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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 22nd December 2023

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Hello readers, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for tuning in and to wish you the happiest of Holidays. As the year draws to a close, we at IDEX have taken some time to reflect on the year’s achievements – particularly on the progress made and relationships we’ve built across the General Insurance market.

We’re thrilled to see our clients forge exciting deals and partnerships, and are honoured to be a part of facilitating that. As you’ll see below, the year ends with a boom of activity across the specialism, and we’re looking forward to seeing what that will bring in 2024.

Read on for our the last General Insurance news of 2023…

Insurance News

“2023/24 appears set to be another record tax-take for Insurance Premium Tax with receipts 11% up on the same point last year.” Those were the words of OAC Insurance Consulting Head Cara Spinks when the actuarial consultancy revealed that, based on HM Revenue & Customs receipts, the Treasury has collected £6.03 billion in IPT for the first eight months of the 2023-24 financial year that started on April 6. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance Premium Tax receipts up')

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Group’s charity, the Education and Training Trust, is set to transfer its assets of around £2 million to The Worshipful Company of Insurers (WCI) Charitable Trust. This move aims to bolster resources available to the WCI, supporting various initiatives within the insurance sector and beyond. For the past five decades, the CII’s Education and Training Trust has played a crucial role in supporting the educational and training endeavours of insurance and allied professionals, often working collaboratively with the WCI. (Mika Pangilinan, 22/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'CII to funnel charitable funds to WCI Charitable Trust')

US-based parametric insurance group NormanMax has been granted “approval in principle” by Lloyd’s to initiate a syndicate in 2024, which will be managed by Apollo Syndicate Management Ltd. The proposed NormanMax Syndicate 3939 is slated to begin underwriting in April 2024, with a focus on natural catastrophe parametric re/insurance products. These offerings are positioned as both unique and innovative for the Lloyd’s market. (Kenneth Araullo, 22/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'NormanMax receives “in principle” approval to launch syndicate in 2024')

​Brokerslink has expanded its network in South America by incorporating Consejeros y Corredores de Seguros (CONSEJEROS), a prominent broker based in Peru. CONSEJEROS, established over 34 years ago, is known in the local industry for its comprehensive risk management and insurance services, catering to a diverse client base. The company, headquartered in Lima and Arequipa, extends its reach across Peru through various offices and representations. With specialisations in different industrial, commercial, and personal insurance lines, CONSEJEROS also sells insurance through mass channels like financial institutions, utility companies, and retail stores. It also leverages in-house technology to enhance its services. Notably, it stands as the main broker in Peru owned by local stockholders, the largest outside the capital Lima, and a leader in mass insurance sales in the local market. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerslink expands in South America with new Peruvian member')

Lockton has entered a strategic partnership with Artificial Labs that focuses on implementing Artificial’s innovative digital Contract Builder in the UK, aligning with the London Market’s Blueprint Two programme. Contract Builder utilises a “data first” approach in generating MRCv3 contracts. It captures CDR standard data and creates a digital MRCv3 contract in real-time, featuring “Word like” formatting and drafting capabilities. Lockton has been instrumental in customising Contract Builder to meet its specific requirements, contributing its expertise to configure and test the tool, ensuring it aligns with the digital infrastructure Lockton is developing for its client base. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton collaborates with Artificial to implement new digital contract builder')

​In response to the influx of complaints from professional services companies and their low success rates, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has initiated a consultation on new measures, including the possibility of charging professional representatives for submitting claims that are not upheld. Concurrently, the Ombudsman has proposed reducing the fee charged to lenders for each submitted case by £100. Recent reports from the FOS indicate a substantial increase in complaints related to motor finance in the three-month period ending in September. This surge has been predominantly attributed to claims submitted by professional representatives, often referred to as claims management companies. Notably, the success rate of these complaints, in terms of being upheld, is relatively low. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Ombudsman outlines plans to introduce fees for claims management firms')

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), which continues to pursue litigation against its own insurers in UK courts, has received approximately US$118 million in cash insurance settlement proceeds from Aeroflot’s insurer NSK. In a release, DAE said: “The amount represents a settlement of DAE’s insurance claims under Aeroflot’s insurance and reinsurance policies relating to seven aircraft and associated engines.” The aircraft were on lease to Aeroflot when they got stranded as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Claimant receives US$118 million from Aeroflot's insurer')

