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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 12th January 2024

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Insurance News

The London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) has published 'Developing the streamlined marketplace', LIIBA’s agenda for the year. LIIBA said in its agenda: “2024 has the potential to be the year we create the streamlined, efficient marketplace that we have been working towards for some years now. Our discussions with FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) should deliver tangible impact in terms of an appropriately reduced regulatory burden. (Terry Gangcuangco, 12/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'LIIBA publishes agenda for 2024')

London-based hyperexponential, a provider of pricing decision intelligence (PDI) software, has announced the completion of a $73 million Series B funding round led by tech-focused investment firm Battery Ventures, with participation from Silicon Valley investor a16z and existing Series A investor Highland Europe. The funding will support hyperexponential’s expansion into the US. hyperexponential serves insurance and reinsurance companies in the P&C space. The company’s PDI platform, hx Renew, allows insurers to utilise large and alternative data sets, rapidly develop and refine rating tools, and use machine-learning approaches to price risks. Since the hyperexponential’s Series A funding round in 2021, it has grown sales by a factor of 10 while remaining profitable. The company serves some of the world’s largest insurers, including Aviva, HDIand Conduit Re. (Ryan Smith, 12/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurtech finalises $73m funding round')

Ryan Specialty is expanding its global renewable energy insurance offerings with PERse International, a managing general underwriter (MGU) headquartered in London. PERse International specialises in both onshore and offshore renewable insurance. It operates within Ryan Specialty Underwriting Managers (RSUM), the firm’s underwriting specialty. Stuart Burchell has been named Head of PERse International and will lead the new MGU. Meanwhile, Adam Hearn and Josh Cantwell were selected to head the onshore and offshore divisions, respectively. The team holds delegated underwriting authority of up to $100 million, with a primary focus on supporting the ongoing global expansion of renewable energy. (Mika Pangilinan, 12/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ryan Specialty boosts global renewable energy expansion with London-based MGU')

Kingfisher Insurance, through its classic vehicle insurance brand Peter James Insurance, has entered an exclusive partnership with the Kettle Club to introduce a new insurance scheme specifically tailored to the club's members. This move is a continuation of the firm's successful engagement with club-focused initiatives in 2023. The newly designed scheme, developed with inputs from club management and members, aims to enhance the enjoyment of Suzuki GT750 models. (Kenneth Araullo, 12/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Kingfisher partners with The Kettle Club for coverage of classic motorcycles')

Placing Platform Limited (PPL) has inked a multi-year deal with London-based insurtech Artificial Labs. A news release announcing the partnership said the two firms are moving to expedite the delivery of a fully integrated digital trading experience, with the ultimate goal of enabling every entity in the London Market to engage in digital trading in a data-first format. (Mika Pangilinan, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'PPL inks multi-year deal with Artificial Labs')

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is temporarily suspending the 8-week deadline for motor finance firms to respond to relevant customer complaints, specifically those involving discretionary commission arrangements. This pause, lasting 37 weeks, aims to prevent disorderly outcomes while the issue is under assessment. (Roxanne Libatique, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'FCA suspends complaints deadline for motor finance firms')

Non-life insurers in the UK are facing additional pressure on earnings following the latest wave of bad weather in the country, according to AM Best. In a commentary, the credit rating agency said: “Claims stemming from two named storms and generally poor weather conditions in the UK over the festive period will maintain pressure on non-life insurers’ profitability, AM Best believes." (Terry Gangcuangco, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'UK non-life insurers face further earnings pressure – AM Best')

UK-based Howden, which describes itself as the biggest international insurance broker headquartered outside the US, has opened its newest office in Swansea. The goal, according to Howden, is to become the leading commercial broker in South and West Wales, with the team looking to grow twofold by next year under the leadership of Regional Managing Director Gary Stevens. Stevens joined Aston Lark last February after the business officially became part of Howden in April 2022. The acquired broker began using the Howden branding about three months ago. (Terry Gangcuangco, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden announces Swansea office opening')

Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF) has entered into an exclusive agreement with The Green Insurer that enables CBPF to offer financing solutions to customers of The Green Insurer who are seeking to adopt greener driving practices. With a customer base of 2.4 million and collaborations with over 1,500 brokers, CBPF is one of the significant players in the premium finance market. The Green Insurer, launched in November, aims to encourage environmentally friendly driving habits by measuring and offsetting driving emissions. It incentivises drivers for adopting fuel-efficient driving practices or reducing their overall driving frequency. Customers earn points for these green driving habits, which can be exchanged for eco-friendly products. (Kenneth Araullo, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'CBPF inks exclusive deal with The Green Insurer for premium financing')

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has launched its 2024 Manifesto, 'Managing risk for growth and economic security', in the Houses of Parliament. “This Manifesto highlights the importance of insurance brokers across the economy and also how they play a vital role helping businesses to grow and individuals to remain financially secure,” BIBA Chair Jonathan Evans said in an emailed release. “Appreciating that, as a sector, we must continue to look to the future for solutions to emerging risks and ways to attract new vibrant talent to meet the needs of new generations of clients."(Terry Gangcuangco, 10/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BIBA launches 2024 Manifesto')

The Essential Consortium, which is led at Lloyd’s by supply chain insurer Parsyl, has more than doubled its capacity to US$55 million (more than £43 million). In a release, Parsyl said: “The Essential Consortium, launched in April 2023, is led by Parsyl’s Syndicate 1796. Original syndicates supporting Essential included AFB 5623, RNR 1458, CHN 2015, TRV 5000, AUW 609, WBC 5886, and GRI 3456." (Terry Gangcuangco, 10/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialised Lloyd’s consortium brings capacity to over £43 million')

Stubben Edge Group, a UK-based fintech, in collaboration with Pulse Insurance Limited, has announced the introduction of Specialist Life insurance coverage, to be provided through Stubben Edge’s Guernsey-based subsidiary, 1Edge Insurance PCC Ltd. The product is designed to cater to individuals with a range of pre-existing medical conditions, such as cancers, heart issues, mental health challenges, high BMI, cystic fibrosis, organ transplants, HIV, and long COVID. (Kenneth Araullo, 10/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Pulse Insurance, Stubben Edge announce new life cover with Dutch reinsurer')

Guernsey-headquartered international travel, life and health insurance provider GBG Insurance has fallen into administration after a last-ditch December sale attempt fell through, marking the final bid to save the troubled insurer. Failed GBG Insurance faces an investigation from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) on how a “large hole” in its balance sheet discovered in March 2023 went unnoticed, the regulator said in December. GBG Insurance provided individual and group policies on both a direct and reinsured basis, administering insurance across the US, Latin America, Europe and some Asian markets. (Jen Frost, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK 'Probe launched into GBG Insurance insolvency')

RSA Insurance's UK specialty lines business and Brit Ltd have announced the launch of a new Project Cargo consortium named “BUILD.” This consortium, which ranks among the largest in the global cargo market, is now operational, offering a substantial guaranteed capacity of up to US$285 million for Project Cargo risks around the world. Project Cargo insurance is designed to safeguard equipment against loss or damage during transit. “BUILD” aims to provide extensive global coverage for Project Cargo, including delay in start-up and advanced loss of profits, and will serve primarily in a leading capacity, or as a follow capacity when needed. (Kenneth Araullo, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA and Brit launch new Project Cargo consortium')

Aspen Insurance Holdings has announced the launch of Aspen Cyber Risk Services (ACRS), a suite of services that will help Aspen insureds to proactively deal with cybersecurity threats. The offering was launched in partnership with Surefire Cyber. The ACRS offering is provided on policies sold globally. It will be available to Aspen’s primary cyber insureds, the company said. (Ryan Smith, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aspen announces suite of cyber services')

Ecclesiastical Insurance has established a new partnership with Brooks Braithwaite, part of the Petcover Group, to introduce a scheme dedicated to pet professionals. This collaboration, the company says, signifies Ecclesiastical's commitment to expanding its schemes portfolio and working closely with specialist brokers. (Kenneth Araullo, 8/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ecclesiastical announces partnership for scheme aimed at pet professionals')

