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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 6th October 2023

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Insurance News

​AXA has unveiled its “We Care” program, crafted to extend support to the global insurer’s employees through various life stages and crucial junctures. This initiative aims to equip AXA's 110,000 employees with the resources, time, and assistance to navigate both personal and professional decisions with confidence. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA launches global wellbeing program for employees')

Cyber risk solution provider Resilience has announced an extension of its underwriting capacity limits to £10 million for insureds in the United Kingdom and European Union. This augmentation in capacity is a result of a partnership with RSA Insurance and R&Q Accredited, with the additional capacity complementing Resilience’s existing capabilities in the UK and EU, supported by HDI Global Specialty. With cyber threats to UK and European enterprises growing increasingly complex, the conventional security response has primarily involved “firefighting” as opposed to adopting a strategic risk management approach to cyber threats. A recent report by the EU Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) revealed that due to perceived unreasonable pricing and unfavourable coverage, 75% of operators of essential services (OESs) surveyed presently do not possess insurance coverage for cyber incidents. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Resilience widens limits for cyber cover in UK and Europe')

The Supreme Court in the UK has ruled that the payment protection insurance (PPI) claims against RBS in Smith and another v Royal Bank of Scotland were brought before the relevant time limit expired. It was noted that the two claimants were sold PPI while they had credit cards with RBS but were not originally told that most of the money paid for insurance did not go to the insurer but was retained by the NatWest-owned bank as commission. (Terry Gangcuangco, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UK Supreme Court rules against RBS in PPI claims case')

Major reinsurer SCOR is acquiring nine million of its own shares as part of the call option in the company’s settlement agreement with Covéa. In a release, SCOR said: “Under the June 2021 settlement agreement entered into between SCOR and Covéa in the presence of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, Covéa granted SCOR a binding and irrevocable call option on its full stake in SCOR – representing 8.8% of the share capital – at a price of €28 per share". (Terry Gangcuangco, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SCOR buys nine million of its own shares')

The Scottish team of insurance and legal services provider Carpenters Group has moved from 147 Blythswood Street to 10 Bothwell Street in Glasgow. In an emailed release, the company said: “We are delighted to confirm that we have now found a fantastic new central location for our Glasgow office which we believe is suitable for our growing team.”(Terry Gangcuangco, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Carpenters Group unveils new location in Glasgow')

HIVE Underwriters and Allianz Commercial have unveiled a new partnership to underwrite aviation hull war and excess third-party aviation war liabilities (XS AVN52) classes, effective immediately. Leveraging Allianz’s capacity, the collaboration will impact HIVE’s risk analytics and exposure management systems. (Kenneth Araullo, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Commercial enters new collaboration with HIVE')

​Dublin-based SMBC Aviation Capital has received approximately US$710 million in cash insurance settlement proceeds for claims involving planes previously leased to Russian carrier Aeroflot. In its announcement, the Irish firm said: “The amount represents a settlement of SMBC Aviation Capital’s insurance claims under Aeroflot’s insurance and reinsurance policies relating to 16 aircraft and associated engines. An additional insurance settlement has been concluded for one aircraft and associated engines managed by SMBC Aviation Capital". (Terry Gangcuangco, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'SMBC Aviation Capital seals insurance settlement')

Seventeen Group, parent of James Hallam Insurance Brokers, has published its financial results for 2022. In an emailed release, Seventeen Group reported a 19% increase in overall group income to £37.2 million. The company’s adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation), meanwhile, rose by 34% to £6.4 million. Referring to CCRS, Broker Scotland, Bryce Smith & Partners, and Torbay Insurance Services, Seventeen Group said: “Four acquisitions were made in 2022, and when the full year impact of these acquisitions are taken into account, our EBITDA increases to £7.6 million. (Terry Gangcuangco, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'James Hallam parent announces full-year financials')

The APRIL Group, parent of APRIL International UK, has announced a three-year growth plan focussed on the international private medical insurance (IPMI) division. The plan spans both organic expansion and strategic acquisitions that will be underpinned by a digital-centric approach aimed at simplifying the broker experience and client management. According to Maumy, the goal is to solidify the APRIL Group’s presence both in the UK and international markets while providing “greater value to our brokers and policyholders.”(Mika Pangilinan, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'APRIL Group unveils three-year growth plan')

