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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 17th May 2024

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Insurance News

Ethan Godlieb, a broker specialising in cyber and technology errors and omissions at Aon UK, has been honoured as the Oliver Rose British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) Young Broker of the Year (YBOY) for 2024. Commending the YBOY awardee, BIBA Chief Executive Graeme Trudgill noted: “Ethan showed a determination from the offset to showcase his abilities and innovation – elements he delivered on throughout the process." (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BIBA picks 2024 young broker from Aon')

Insurance law firm Horwich Farrelly (HF) is set to advance its ambitious growth plans with a £12 million funding package from NatWest Group. The financial support will bolster HF’s efforts to increase turnover and build on its established reputation in the legal and insurance sectors. In the last financial year, HF reported a turnover of £51 million. With over five decades of industry experience and a workforce of around 800 colleagues across 11 offices, the firm boasts a client base that includes 19 of the top 20 insurance companies. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Horwich Farrelly to accelerate growth with NatWest’s backing')

Zurich Insurance Group has published its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, pointing to what group chief financial officer Claudia Cordioli believes is the strength of the insurer’s diversified business. Of the P&C insurance revenue, US$4.43 billion came from Europe, Middle East, and Africa; US$4.60 billion from North America; US$860 million, Asia-Pacific; and US$768 million from Latin America. All sources posted increases from the same quarter in 2023. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich Insurance Group outlines quarterly financials')

British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) Chief Executive Graeme Trudgill took the stage in Manchester on Wednesday for his inaugural BIBA Conference opening address, calling on the industry to work together and innovate for the benefit of customers. “Nothing moves without insurance,” Trudgill told attendees of the major two-day event. “Planes don’t fly, homes don’t get built, we couldn’t hold this conference. So, it is vital we close this protection gap. So, my call to our industry is to innovate, to cover new risks, not to exclude them." (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BIBA CEO: “We can work together for the greater good”')

In the first quarter of 2024, Swiss Re achieved a net income of $1.1 billion, representing the company’s initial reporting period under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), having transitioned from US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP) starting January 1, 2024. As such, Swiss Re notes that these figures are presented without direct comparability to the previous year’s results under US GAAP. During the quarter, the company’s insurance revenues reached $11.7 billion, with an underwriting result of $1.4 billion. The Property & Casualty Reinsurance (P&C Re) segment reported a net income of $552 million, primarily due to disciplined underwriting practices and a relatively low incidence of large natural catastrophes. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re reveals latest financials – announces new CEO for key arm')

Ardonagh Specialty has announced it will rename its reinsurance business to Price Forbes Re, consolidating its branding following a year of simplification that saw Price Forbes become the primary label for its wholesale operations. This rebranding affects Inver Re in London and Bermuda, along with Equinox Re in the US. Inver Re was established in June 2021. Following the significant acquisition of BGC’s insurance operations in November 2021, it amalgamated various teams and expanded in key markets such as Bermuda, the US, and London. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Ardonagh Specialty rebrands reinsurance arm to Price Forbes Re')

​The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has awarded David Perry, Chief Executive of FSB Insurance Service, the 2024 Francis Perkins Award. This accolade, named after BIBA's first Chair, Francis Perkins, recognises members who dedicate significant effort towards advancing the interests of the insurance broking sector. Perry's long-standing advocacy and support for BIBA and its objectives have been called instrumental over his two-decade association with the organisation. He has served not only on BIBA’s main board but also on its Smaller Brokers’ Advisory Board, General Insurance Brokers’ Committee, Insurance Brokers’ Standards Committee, and the Regional Chairs’ Advisory Board. Additionally, he is a member of the FCA's small business practitioners’ panel. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BIBA presents Francis Perkins Award to FSB Insurance Service CEO')

Managing general agent Commercial Express is said to be well on its way to achieving the company’s goal of generating £50 million in gross written premium (GWP) by next year. The target represents a significant increase from the £30 million GWP it recorded in 2023. According to Commercial Express, the surge in demand from commercial property owners has been a crucial factor in the firm’s recent success. It was also highlighted that, as an independently owned MGA, Commercial Express enjoys the flexibility to navigate market changes and capitalise on growth opportunities. (Terry Gangcuangco, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Commercial Express on track to hit GWP target')

​Hannover Re has announced a 15% increase in group net income for the first quarter of 2024, totaling €558 million, aligning with the company’s guidance for the full financial year. The company reported 1.6% growth in reinsurance revenue, reaching €6.7 billion, up from €6.6 billion the previous year. The reinsurance service result saw a significant increase of 27% to €720 million. The operating profit (EBIT) also rose by 13% to €811 million. Earnings per share increased from €4.02 to €4.63. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Hannover Re publishes Q1 2024 results')

Allianz Commercial and Rokstone, the global re/insurance managing general agent (MGA) under the Aventum Group, have launched a collaborative effort introducing a US$10 million facility dedicated to marine cargo business. This arrangement expands Allianz’s capabilities in wholesale marine distribution and enables Rokstone to globally underwrite direct and reinsurance cargo business with full binding authority from London. The latest venture also complements an existing US$25 million facility initiated earlier this year by Rokstone for its North American marine operations. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Rokstone, Allianz Commercial collaborate for marine cargo business')