QBE has recently disbursed interest payments to small businesses whose claims for COVID-related insurance payouts encountered delays. A report by The Guardian said QBE paid over £386,000 to 86 companies just before Christmas, setting the stage for other insurers to follow suit. Around 60 insurers have come under scrutiny for delays in processing COVID-related payouts on business interruption policies, according to the report. The UK’s financial ombudsman responded to these delays by mandating an 8% annual interest rate on the sum, proportionally covering the period from claim denial to actual payment. Industry insiders told The Guardian that QBE’s recent £386,215 payment could pave the way for similar payouts, with insurers poised to see costs of nearly £1.6 billion in interest to policyholders. (Mika Pnagilinan, 8/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE forks out interest payments on delayed COVID payouts')

Cowbell has expanded its cyber insurance solutions to cater to mid-market businesses in the UK, with an annual turnover of up to £1 billion. This marks a significant extension from its original focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The platform offers real-time underwriting, enabling brokers to tailor cyber policies to meet specific risk exposures. These policies cover a variety of cyber incidents, including email scams, ransomware, and social engineering. (Kenneth Araullo, 8/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Cowbell extends cyber coverage to mid-market businesses in the UK')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​The Broker Investment Group (TBIG) has announced its first acquisition of the year as it takes on the remaining shares in Bullerwell Insurance, a Bedford-based broker with a gross written premium (GWP) of £12 million, bringing its shareholding in the firm to 100%. TBIG has overseen a dynamic investment strategy, with 10 investments in the past 12 months following 10 in 2022. This strategy, comprising a mix of organic growth and acquisitions, has added £60 million GWP to TBIG, keeping them on track to achieve their target of £250 million GWP by the end of 2024. (Kenneth Araullo, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'The Broker Investment Group completes first acquisition of 2024')

​Verisk has completed the acquisition of Rocket Enterprise Solutions GmbH, an insurtech company based in Germany that specialises in the property claims sector. This acquisition further builds on Verisk's previous strategic investment in Rocket in 2022 and is aimed at expanding Verisk's presence in Europe. The move also aligns with Verisk's objective to assist insurers and claims service providers in adopting comprehensive data and technological tools, thereby improving the claims processing experience. (Kenneth Araullo, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Verisk announces acquisition of Rocket Enterprise Solutions')

​Gallagher has expanded its European presence through the acquisition of German specialty broker Köberich Financial Lines. Köberich Financial Lines operates from Cologne, Germany, serving a diverse customer base that includes companies in the energy, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and mining sectors. It specialises in directors and officers (D&O) insurance, along with other financial lines products such as cyber insurance, warranties & indemnities, professional indemnity, and crime insurance. The business was founded in 2009 by Harald Köberich, who will continue his current role as part of Gallagher’s European operations. (Mika Pangilinan, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher expands European presence with latest deal')

In further news...Gallagher has announced that it has acquired MC Mutual Management Services Limited (MCMM). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. MCMM is a service provider to Education Mutual Limited, a mutual provider that offers staff absence protection to its members, which are primarily UK state schools and academies. MCMM has a multi-year agreement to provide services to Education Mutual including processing of new business quotes, renewal invitations, handling contributions, managing claims and other back-office functions. (Gallagher, 11/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Gallagher acquires MC Mutual Management Services Limited')

Ardonagh Advisory, The Ardonagh Group's SME broking platform, has completed the acquisition of the specialist distribution business, Hoxton Risk Services Ltd (Hoxton Risk Services). The acquisition is a strategic move to enhance Ardonagh's presence in the mid and high-net-worth market. Established in 2020 by HNW underwriting specialist Justin Gott, Hoxton Risk Services specialises in providing protection for private clients, offering coverage for cars, houses, travel, and investment properties. The business operates exclusively with brokers, utilising an innovative digital trading platform and is supported by A-rated insurer Hiscox. (Roxanne Libatique, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ardonagh Advisory swoops for Hoxton Risk Services')


Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has recently announced the appointment of Nick Holding as the Head of Marine, UK. As per his LinkedIn, Holding brings a wealth of experience to his new position at BHSI, with a career spanning 35 years in the marine insurance sector. He has held leadership roles in underwriting teams at both Lloyds and company markets for a significant part of his career. (Kenneth Araullo, 12/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BHSI names new head of marine for the UK')

