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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 24th November 2023

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Insurance News

Pen Underwriting (Pen), a managing general agent (MGA) operating as a virtual insurer, has taken a box at Lloyd’s. This is in line with its continued investments in ease of trade and broker access to its international insurance products. Pen took box 393 which is located on gallery 3. It will be operated by the firm’s team of specialist marine underwriters which will provide brokers with support in marine risks such as brown water hull, war risk, and ports & terminals liability. Taking the box is part of Pen’s intention to diversify into complementary products as well as other lines of business that have Lloyd’s distribution. This will increase its range of underwriter expertise available for face-to-face trading. (Abigail Adriatico, 23/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Pen Underwriting takes Lloyd's box 393')

Atec, a digital insurance group in the UK, has reported growth for the year ending September 2023, attributed to innovative product development, expansion in distribution, and enhanced investment in data and digital capabilities across its various business segments, including wholesale, retail, and MGA (managing general agent). The group, which encompasses brands such as the retail consumer platform InsureMy, wholesale B2B property specialist Ceta Insurance, and MGA Arkel, has seen a substantial increase in policy numbers. Over the past year, policy numbers have risen by 22%, exceeding 300,000. Additionally, Atec’s turnover has grown by 34%, rising from £14.5 million in 2022 to £19.5 million, with an ambitious target of achieving £25 million by 2024. (Kenneth Araullo, 24/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Atec reports financial results')

Aspen Insurance has released its financial results for the three and nine months ending Sept. 30, showcasing significant developments in underwriting and investment performance during this period. For the three months ending Sept. 30, Aspen reported a net income increase of US$245 million, reaching US$73 million. This rise was attributed to enhanced underwriting results, higher investment income, and a decrease in net realised and unrealised investment and foreign exchange gains/losses. (Kenneth Araullo, 23/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aspen unveils Q3, 9M 2023 results')

For the fifth consecutive year, brand valuation organisation Interbrand has named Allianz as the world's leading insurer in their Best Global Brands Ranking. Allianz's global brand value has surpassed US$20.85 billion, marking the first time the company has achieved this milestone. This increase in brand value positions Allianz at number 31, making it one of the fastest-growing global brands. (Kenneth Araullo, 23/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz ranked world’s number one insurance brand')

A new report from Swiss Re cements the global insurance industry’s position as the world at large faces elevated risks, both macroeconomic and geopolitical. As the global economy heads into 2024, a slowdown is anticipated, with real GDP growth projected at 2.2%, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points from the robust growth experienced in 2023. This deceleration is marked by varying economic conditions across major regions: the US is expected to maintain growth, Europe faces stagnation, and China contends with internal growth challenges. Additionally, the Middle East conflict has escalated risks to the global economic outlook. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Global insurance industry bolsters position in face of heightened risks – Swiss Re')

Building repair network for specialist loss adjuster Woodgate & Clark, Quadrassist has announced it is the first to deliver a loss adjusting service with zero travel transmission in the lead up to the 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28). The Quadrassist Desktop Adjuster service has been noted to be able to handle low value property claims for insurance providers up to £10,000 in value, and there are plans to extend this service into larger value claims. It promises to help reduce emissions apart from cutting costs and improving efficiencies. (Jonalyn Cueto, 22/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'First loss adjustment with zero transmission completed with launch of new service')

A study from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), supported by risk analysis from the global insurance group Howden, indicates that the smallest and most vulnerable nations could lose more than their entire GDP due to extreme climate events in the coming year. These risks, primarily faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other susceptible countries, point to the urgent need for effective financial solutions. The findings have highlighted the potential of risk-sharing systems to offer financial security to countries vulnerable to climate-related disasters. This research focuses on the economic effectiveness of such systems in mitigating financial impacts on these nations. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Climate-vulnerable countries at risk of losing over 100% GDP due to insurable disasters')

Nearly 200 insurance and protection appointed representative (AR) relationships have been terminated but consumer finance has borne the brunt of cuts amid increased scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the wake of the Greensill Capital scandal. In total, at least 196 general insurance and protection AR relationships have seen ties cut after supervisory engagement from the regulator since the launch of its AR department in 2022, according to a Freedom of Information request response shared with Insurance Business by the FCA. (Jen Frost, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Nearly 200 insurance AR relationships terminated after Greensill-spurred FCA intervention')

Arbol Inc. (Arbol), a parametric risk transfer, climate, and weather reinsurance underwriter, has appointed Pro MGA Global Solutions (Pro MGA) to support its launch in the UK and its international MGA expansion strategy. Arbol’s launch of a new MGA based in London is part of its expansion into the UK and will see it offer a range of products for industries such as agriculture, renewable energy, and construction. This expansion aims to serve international insurance markets outside the US. (Abigail Adriatico, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Arbol appoints Pro MGA Global Solutions')

