new Chief Customer Officer. Leading a team of 30, Fox will oversee all customer touchpoints while ensuring that the products and services provided by Markerstudy maintain fairness and value. Fox joined Markerstudy in 2020. (Ada Tabanao, 3/7/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markerstudy welcomes new chief')

Premium Credit, the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of insurance premium finance and specialist lending services, has announced the appointment of Sara Heald as Sustainability Manager. She joins Premium Credit having gained significant, specialist sustainability experience working at Legal & General and most recently, Howden Insurance Brokers. (Premium Credit, 3/7/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Premium Credit appoints Sara Heald as their first Sustainability Manager')

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