ClimateTech live flood alert firm Previsico announced the successful completion of its latest funding round. The round, which had a higher valuation than the prior one in August 2021, was led by venture capital investor 24Haymarket (24H) and supported by the Foresight Group, an infrastructure and private equity investment manager. Previsico's progress with major corporations like Network Rail, National Grid, and The Guinness Partnership, as well as leading insurers including Zurich, Liberty Specialty Markets, and Generali was acknowledged by investors. They also recognized the commercial potential of the company’s flood forecasting technology and its ability to have a positive environmental and social impact. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Previsico closes latest funding round for ongoing expansion')

The specialty (re)insurance brokerage McGill and Partners has announced it has signed a heads of agreement with M&G to relocate into a brand-new office space in the heart of the City and London’s insurance district. In a move described by McGill & Partners CEO Steve McGill as “hugely exciting”, the firm will look to move into 40 Leadenhall London, when completed. It will sign a 16-year lease on 43,000 sq ft of office space, representing an increase of more than 50% in its current footprint. In a press release, the broker noted that the expansion reinforces its ambitions for long-term growth, enabled by the acquisition of more great talent. (Mia Wallace, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'McGill and Partners signs agreement for new office space')

Aviva and mixed-use developer Socius announced the two have been selected as the preferred bidder to advance the development of the leading cancer research and treatment district worldwide at the London Cancer Hub (LCH) in Sutton, London. In collaboration with the landowner London Borough of Sutton, Aviva and Socius will work closely with the Institute for Cancer Research, London, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, and Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust on this multi-phase development. It encompasses a 1-million-square-foot life sciences district situated on a five-hectare site. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva tapped as preferred bidder for development of cancer research district')

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the new rules that are aimed at supporting residential leaseholders in the multi-occupancy buildings insurance market, and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) have been quick to react. The reforms, which will take effect on the 31st of December, will mandate insurance firms to treat residential leaseholders as customers when designing products. Insurers will be required to ensure that policies provide fair value to leaseholders, who must also be informed of pricing details such as any commission paid. (Terry Gangcuangco, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ABI, BIBA react to leasehold buildings insurance reforms')

R&Q Insurance Holdings has unveiled its financial results for the first half of 2023, concluding on the 30th of June. In the Accredited sector, the gross written premiums (GWP) soared to US$1.1 billion, marking a substantial 34% increase from H1 2022's US$0.8 billion. Additionally, fee income for R&Q also saw a rise, reaching US$46.2 million, up by 18% from H1 2022's US$39.1 million. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'R&Q publishes half-year financials')

A man previously jailed for orchestrating a series of fraudulent motor insurance claims has been ordered to pay back £210,000, following proceedings initiated by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). The Inner London Crown Court granted the confiscation order against 38-year-old Hamid Sediqi last week, mandating him to repay the sum within three months. The order comprises a penthouse apartment in Gran Canaria and a Mazda RX7, which were acquired by Sediqi using proceeds from his fraudulent activities. (Mika Pangilinan, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance fraud mastermind ordered to pay back £210,000')

After a prior collaboration, Metis Global Group has announced the extension of its partnership with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and anticipates further enhancing the exchange and collaboration. The group was also an endorser of the Dive In Hong Kong event, a DE&I festival that promotes an inclusive work environment built on mutual respect. Commencing this year's collaboration is Metis' involvement in CII's annual event as a joint sponsor. Representatives from the Group were invited to engage in numerous panel discussions and a presentation centred around the theme of “Building and Sustaining an Inclusive Culture” on the 27th of September. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HK financial group renews partnership with CII')

New Zealand and the UK have inked an agreement to mutually recognize audit qualifications, with the Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements (MOURA) being signed by UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the NZ Financial Markets Authority (FMA). This agreement follows the free trade agreement signed in February 2022 between New Zealand and the UK, which included a section on recognizing professional qualifications. The aim was to encourage regulators to establish pathways for recognition and eliminate expensive and cumbersome prerequisites. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'NZ and UK regulators sign mutual recognition of audit qualifications')