​The supervisory board of Allianz SE has announced that it will propose to the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on May 8 that Jörg Schneider and Stephanie Bruce be elected to the supervisory board as shareholder representatives. Schneider and Bruce will succeed current board members Herbert Hainer and Christine Bosse, whose terms will expire at the upcoming AGM due to reaching the age and length of service limits, respectively. Schneider, a Business Economist and Lawyer, left the Munich Re board of management in 2018 after more than 18 years with the company as Chief Financial Officer. Bruce was on the board of directors and served as Chief Financial Officer for British asset manager abrdn plc until May 2023. She previously served as Senior Financial Services Partner at PwC. (Ryan Smith, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz recommends new members for supervisory board')

​Ageas UK has hired its first-ever Head of Home and Supplier Relationships as part of the insurer’s claims proposition. Taking on the new claims post is William Quibell, whose personal lines insurance experience spans over 26 years with firms like RSA, Crawford & Company, Legal & General, and Admiral. He most recently served as Supply Chain & Loss Adjusting Services Head. (Terry Gangcuangco, 11/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ageas UK makes key home insurance claims hire'

Managing general agent Alta Signa has installed seven technical underwriting heads as part of the company’s new underwriting structure. In a release, the European MGA announced the following promotions to the role of Head of Technical Underwriting: Ingo Trede – financial & professional lines and cyber, Francesco Dubbioso – marine, Wolfgang Polzer – directors & officers, Sytse Huidekoper – financial institutions, Mauro Marongiu – cyber, Barbara Vida – cargo and Danilo Fiore – hull & yachts. (Terry Gangcuangco, 10/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Alta Signa tweaks underwriting structure')

Global specialty and property & casualty (re)insurer Canopius Group has appointed Matthew Crane as Head of UK Distribution. This newly created role is effective immediately, with Crane also joining the Canopius UK executive committee. Crane has nearly 20 years of senior market experience. He most recently served as Chief Executive of Q Underwriting within the PIB Group. Previously, Crane spent 15 years at QBE, progressing to the role of Managing Director for UK and Ireland. He then moved on to Amwins Global Risks where he took on the role of CEO. (Mike Pangilinan, 10/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Canopius appoints head of UK distribution')

​CFC has announced the appointment of Dan Trueman as its new Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO). Trueman, a prominent figure in the global insurance industry and featured in Insurance Business’s Global 100 in 2023, joins CFC following his tenure as Global Head of Cyber at AXIS Insurance. During his leadership at AXIS, the cyber underwriting team emerged as a leading force in the global arena. As per LinkedIn, this role followed his time at Lloyd's carrier Novae, where he was Chief Innovation Officer prior to its 2017 acquisition by Axis. (Kenneth Araullo, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'CFC taps new chief underwriting officer')

Ardonagh Specialty has announced the appointment of Amy Goldenberg to the new role of Global Commercial Director. As per her LinkedIn, Goldenberg's professional background includes a tenure at Gallagher Specialty, where she was instrumental in establishing a business development function. Prior to Gallagher, she spent a decade at JLT Specialty in various capacities, including as Head of Global Mining and as a Senior Consultant in the credit, political and security risk division. (Kenneth Araullo, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ardonagh Specialty taps inaugural global commercial director')

Aon has announced the appointment of Jane Kielty as the new Chief Executive Officer for its UK operations. As per her LinkedIn, Kielty's journey with Aon began in 2005. Her career progression within the firm includes her most recent roles as the UK firm's Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) in 2021 and Head of Commercial Risk UK in 2022. Additionally, she has been actively involved in the broader insurance industry, serving as the Deputy Chair of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Chair of the Insurance Broking Standards Committee since last year, where she has advocated on behalf of Aon and its clients. (Kenneth Araullo, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon names new UK CEO')

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a law firm headquartered in the US, has appointed co-heads for its UK/European insurance transactional and regulatory practice in London. Tapped to lead the unit are Clare Swirski and Drew Dutton, with the latter relocating to the UK from Debevoise’s New York office to join his co-head. Dutton came on board the firm in 1999 in the US before he became a Partner in the Paris office in 2007. Prior to returning to New York, Dutton led the Asia-Pacific insurance practice while based in Hong Kong. Meanwhile Swirski, who is credited for her active role in the development of the regulatory environment for insurers in the UK, has been with Debevoise in London since 2017. She has more than two and a half decades of experience in advising insurers and other financial institutions. (Terry Gangcaungco, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Debevoise & Plimpton names co-heads of UK/European insurance practice')