Legal & General has partnered with Co-op Insurance to provide life and critical illness cover to the co-operative’s members and customers. “We’re thrilled to be working with Legal & General to offer our members and customers peace of mind and protection for themselves and their families,” Co-op Insurance Partnership Development Manager Matthew Collings said in an emailed release. “This partnership is part of our ongoing commitment to provide products and services that make a difference to our customers’ lives, and to support them through every stage of their journey. We share Legal & General’s values of putting customers first and offering quality products that are easy to understand and access.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Legal & General, Co-op Insurance team up to provide life and critical illness cover')

UK Insurtech ARMD has announced a partnership with Sparta Insurance Services to launch a new insurance product aimed at providing enhanced protection for tradespeople's tools. The product, named “ARMD Tools In Transit,” offers up to £10,000 coverage for tools left securely in a van around the clock. This coverage is a departure from traditional policies that typically require tools to be removed from vans overnight. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'ARMD establishes MGA for tradespeople market')

Coalition has released data revealing that its UK honeypots, or security sensors, faced an average of over 17 million attacks daily in 2023. These attacks were orchestrated by over one million unique threat actors, indicating a high level of digital risk exposure. The company’s analysis of 5.8 billion attacks on its UK honeypots in 2023 shows that a significant 74% of these targeted the remote desktop protocol (RDP). RDP is commonly used by remote employees to access Microsoft Windows computers. This technology is frequently attacked as it offers intruders relatively straightforward and rapid device access, enabling them to conduct further attacks, including data theft, malware installation, and ransomware deployment. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'UK cyberattacks recorded at an alarming frequency daily – Coalition')

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published the final rules that transfer and replace retained European Union law (REUL) provisions from the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). The changes take effect on April 5, 2024. In its announcement, the FCA said: “We are replacing the IDD delegated regulations with rules and guidance. Our changes to the sourcebooks will replace the provisions of the REUL which is being repealed. This will provide continuity of the regulatory regime which applies to insurance-related activities.” In its policy statement, the regulator explained: “In September 2023 in CP23/19, we consulted on changes to various sourcebooks needed to maintain requirements which currently apply to firms, whether directly under the IDD delegated acts or where we apply them through rules and guidance, once the relevant part of REUL is repealed. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Final rules replace Insurance Distribution Directive delegated regulations')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Chicago-based insurance company Ryan Specialty is acquiring London-headquartered managing general underwriter platform Castel Underwriting Agencies for an undisclosed sum. A definitive agreement has been signed to snap up Castel from Arch Financial Holdings (UK) Limited and minority shareholders, according to an emailed release. Set up in 2014, Castel consists of 13 niche MGUs that specialise in areas like marine and construction. Outside the UK, it has offices in Belgium and the Netherlands. For the 12 months ended November 30, Castel generated approximately £35 million of operating revenue. (Terry Gangcuangco, 22/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'MGU platform Castel Underwriting Agencies to be sold')

​Aon plc (Aon) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire NFP, a prominent middle-market property and casualty (P&C) broker, benefits consultant, wealth manager, and retirement plan advisor. The deal, valued at an estimated $13.4 billion at the time of closure, involves $7 billion in cash and $6.4 billion in Aon stock. The strategic move by Aon aims to enhance its footprint in the large and rapidly growing middle-market segment, encompassing risk, benefits, wealth, and retirement plan advisory services. (Roxanne Libatique, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon swoops for NFP')

Howden, the global insurance group, has announced its agreement to acquire Denmark’s fourth largest insurance intermediary NORTH Risk (“NORTH”), thereby establishing a retail presence in the Danish market and strengthening its geographical presence in the Nordic region of Europe. This acquisition reflects Howden’s continuing strategy to invest in local specialist expertise and bring the full force of its global capabilities, international network, and data and analytics for the benefit of clients in local markets. NORTH was founded in 2021 by Danish private equity house Polaris through the acquisition and merger of four SME-focused financial services distribution and advisory businesses into one platform.(Howden, 18/12/203, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden enters Danish market with acquisition of Denmark’s fourth largest broker')

In further news...Howden has acquired VLC & Partners Holding B.V. (VLC), an independent insurance broker based in the Netherlands. Under the ownership of Dutch insurer De Goudse NV and management, VLC is set to play a pivotal role in Howden’s growth plans. In particular, a news release from Howden said the move boosts the group’s foothold in the Dutch market and marks a crucial milestone in its goal to become “the standout European insurance broker.” VLC caters to mid-corporates, SMEs, and high net worth Individuals. It will integrate 500 employees and seven branches into Howden’s existing operations in the Netherlands. (Mika Pangilinan, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden acquires Dutch broker')