Rebrand of A-Plan and Aston Lark introduces the Howden name to 215 locations across the UK and Ireland and reinforces its commitment to investing in the high street. Howden, the global insurance group, has unveiled a new brand as it brings together its global broking operations under one name. The rebrand follows Howden’s announcement in April that it would unify and simplify its business structure under a single, aligned global executive, with insurance broking, reinsurance broking and underwriting reporting directly to David Howden, CEO. (Howden, 2/10/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden brings together global broking operations under new brand')

Hong Kong-based global reinsurer Peak Re has released its financial results for the first half of 2023, covering the six months ending on the 30th of June. Reinsurance revenue for the period totalled US$750 million, reflecting an increase from the previous year’s figure of US$71 million. The net profit for this period stood at US$160 million, a significant improvement from the negative net profit of US$103 million during the same timeframe in the previous year. (Kenneth Araullo, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Peak Re publishes H1 2023 results')

Academy Insurance Services has undergone a brand and logo revamp as it gears up for the implementation of its growth strategy. This initiative follows the MBI/MBO in July, bolstered by a substantial investment from private equity investor Blixt. Richard Beaven, the newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, revealed a brand-new website that he says aligns with the refreshed brand purpose that is said to highlight the company’s determination to build a purpose-led business. (Kenneth Araullo, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Academy unveils brand and logo refresh')

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA), whose sanctions clause LMA3100 has seen extensive adoption by (re)insurers internationally for over 13 years, has published LMA3100A and LMA3200 following consultation with industry stakeholders, specialist sanctions lawyers, and regulators. Referring to the original clause introduced in 2010, the LMA said: “Its purpose is to clarify that insurers cannot provide a benefit under their policy where this would expose them to breaching sanctions in the UK, US, or EU". (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lloyd’s Market Association releases updated sanctions clauses')

A group of friends and colleagues from the insurance industry are heading to Ukraine in early November to provide much-needed aid to refugees affected by the ongoing conflict in the region. John Green, Legacy Portfolio Claims Manager at Clegg Gifford, part of the Markerstudy Group, will be joined by John Gibson of Kennedys, Gary Mason of Progress Vehicle Management, Tony Allen of Insenture Underwriting, Ben Robertson of Robertson & Co, Patrick McCarthy of Horwich Farrelly, Adrian Gilbert of SX3, and Nick Hilton of Markerstudy Insurance Services. (Mika Pangilinan, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance colleagues to embark on charity mission to Ukraine')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Brokerage giant Brown & Brown, which made its landmark entrance into the UK market when it snapped up Global Risk Partners, is back on the acquisition trail – announcing a deal for Berkeley Insurance Group. The deal is the first brokerage swoop since the company took on the Brown & Brown name (replacing the GRP branding) in September. Now, Berkeley Insurance Group is set to become part of the retail division of Brown & Brown in the UK. Tim Maxted, Chairman and CEO, and Jonathan Yeeles, Finance Director, will move across as part of the new arrangement, along with the rest of the management team and staff. (Paul Lucas, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brown & Brown announces Berkeley Insurance acquisition')

PIB Group has announced the acquisition of RBIG Limited, including RBIG Corporate Risk Services and RBIG Financial Services. RBIG has been a member of the Cobra Network for 15 years. PIB acquired the broker network in 2019, and the latter has since been able to leverage the group’s scale to provide various advantages to its membership. Under PIB ownership, RBIG will remain under the leadership of Stephen Hodgson, Geoff Gregory, and Stephen Astles. Hodgson, who serves as commercial director, said joining PIB will bring “huge benefits” to RBIG’s team and clients. (Mika Pangilinan, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'PIB Group continues M&A spree with new deal')

​Specialist broker Think Insurance has completed the purchase of Ashby Wray Insurance Brokers, marking its second Midlands-based acquisition. Ashby Wray Insurance Brokers serves both commercial and personal Lines customers in the West Midlands and Staffordshire area, covering a wide-range of products that include fleet, commercial combined, and liability insurance. The firm’s history dates back to 1922, when it was established by Jack Wray, Edgar Wray, and Edgar Ashby. As part of the acquisition, Think Insurance will retain the existing Ashby Wray offices in Wolverhampton, along with the expertise of Nick Ashby and the rest of the team. (Mika Pangilinan, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Think Insurance expands footprint with latest acquisition')