UK reinsurance brokers Tysers Insurance Brokers and H.W. Wood Limited have reached an agreement with the Justice Department of the United States to settle investigations concerning the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). As per an official release from the DOJ, the investigations revealed involvement in illicit activities, specifically the payment of bribes to officials in Ecuador. Both Tysers and H.W. Wood consented to a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) following the filing of criminal charges in the Southern District of Florida. These charges included conspiracy to breach the FCPA's anti-bribery clauses. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Tysers, H.W. Wood resolve US bribery investigations')

​Amwins Global Risks has announced its partnership with Blood Cancer UK in a fundraiser that is expected to bring in up to £100,000 in funds over the next two years for cancer research and awareness. The partnership aims to raise awareness of blood cancer, the third most prevalent type of cancer in the UK. According to a news release, multiple myeloma is a type of blood cancer that affects more than 5,000 people in the UK every year. One of those affected is Matthew Wilson, a leader in the insurance industry. He was diagnosed with the condition in 2021. The money to be raised with the partnership will go toward the Matthew Wilson Multiple Myeloma Fund set up by Matthew and his family with Blood Cancer UK. (Jonalyn Cueto, 20/11/2023, insurance Business UK, 'Amwins partners with Blood Cancer UK for awareness and cure')

Insurance software business Applied Systems is facing a Canadian Competition Bureau investigation into alleged “anti-competitive” conduct. The Federal Court of Canada granted an order on November 14, 2023, requiring Applied Systems Canada to produce records and written information for the Competition Bureau’s investigation. The Competition Bureau will use information obtained during its Applied Systems investigation to “determine if the alleged conduct is harming competition in Canada’s insurance technology (insurtech) industry,” the department said in a new release. (Jen Frost, 20/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Competition Bureau opens investigation into Applied Systems')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Dickson & Co Insurance Group announced that it will be acquiring Kerr Group Insurance. The deal will form one of the largest independent insurance policy providers in the UK and Ireland. With the acquisition of Kerr Insurance, the broker's workforce will be increased by 50%. The two community-based brokers will be employing more than 150 staff members and will serve customers across a combined network of 17 trading sites in Northern Ireland as well as two branches in the Republic of Ireland. It will be put under the Dickson & Wilson Insurance brand. (Abigail Adriatico, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Dickson & Co Insurance acquires Kerr Group Insurance')


Beat Capital Partners (Beat), a long duration venture capital investor in the insurance industry, has announced that Andrew Cunningham will take up the position of Active Underwriter of Syndicates 4242 and 1416. Cunningham has more than three decades of experience in the industry as a Qualified Actuary and Underwriter. He has held senior positions in broking and underwriting businesses such as Odyssey Re, Brit Insurance, Guy Carpenter, and Verto Syndicate where he had roles involving underwriting, actuary, and leadership. He joined Beat in 2019 and prior to his promotion as Active Underwriter, took up the role of Deputy Active Underwriter. Cunningham will be succeeding Tom Milligan who has held the position since 2018. Milligan will take up an underwriting oversight role alongside Shelley and Zahid Lalji, Principal at Beat. (Abigail Adriatico, 24/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Beat Capital Partners welcomes new active underwriter')

The Forum of Insurance Lawyers (FOIL) has announced that its new president will be Pete Allchorne, a DAC Beachcroft Partner, following his election during the organisation’s annual general meeting. Prior to his election as president, Allchorne chaired FOIL’s motor sector focus team and was the organisation’s vice president. He has more than 20 years of experience working with insurance clients and focused on civil justice reform, legal and regulatory issues impacting road transport, as well as the impact of the sector’s digitisation. (Abigail Adriatico, 24/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'FOIL elects DAC Beachcroft partner as new president')

Bridge Specialty Group (Bridge), Brown & Brown, Inc.’s wholesale brokerage segment, has announced that Tim Coles will be its new CEO of its European brokerage operations. Coles has more than two decades worth of executive experience within the industry. His most recent role was CEO of Xenia Broking Group, which was part of Kentro Capital Limited. His career in insurance began at Howden where he first became the CEO of its London broking business before being the CEO of Howden Broking Group. (Abigail Adriatico, 23/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Bridge Specialty Group welcomes new CEO for European brokerage operations')

Marking the expansion of its digital trading team, Lloyd’s insurer AEGIS London has announced the appointments of Iain Lewers as Digital Business Development Analyst and Mark Wilding as Digital Product Development Specialist. Lewers’ experience includes time with WTW and taking on senior broking and production roles at Tysers and Gallagher. He spent years working with the OPAL team in the promotion of the platform and has explored different distribution channels for its products. Meanwhile, Wilding started his career as a broker and then later leaning towards underwriting where he moved into consultancy, change delivery and product. He previously worked at Liberty Specialty Markets where he made a significant contribution to creating the digital team and saw the successful launches of contractors all risks, terror and aviation (drone) specialty digital products. (Jonalyn Cueto, 22/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AEGIS London expands digital team with new appointments')