Dale Underwriting Partners has successfully completed its transaction with CVC following the necessary approvals from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Lloyd's for the strategic partnership, initially announced in September. The partnership with CVC, which manages assets worth €177 billion, involves an investment from CVC funds into Dale to facilitate business growth. This investment will lead to CVC funds acquiring a majority stake in Dale Underwriting Partners. In line with this partnership, a new group board will be established, featuring Preben Prebensen as the Independent Non-Executive Chair. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Dale closes partnership transaction with CVC')

Broking giant WTW is acquiring AIMUW, a specialist managing general agent in Italy, for an undisclosed sum. Announcing the signing of a definitive agreement, WTW described the deal as a reflection of the group’s global strategy to invest in high-performing businesses while underlining its commitment to the Italian market. The ambition, WTW said, is to enhance its wholesale business in Italy. Founded by chief executive Aldo Iaquinta in 2018, AIMUW employs 40 people across the MGA’s headquarters in Rome and offices in Milan and Lecce. It specialises in areas like agriculture, the public sector, and professional services. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW to buy specialist MGA in Italy')


​Premium Credit has announced the promotion of Christy Chisholm to the position of Commercial Lines Director to further bolster the division. Chisholm’s journey with Premium Credit began in January 2020 when she assumed the role of Sales Support Director. She was later elevated to Deputy Director, Commercial Lines in 2022. As per her LinkedIn, her prior experience includes a tenure at RSA, where she led initiatives in service design and continuous improvement across the commercial and global teams, with a special emphasis on revenue generation. Before joining RSA, Chisholm was instrumental in leading various sales and commercial teams at Barclays Bank. (Kenneth Araullo, 21/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Premium Credit announces promotion to bolster commercial lines')

AXA XL has named Julijana Sumner as Chief Claims Officer for APAC & Europe and XL Insurance Company SE. Sumner first joined AXA XL in 2012 as a Senior Claims Specialist for financial lines in Australia, following a successful career as a Private Practice Lawyer. Over the years, she has held key roles within the company, including Regional Claims Practice Leader for financial lines in APAC. More recently, she was named the Head of Claims for Australia. She also holds a seat on AXA XL’s 2023/2024 Leadership Team Advisory Council. (Mika Pangilinan, 21/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA XL appoints regional chief claims officer')

Aviva alumnus Matt Field is coming on board AXA UK & Ireland on January 9, 2024, as Retail Intermediaries Director. Field’s more than two decades of financial services experience includes over 15 years spent at Aviva. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA UK & Ireland hires retail intermediaries director')

HDI Global Specialty SE (HDI) has appointed Carl Johan Kansmark as the new Head of Aerospace at its Scandinavian branch, effective from December 1. Kansmark, who joined HDI as an Aerospace Underwriter five years ago, brings to the role a wealth of experience from over a decade in the aviation industry. As per his LinkedIn, his background includes significant positions such as COO at Keighstone Aviation and roles involving aircraft leasing and transactional risks, including warranty & indemnity (W&I) insurance. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'HDI elevates aviation stalwart as new head of aerospace at branch')

Litigation insurance specialist Ignite has announced the appointments of Sally-Anne Bradley and Amy Rothbarth to key roles in operations and underwriting. Rothbarth joins Ignite as a Technical Underwriter. She brings expert knowledge of commercial disputes and insolvency litigation to this new role, having spent the last five years as a Restructuring and Insolvency Associate at Mayer Brown. Meanwhile, Bradley has been tapped to focus on after the event (ATE) insurance, a type of litigation insurance designed to mitigate the risk of an adverse costs order. As ATE Operations Manager, she will leverage her two-decade legal operational experience to enhance the delivery of the firm’s ATE insurance product suite. Prior to joining Ignite, Bradley ran ROCK Business Support, a business she founded in 2014. Her background also includes a nine-year stint as Operations Manager at Elite Insurance and a six-year tenure at Eversheds Sutherland. (Mika Pangilinan, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialist MGA Ignite bolsters team with new hires')

Markel Group, the parent firm of insurance business Markel, has tapped Markel Chief Financial Officer Brian Costanzo as the group’s new CFO. He took on the group post on December 18 while continuing to serve as Markel’s Finance Chief. According to Markel Group’s announcement, former group CFO Teri Gendron is leaving the company on December 31. She came on board on March 20. The reason for her year-end departure was not disclosed. Costanzo has been with the enterprise for 14 years. Meanwhile, Accounting Policy and Reporting Managing Director Meade Grandis, who has been with the business for 13 years, will become Markel Group’s Chief Accounting Officer and Controller. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Markel CFO assumes same role at parent firm')

Alan Vallance, the outgoing Chief Executive of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and incoming CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), is leaving sooner than previously announced. Instead of in Spring 2024, Vallance’s departure will now take place in less than a month. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Outgoing CII CEO's departure moved up')