To kick off 2024, Allianz SE has announced an increase in its operating profit by 6.8%, reaching €4.0 billion, compared to €3.7 billion in the same period the previous year. This growth, as the insurer highlighted, was supported evenly across various business segments, with significant contributions from both insurance service and investment results. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz posts profit increase in Q1 2024 results')

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has teamed up with AXA to enhance the role of postal networks in providing inclusive insurance. This partnership aims to extend financial inclusion globally, leveraging the trust and reach of postal networks, which currently enable over a quarter of the world's adult population to access formal financial services through their local post offices. Postal networks, which traditionally focused on payments and savings, are increasingly turning towards insurance, which has seen growth in interest and adoption. In 2021, 53% of postal operators offered insurance products, a significant increase from 38% in 2016. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'UPU, AXA collaborate for inclusive insurance through postal networks')

Following the reveal of its preliminary results a few weeks ago, the Talanx Group has now reported a solid start to 2024, with first-quarter insurance revenue up 9% year-on-year, reaching €11.7 billion, compared to €10.7 billion in the same period last year. The Group's net income also increased by 35% to €572 million from €423 million. (Kenneth Araullo, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Talanx kicks off 2024 with strong Q1 results')

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), in collaboration with insurance industry bodies, has published guidance for organisations considering payment in ransomware incidents. Aimed at minimising the overall impact of ransomware incidents, the timely resource was jointly developed by the NCSC and the Association of British Insurers, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), and the International Underwriting Association. The goal is to reduce disruption and cost to businesses, the number of ransoms paid by ransomware victims, and the size of ransoms where victims choose to pay. (Terry Gangcaungco, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'NCSC releases ransomware guidance')

Aon has unveiled a new insurance product tailored for international companies involved in carbon dioxide transportation and storage. Designed to cover the significant risks linked to carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, Aon’s new offering aims to enhance the insurability of such ventures, bridging a crucial protection gap and paving the way for easier access to funding from capital providers and investors. The product also champions environmental, social, and governance principles by supporting industries aiming to achieve their net zero emissions targets through reduced carbon footprints. (Terry Gangcuangco, 15/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon rolls out ‘first-of-its-kind risk transfer solution’')

In a notable shift from its financial trajectory last year, Maiden Holdings revealed a net income of $1.5 million for the first quarter ending March 31. This represented a reversal from the $11.3 million net loss reported in the corresponding quarter of 2023. The company recorded a significant rise in net premiums written, totalling $8.3 million compared to just $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2023. Further financial improvements were observed across various metrics, including net investment income, adjusted book value, net premiums earned, and total revenues. (Mav Rodriguez, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Maiden Holdings rebounds from loss with strong Q1 earnings')

​In a statement, Applied Systems has announced unprecedented growth and market expansion in the last 12 months, driven by increased adoption of its broker management system and eTrading platforms. The company reported a 20% rise in the number of brokers using its Applied Epic broker management system and a 48% surge in gross written premiums traded on its commercial lines eTrading platform. (Jonalyn Cueto, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Applied Systems reports record growth and market expansion')

​Arch Insurance International has rolled out a new specialist insurance product tailored for regional events across the UK and Europe for clients domiciled in Britain. Available through the insurer’s new quote and bind platform Arch IQ, the offering marks a significant development in event cancellation insurance by introducing coverage on an agreed value basis – a first in the industry. The parametric insurance solution guarantees expedited claims payments after a covered event is cancelled or postponed, up to the policy’s specified limits. (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch rolls out parametric event insurance product')

RSA Insurance has embarked on a significant collaboration with national youth work charity UK Youth to help young people access career opportunities as part of promoting social mobility. A two-year initiative in Manchester and Liverpool, the ‘Building Aspirations Programme’ is set to enhance the employability skills of 120 young individuals annually through a special curriculum and by providing them with scholarships for additional training or necessary equipment. (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA, UK Youth team up')

WTW has forged a strategic alliance with Ukrainian insurer VUSO to launch a pioneering facility backed by the London Market. Designed to cover both cargo and war-on-land risks, the exclusive facility is led by Lloyd’s syndicate Markel and features prearranged war insurance capacity. Sam Warnes, Marine Cargo Director at WTW, noted: “This facility complements our other cargo war offerings such as our Black Sea Grain facility and US$300 million facility offering cover in the Red Sea and other high-risk war areas.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW launches new market-first facility for Ukraine')

Mosaic Insurance has introduced a new professional liability insurance product line specifically tailored for specialist engineers. The new offering features core professional liability coverage enhanced with additional protections such as pollution coverage, public-relations expenses, and risk mitigation services. The comprehensive suite is designed for engineering specialists across various sectors, including process engineering, chemical, oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining, nuclear and renewable energy, testing, defence, transportation, and environmental services. (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Mosaic Insurance launches new professional liability offering')