​Yutree has announced the appointment of Becky Glover as Finance Director, a move aligning with the company’s forthcoming phase of growth and transformation. Before joining Yutree, Glover held the position of Finance Director at a software technology company in Cambridge and recently received the esteemed title of Finance Director of the year at the Accounting Excellence Awards. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Yutree appoints new finance director')

Aventum has appointed Hasani Jess as the group’s inaugural Chief Technology Officer as part of its strategy to construct a technology ecosystem to facilitate its growth. Hasani has 25 years of experience as a technologist across a broad spectrum of industries. He transitions to Aventum from Simply Business, where he had held the position of CTO for the past five years. His professional history encompasses roles at major blue-chip enterprises, including TUI, Harrods, Deutche Bank, UBS, IBM, and Visa. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aventum appoints first-ever chief technology officer')

DUAL Europe has expanded its reach in vital sectors by establishing a new marine team, headquartered in Rotterdam, where DUAL Benelux was founded earlier this year. Aram Stoop and Pim de Pooter have been tapped to lead DUAL Europe’s marine hub. Stoop, with over two decades of experience in the insurance industry as a Marine Surveyor and Head of Loss Prevention Engineering, will serve as the Head of Marine. De Pooter, joining as the Lead Underwriter for marine hull, brings more than 13 years of experience as a Hull Underwriter across various products, and was most recently a Lead Class Underwriter for a market-leading portfolio of ocean and inland hull. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'DUAL Europe launches new marine hub in Rotterdam'

Personal injury solicitor Minster Law has unveiled plans to expand its jurisdictional reach by introducing Minster Law Scotland, a sister company based in Glasgow. Marina Harper, a seasoned professional with over 17 years of exclusive experience in personal injury law within the Scottish market and what the company described as a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory landscape, has been appointed as the Executive Director of the new Scottish venture. (Kenneth Araullo, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Minster Law rolls out plans for Scottish venture')

Lockton has announced the appointment of Tom Rowley as the new Head of North American Property for its Europe division, based in London. With over 20 years of experience, Rowley joins Lockton after a five-year tenure at WTW, initially as a Development Leader and later as Head of North American Property. Prior to that, he spent over 16 years at Brit Insurance, holding various underwriting roles. His career commenced at Denham Syndicate Management in 1999 as an Assistant Underwriter. Given Rowley’s appointment, Adam Watson will be promoted from his existing role as Head of North American Property to the newly created position of Production Leader for P&C specialties. (Kenneth Araullo, 4/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton Europe names new head of NA property')

​Allianz Chief Financial Officer Giulio Terzariol, who trained at Generali for two years before he joined the Munich-headquartered insurer in 1998, is returning to the Italian giant to lead its newly created insurance division. Appointed as Generali’s first-ever insurance Chief Executive, Terzariol is making his comeback in January 2024. As previously reported, he is leaving Allianz to pursue a career opportunity in his home country. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz CFO to return to Generali after 26 years')

In further news...Allianz Chief Executive Oliver Bäte will remain at the helm of the company following the renewal of his mandate until the global insurance group’s annual shareholders meeting in 2028. As CEO, Bäte holds the position of Chairman of Allianz SE’s board of management. He has been a member of the management board since 2008 and Chair since 2015. In further news, Claire-Marie Coste-Lepoutre succeeds Chief Financial Officer Giulio Terzariol and will join the board of management in the New Year. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/102/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz extends tenure of chief executive Oliver Bäte')

After installing heads of trading for Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester earlier this year, QBE has now created a new trading head post for Glasgow/Belfast. To be based in Glasgow, Chris Long joins QBE from Allianz where he served as Distribution Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland. In his new role, Long will be in charge of the regional underwriting teams in the Glasgow and Belfast regional offices. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE creates new role in Glasgow as part of UK growth plans')

American International Group has announced the appointment of Patricia Walsh as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to joining AIG, Walsh served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Stripe. She has also served as a Director on the board of Corebridge Financial since September 2022. Before joining Stripe, Walsh served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Voya Financial. She has also served as Deputy General Counsel at Signa and MassMutual. (Ryan Smith, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AIG selects new general counsel')

Aspen has announced a promotion for the company, with Bobby Bianconi being named as its new Global Head of Cyber. Bianconi, who has been with Aspen since 2016, brings over a decade of dedicated underwriting experience to his new position. He previously served as the Head of US Cyber within the company. Before joining Aspen, Bianconi oversaw the cyber portfolio for the Western United States at Allied World. His experience also includes underwriting roles at HCC Specialty and Valiant. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aspen announces global head of cyber')