Academy Insurance Services (Academy), a multi-specialist broker, has announced the recruitment of William Magee as the firm’s new M&A Director. Before entering the world of M&A, Magee worked as an Audit and Advisory Manager in the private markets division of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte), a multinational professional services network. He took up M&A roles at Sabio, Lawsons (Whetstone) Ltd, and Jensten Group before joining Academy. (Abigail Adriatico, 22/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Academy welcomes new M&A director to the team')

Markerstudy Group has announced the appointment of Joe Barnard as Director of Group Sales & Business Development. Barnard joins Markerstudy from Clegg Gifford, where he most recently served as Head of Lloyd’s and London Market. His time there also included tenures as Senior Property & Casualty Broker, as well as Motor & Specialty Risks Broker. (Mika Pangilinan, 22/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markerstudy names director of group sales & business development')

​RSA Insurance has announced the appointment of Linda Deans as Senior Specialist Underwriter for US & international property in its UK specialty lines division. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Deans joins RSA from CNA Hardy, where she has served as a Property Underwriter since 2010. Her extensive background and expertise in the field are expected to contribute significantly to RSA’s operations. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA names new specialist underwriter for wholesale property')

Insurtech wefox has announced the appointment of Paul Onnen as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) effective immediately. He takes over the position from Sergi Banos who has been promoted to Chief Platform Officer (CPO) as the company moves forward with launching a platform it states will connect the entire insurance ecosystem. Onnen brings to the company over 30 years of experience in directing and executing business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) SaaS platforms and products for large organisations, including Amazon, Google, Expedia, and in addition to his expertise in fintech, Big Data, SaaS, AI/ML, and data security. (Jonalyn Cueto, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'wefox introduces new CTO')

Allianz Trade, a trade credit insurer, has announced the appointment of Peter Evola as its new Commercial Director for the UK and Ireland. Evola will succeed Steve Stennett who is set to leave the firm. Evola has been with the firm for 12 years and has worked within the UK and Ireland, Northern Europe region as well as the group’s head office in Paris. He has been promoted to roles such as Senior Commercial Underwriter, Head of Group Commercial Office, and Northern Europe Regional Head of Commercial Underwriting. Prior to his new role, he was the UK Head of Broker Distribution. (Abigail Adriatico, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Trade promotes new commercial director for the UK and Ireland')

​Brown & Brown-owned broker Marshall Wooldridge Group (Marshall Wooldridge) has appointed Nick Pay as its new Managing Director. Pay has been in the broking industry for more than 30 years. He is a Charted Insurance Broker, an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, and a certified member of the Institute of Risk Management. He spent 10 years at Heath Lambert and has taken on senior roles at Willis and Marsh. He was also previousy the Managing Director of a Lloyd's broker. Before joining Marshall Wooldridge, Pay was the Head of Commercial at North Yorkshire broker McClarrons. (Roxanne Libatique, 20/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Marshall Wooldridge announces new managing director')

Brown & Brown (Europe) Limited has announced the appointment of Carolyn Callan as a Managing Director of the firm’s retail division. Callan has been working within the UK insurance industry for over 21 years. Before joining Brown & Brown’s UK retail division, she held senior leadership roles at Covea Insurance, Towergate Insurance, and Swinton. Call brings experience from working in the commercial lines market and was previously the Commercial Lines Director and Head of SME & Schemes at Covea Insurance. Prior to that, she was the Director of Commercial Insurance in Swinton and oversaw the business development and marketing strategy for the SME and advisory broking operation of Towergate. (Abigail Adriatico, 21/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brown & Brown appoints new managing director of retail division')

The insurance broking business Champion Insurance Group has welcomed three new people to join their teams based in Worsley and Manchester City. Chris Bullock and Liz Smith are the latest additions to their Worsley-based teams. Bullock joins the commercial insurance team, while Smith will be joining as a Claims Manager. Prior to his new role, Bullock led a team of brokers at an independent insurance brokerage. Smith brings to the company over 16 years of experience in dealing with all types of insurance claims within loss adjusting firms, brokers and insurance companies’ internal claims teams. Meanwhile, Luke Dungworth is joining the firm’s Manchester City centre offices as a Commercial Broker within Champion Professional Risks, the company’s financial lines business. (Jonalyn Cueto, 20/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Champion Insurance introduces three new 'quality hires'')

​H&H Insurance Brokers (HHIB) has expanded its senior team with three key hires, appointing Craig Dickson and David Murchie as Account Executives, and Mary Ballard in a dual role as Business Development Executive and Trainee Account Executive. Dickson joins HHIB from NFU Mutual, where he worked as a Regional Broker. Murchie’s previous role as a Stranraer-based agent specialising in agricultural and commercial insurance was also with NFU Mutual. Meanwhile, Ballard was previously a Business Development Executive at the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce. (Mika Pangilinan, 20/11/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'H&H Insurance Brokers bolsters senior team with key hires')

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