Kennedys Partner Fleur Rochester will serve as President of the London Forum of Insurance Lawyers (London FOIL) in 2024. Rochester, who brings more than two decades of industry experience to the post, is taking over from DAC Beachcroft Partner Toby Vallance. The new leader will be supported by London FOIL Vice President and Birketts Partner Alexander Penberthy. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Kennedys partner appointed London Forum of Insurance Lawyers president')

Keoghs has announced the addition of two new partners in Scotland, selecting Laurie Traynor and Zoe Strong for the motor and disease teams at its Glasgow offices. Traynor has over 22 years of experience and was previously a Partner at Ince & Co. She is an expert in the defence of large and intricate employer and public liability and motor claims, as well as managing fatal accident inquiries and health & safety executive and motor prosecutions. Strong comes from Weightmans to spearhead Keogh’s Scottish disease team. Her two-decade career is highlighted by her experience handling industrial disease claims in both England and Scotland. She also specialises in high-value and complex asbestos claims, complemented by her proficiency in all areas of legacy claims. She has defended a diverse array of clients, including insurers, local authorities, central government, and large self-insured clients across various industries. (Mika Pangilinan, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Keoghs names new partners as part of Scottish expansion')

SpecialtyMGA UK has announced the appointment of Victor Navarro as Senior Vice President to bolster its operations in Latin America. Navarro brings three decades of industry experience to his new role, where he will oversee the property, energy, and engineering sectors for Specialty MGA in Latin America and the Caribbean, operating from the company’s Miami office. Navarro's career began at Royal Sun Alliance, focusing on construction policies, and includes significant tenures at various firms, notably AIG, where he served as Chief Reinsurance Officer. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty MGA UK bolsters LatAm presence with key appointment')

Zurich Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) has a new Chief Executive. Taking the helm in Brussels with immediate effect is Drazen Jaksic after he served as Head of Accident & Health within commercial insurance. He succeeds Dirk De Nil, who is now Zurich Resilience Solutions Global Head in Switzerland. Jaksic, who came on board the insurer in 2019, will be leading around 240 Zurich colleagues across the region. He brings more than three decades of industry experience to the post. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/12/2023, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich names new Benelux chief')

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited has announced that it has appointed Cliff Gallant as Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Development, effective December 18, 2023. Mr. Gallant will report to AXIS Chief Financial Officer Peter Vogt and will serve as a member of the Company’s Global Finance leadership team. Mr. Gallant most recently served as Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development at Hippo Insurance where he built the organization’s investor relations program. Previously Mr. Gallant served as Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at National General Insurance prior to its sale to Allstate, where he then joined the Company’s Corporate Development team. Mr. Gallant’s prior experience includes being a Portfolio Manager at Philadelphia Financial, Research Analyst at Nomura, and Managing Director at Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, among other roles. (AXIS, 21/12/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS names Cliff Gallant Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Development')

QBE Re has appointed Andrew Guarnori and Ashish (Ash) Ahluwalia to two newly created roles. Andrew joins QBE Re as Head of Underwriting Oversight and Ash has been promoted to Global Head of Performance & Portfolio Analytics. Andrew joins from Swiss Re, where for more than 20 years he held several Casualty leadership roles, most recently as Deputy Head of Financial Lines within the Global P&C Reinsurance team. Andrew brings more than 30 years of underwriting experience, having held a variety of senior underwriting, team leadership and portfolio management roles for world leading (re)insurance groups, including St Paul Re (Travelers), Europa Re (Berkshire Hathaway) and GE Insurance Solutions. Ash joins from the QBE Actuarial team where he has held the role of Head of Reserving since 2021. Ash brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role with a global background in consultancy, reserving and performance management. (QBE, 21/12/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE Re bolsters senior team with two appointments')

Allianz Commercial has announced the appointment of Sharanjit Chaggar as Head of Financial Lines for Large-Corp and Specialty in the UK. Sharanjit will join in April 2024 and report to Nadia Cote, Commercial Managing Director UK. With over 20 years of international experience in the insurance industry, Sharanjit has held leadership positions in London, Singapore, Auckland and Miami. She joins Allianz Commercial from Marsh where she was most recently Senior Vice President, FINPRO Asia D&O Leader.  Over the course of her career she has held an array of roles of increasing seniority across the insurance industry on both broker and carrier sides. (Allianz, 18/12/2023, youTalk Insurance, 'Allianz Commercial appoints Sharanjit Chaggar Head of Financial Lines UK, Large-Corp and Specialty')

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