​QBE Insurance Group has published its performance update for the first quarter of 2024, reporting a slight increase in gross written premium (GWP) in the period. In Q1 of this year, QBE’s GWP amounted to US$7.8 billion, a 2% leap from the US$7.6 billion posted in the same three-month span in 2023. In its update, the insurer noted: “Group-wide renewal rate increases of 7.3% were in line with expectations, and reflected reduced rate increases across certain property and reinsurance lines compared to the prior corresponding period." (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE releases performance update for Q1')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Brown & Brown (Europe) Ltd has made two acquisitions into its Retail segment; 100% of the share capital of Garratts Insurance Brokers Limited (“Garratts”), as well as the business and assets of BNF Insurance Services (“BNF”). Garratts is a family business dating back to 1877, when it was founded by George Garratt, and the broker has since passed through the Garratt family over several generations. BNF are a retail broker based in Clacton, Essex, who write insurance for commercial customers and creatives, as well as property and motor. (Brown & Brown, 16/5/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Two broker acquisitions for Brown & Brown')

Addept Group has acquired specialist insurance brokerage Policywise Limited as part of its market launch. Richard Finan, who was a founder of managing general agent Arc Legal Assistance, is the name behind Addept. The business will cater to the ancillary protection space on a wholesale basis, with the Policywise swoop allowing it to introduce new ancillary products and services. The company’s initial product lineup includes Recovery First, which provides support to individuals injured in road traffic accidents where there is no party to claim against; Not for Lions, which offers landlords coverage for damage caused by tenants’ pets; and Bill Ninja, which will assist sole traders and self-employed workers on their bill payments during periods of injury or illness. (Terry Gangcuangco, 13/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'New specialist insurance provider marks market entry')


Long-term savings and retirement business Phoenix Group has appointed Cecile Retaureau as Head of Private Markets. Bringing nearly two decades of experience, Retaureau will join Phoenix from UBS where she served as Managing Director and Global Head of cross-asset financing and fixed income solutions sales. At UBS, she managed over 30 investment banking professionals and oversaw 400 clients worldwide. Her credentials also include senior positions in global markets at BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole. (Terry Gangcuangco, 17/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Phoenix Group names private markets head')

AXA XL has announced that Robert Riha has been appointed as Chief Client & Distribution Officer, APAC & Europe, effective 1st July 2024. Mr. Riha started his career in insurance in 2006, working in-house at RSA for Parabis Law and later qualifying as a Solicitor, specialising in insurance litigation with Kennedys. He joined AXA XL in 2012 as a Senior Claims Adjuster in London. He later relocated to Singapore where he went on to lead AXA XL’s claims teams for Southeast Asia before being promoted to Head of Claims, Asia in 2021. (AXA XL, 17/5/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'AXA XL appoints Robert Riha as Chief Client & Distribution Officer for APAC & Europe')

In leadership news, Ivan Gonzalez will take over as Swiss Re's CEO of Corporate Solutions starting July 1, 2024, succeeding Andreas Berger. Gonzalez’s extensive leadership within Swiss Re, including roles in Beijing, Singapore, New York, São Paulo, and Zurich, equips him well for his new role, as per the firm. Additionally, Moses Ojeisekhoba will be stepping down as CEO of Global Clients and Solutions on August 31, 2024, to explore new opportunities. (Kenneth Araullo, 16/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re reveals latest financials – announces new CEO for key arm')

Hamilton Insurance Group (Hamilton) has announced the appointment of Wilfred Chin as its new Group Chief Actuary, a newly created role. Chin began his career as an Actuarial Analyst at Deloitte & Touche before joining Tokio Marine Kiln as an Actuary. After almost 15 years at the firm and taking up the roles of Chief Actuary TMKI and Head of Reserving & Chief Actuary TMKI, he joined Hamilton as a Chief Actuary at Hamilton Global Specialty. (Abigail Adriatico, 14/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Hamilton names new group chief actuary')

Tokio Marine HCC – Specialty Group, a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies, has unveiled its latest endeavour in London. The announcement comes with the launch of its new product recall offering, accompanied by two senior appointments to its crisis management team. Mark Hutton takes the helm in the newly established role of Head of Crisis Management for international, effective May 13, 2024. Hutton brings with him a wealth of experience garnered over a 25-year career in underwriting. His previous roles include serving as Global Product Head for product recall at AXA XL and Head of Casualty at McLarens Young International. Accompanying Hutton is Ian Davidson, appointed as Senior Underwriter for crisis management. Davidson also hails from AXA XL and brings to his new role a wealth of experience in product recall for the APAC region from his previous role at XL Catlin’s Sydney office. (Jonalyn Cueto, 13/5/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Tokio Marine HCC expands offering with new London team')

​The Board of the International Underwriting Association is to be strengthened with the addition of another senior London Market figure to its ranks. Luis Prato is President of UK & MENA at Liberty Specialty Markets, where he is responsible for setting the firm’s strategy in those regions. He will join the IUA Board at its next meeting in July. Prato has more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry, has held various underwriting, risk management, and leadership positions and recently obtained an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School. He joined Liberty in 2023 from AXA XL, where he was Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO), UK and Lloyd's, and the Active Underwriter of AXA XL's syndicate at Lloyd's. (Liberty Specialty Markets, 13/5/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Liberty Specialty Market's Luis Prato appointed to IUA board')

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