Aviva has set out new structures for its Commercial Lines business – consisting of SME, Global Corporate and Specialty (GCS), and Distribution. The new structures for the SME and Distribution leadership teams will report into Dave Martin, MD, Distribution and SME Trading, while GCS will continue to report into Matt Washington, MD, Commercial Lines Underwriting & GCS. Michelle Taylor will join Aviva in January 2024 as Strategic Accounts Director, Ryan Birbeck will move to the role of Broker Development Director and Michael Yabantu has been permanently appointed to Managing Director, Mid-Market. Ramesh Singh has been appointed as Underwriting Director, Financial Lines and will join Aviva in the new year from CNA Hardy, where he was Head of Specialty Lines for the UK/European Region. Matthew Gordon, current CUO Specialty Lines, Aviva, has been promoted to Underwriting Director, Specialty Lines & Multinational and Beccy Brown, who was appointed Chief Operating Officer on an interim basis, has been successfully appointed to this role permanently. Howard Potter will be joining as the new Head of Marine on the 7th of August. Howard previously served as Chief Underwriting Officer and Head of Marine Cyber at Astaara. Daniel Abramson will be joining Aviva GCS as Head of Construction in Q3 this year. (Aviva, 5/10/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Aviva announces new structures for Commercial Lines and Distribution')

​Jensten has revealed a substantial boost for its Lloyd’s broking division, Jensten London Markets, through the appointment of three senior professionals: Marie Thomas-White, Steve Murphy, and Ally Templeton. Marie Thomas-White assumes the position of Head of Liability Broking, bringing with her a wealth of experience garnered during her 14-year tenure at Bannerman Rendell. She was later appointed as Divisional Director of Liability at The Underwriting Exchange in 2013. Steve Murphy steps into the role of Head of Property Broking, drawing on extensive expertise in property placement within the London Market. He has held senior Lloyd’s broking roles at Gallagher, Marsh, and, most recently, Lonmar Global Risks. Ally Templeton comes on board as Head of Motor Fleet Broking, following his tenure as Motor Director at Citynet. Prior to this, he served as Associate Director at JLT Specialty, where he led the wholesale motor team. (Kenneth Araullo, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Jensten bolsters London Markets line-up with senior hires')

Markel has announced the appointment of Brook Styles as its new Head of Cargo, effective immediately. Styles assumes this role from Richard Burnett, who will transition to a new position as Head of Cargo Underwriting, which the company touts as showcasing Markel’s emphasis on elevating portfolio management in its strategy. Having joined Markel in 2006, Styles has accumulated underwriting experience and expertise through his tenure with the wholesale teams. During this time, he worked across diverse business classes including fine art, specie, and terrorism. Styles left Markel in 2014 to join Pioneer, where he successfully managed and led the cargo and terrorism portfolio for five years. Subsequently, he reconnected with Markel in a Senior Underwriter capacity to propel the cargo portfolio forward. (Kenneth Araullo, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markel appoints head of cargo')

Zach Gray has been appointed as Specialty Chief Executive at PIB Group, succeeding Steve Redgwell who becomes Division Chair. Gray, who became part of PIB when it acquired York-based broker DE Ford, previously served as Managing Director of Specialisms and Specialty Division Deputy CEO. (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'PIB Group picks new chief for specialty division')

Carlo Elsinghorst has been promoted from Group Chief Financial Officer to Group Chief Executive at Monument Re. In its announcement, the life reinsurer said Manfred Maske stepped down as Group CEO on September 19. His successor has been with the business since 2020, initially serving as Chief Executive for Ireland before assuming the Group CFO post last year. (Terry Gangcuangco, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Monument Re names new CEO')

Cogent Hire, the specialist in credit hire and mobility, has appointed Luke LeSauteur to the newly established role of Commercial Director. He has previously held high-ranking positions in credit hire businesses like Enterprise and Auxilis. Before his tenure at Cogent Hire, he founded ChargedRV (CRV) to explore mobility solutions involving EVs in the motor claims sector. (Kenneth Araullo, 6/10/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Cogent Hire brings in EV specialist to bolster claims strategy')

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