HF has promoted nine colleagues following a “significant year of expansion” for the UK insurance law firm. In an emailed release, HF announced the following promotions: Jonathan Farry – Partner, casualty, Zeshan Noor – Partner, complex & catastrophic injury, Laura Fanning – Partner, legal operations, Tracey Hogan – Associate Partner, recoveries, Callum Hugo – Associate Partner, costs, Matt Bacon – Associate Partner, complex & catastrophic injury, Leighton Baldwin –Associate Partner, corporate & commercial, Nicole Way – Associate Partner, complex & catastrophic injury and Neil Morrison – Associate Partner, Northern Ireland Legal Director. (Terry Gangcuangco, 9/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance law firm HF promotes nine colleagues')

Premium Credit has announced the appointment of Giles Offen as the company's inaugural Chief Product & Technology Officer. As per his LinkedIn, Offen brings over 20 years of experience to Premium Credit, having previously served as Group Chief Digital Information Officer at the Just Group since 2016. In his previous role, he was responsible for technology, change, and architecture, and played a key role in modernizing change delivery methods. His career has spanned various companies, including Partnership Assurance Group, Reed Elsevier, Lexis Nexis, and Cashplus. (Kenneth Araullo, 8/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Premium Credit appoints inaugural chief product and technology officer')

Hiscox Cyber Chief Executive Gareth Wharton, who joined the specialist insurer in 2006, has left the business. The ex-CEO announced his departure on LinkedIn. Prior to taking on the top cyber post in 2017, Wharton served in various capacities including Chief Technology Officer and Team Lead for infrastructure services. Before then, he spent years at Aon. (Terry Gangcuangco, 8/1/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Cyber chief leaves Hiscox')

QBE Europe has appointed Stephen Johnson as Head of Trading for the South East region, effective from 1st January 2024. In the newly created role, Stephen will lead the regional underwriting teams in London and Chelmsford, engaging with broker partners and customers. Johnson reports to Andy Fitzgerald, Director UK Regions for QBE Europe and takes on the role from the QBE Property team where he was Underwriting Manager, Commercial Property. He has more than 20 years of experience in the industry with previous roles at Chubb, RSA and Brit. (QBE, 11/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE appoints Head of Trading for the South East')

In further news...QBE Re has appointed Salvatore (Sal) Sama as Global Product Head for Casualty, Jane Farren as Global Head of Financial Professional Lines (FinPro) and Derek Durst as Global Head of Cyber. Sal, based in New York, has more than 20 years of financial services experience and spent 10 years at Swiss Re prior to joining QBE. Jane has worked at QBE Re in New York for close to three years with other industry experience including Aspen Insurance Group and Swiss Re. Derek started his career at QBE Re in London in 2012 and worked with Aon for five years previously. (QBE Re, 8/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'QBE Re appoints Global Product Heads in London and New York')

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), part of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, has appointed Andrew Jackson to the role of Global Head of Business Development and Market Management. Prior to joining LSM, Jackson was Global Head of Carrier Management at WTW, where he spent eight years. Jackson replaces Mark Stephenson, formerly Head of Business Development and Market Relationships at LSM. (Liberty Specialty Markets, 8/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Liberty Specialty Markets appoints new Global Head of Business Development and Market Management')

AXIS has announced the appointment of Eric Paglieri as Head of Environmental within the North America division. Mr. Paglieri brings 15 years of underwriting experience to AXIS with a deep knowledge of environmental risk, specializing in general liability, product liability, site pollution, and excess liability. He joins AXIS from Ascot where he helped launch the environmental division in 2019. (AXIS, 8/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS Capital appoints Eric Paglieri as Head of Environmental')

​In further news...AXIS has announced the appointment of Anna Tan as Head of Wholesale Casualty. Ms. Tan joins AXIS from Navigators, a brand of The Hartford, where she served for more than 12 years, most recently as Head of Excess Casualty. Prior to this, she spent almost eight years at Starr Insurance Companies in underwriting and management positions. (AXIS, 11/1/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'AXIS appoints Anna Tan as Head of Wholesale Casualty')

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