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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 21st June 2024

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Insurance News

K2 International, the London-based specialty insurance and reinsurance underwriting platform owned by K2 Insurance Services, has unveiled K2 Rubicon Specialty. Established by industry veterans Gavin Wall, Parth Patel, Chris McGill, and Matt Eve, K2 Rubicon Specialty is a new division that will write across multiple lines such as marine and US property within the London Market. (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'K2 Rubicon Specialty marks London Market debut')

​Artex Capital Solutions reports that global reinsurers experienced a notable improvement in underwriting profitability and return on equity (ROE) in 2023, contributing to an increase in their capital base. Many companies reported some of the best reinsurance underwriting conditions in over two decades. The redistribution of risk between primary and secondary markets in property catastrophe and specialty segments has driven a substantial improvement in ROEs for reinsurers. Underlying ROEs rose significantly, ranging from 12% to 14.3% for the year. This increase was due to a reduction in the underlying combined ratios and higher recurring investment income. The underlying combined ratio continued its downward trend, decreasing from 98.5% to 96%, driven by a lower attritional loss ratio and a normalized natural catastrophe load. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Artex on the state of the global reinsurance market')

​Appian and PwC UK have announced a new alliance aimed at improving processes within the insurance industry. This partnership will enable PwC to offer services that streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and boost efficiency for insurance companies using the Appian Platform. PwC supports over 4,000 insurance clients globally and understands the challenges posed by multiple, disparate systems, particularly legacy platforms, and complex regulatory processes. PwC says that it brings expertise in Appian implementation and first-hand experience of operational benefits using Appian. The alliance enhances PwC’s role as a key partner to Appian. PwC uses the Appian Platform and the Appian Connected Claims solution to manage its claims services. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Appian, PwC UK announce partnership for revamped insurance services')

Insurtech Pikl has announced a significant new partnership with Prestige Underwriting that has the backing of Aviva. The collaboration will transition Pikl’s current UK managing general agent capacity for its specialised vacation rentals / short-term rental insurance to the wider facility. Designed for both individual homeowners and property managers, Pikl’s products address risks associated with vacation rentals and short-term lets, including property damage and liability. They complement standard home insurance policies by covering usual exclusions like guest-caused damage. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva, Prestige Underwriting in new partnership with Pikl')

The challenges of 2023 eroded the buffers that many insurers had previously enjoyed, bringing an increased focus on capital management and a variety of capital sources, according to Aon’s capital poll. With robust pricing levels in many primary insurance markets and significant unmet need, the outlook for the insurance sector appears more positive. However, insurers still face challenges. Aon’s Capital Poll highlighted that reinsurance was the most common source of capital used by respondents (60%), followed by equity (41%). Given the higher retentions experienced on the primary side throughout 2023, Aon noted that it is not surprising that insurers seek to cover those gaps when possible. (Kenneth Araullo, 19/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Reinsurance still the top source of capital for insurers – Aon')

​Constantine “Dinos” Iordanou, former Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Arch Capital Group, has died at age 74. “The entire Arch family is saddened by the passing of former chair and CEO Dinos Iordanou,” Arch said. “In his nearly 15-year tenure as CEO, Dinos played an integral role in developing Arch into a market-leading company with a worldwide presence in insurance, reinsurance and mortgage insurance. He was full of life, incredibly generous and a role model for anyone seeking to make a lasting impact.” Marc Grandisson, CEO of Arch Capital Group Ltd, also praised Iordanou, noting that “so much of Arch’s success over the past 20-plus years can be directly attributed to Dinos and his leadership.” (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Constantine Iordanou, Ex-CEO of Arch Capital, dies at 74')

​Global brokerage Aon has introduced Fleet Risk Intelligence, a platform designed to assist motor fleet operators in identifying and managing risk within their fleets. The Fleet Risk Intelligence’s overall goal is to reduce accidents, enhance operations, and cut costs. This new solution delivers actionable insights to fleet operators and drivers through advanced analysis of comprehensive datasets. It uses vehicle telematics, such as GPS and acceleration/speed data, alongside real-time weather and road conditions, to develop proprietary models with artificial intelligence and machine learning. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon launches Fleet Risk Intelligence to support motor fleet operators')

Allianz Trade and specialist credit and political risk insurance broker BPL have launched a collaboration to enhance the efficiency of how underwriters and brokers share enquiry data. This initiative uses application programming interface (API) integration via the digital trading platform Whitespace, a Verisk business. Allianz Trade’s new collaboration aims to address the inefficiencies faced by underwriters in the bank non-payment insurance sector. Currently, the market sees over 10,000 enquiries annually, with underwriters manually entering data from unstructured and varied formats. This process, Allianz Trade highlighted, is time-consuming, prone to human error, and limits market growth. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Trade, BPL partner for AI-powered enquiry system')

​Higher interest rates are encouraging life insurance companies to acquire assets, marking a shift from years of low rates that pushed listed insurers to divest assets, often to private equity investors, according to new insights from Swiss Re. The current environment supports strong, profitable balance sheet growth, it was suggested, with Swiss Re forecasting a 40% increase in industry investment income in key markets by 2027. Competition remains intense, with asset management capabilities developed during the low yield years serving as a key differentiator and fostering product innovation beyond traditional life offerings. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Swiss Re reveals what's impacting the life insurance market')

​Managing general agent (MGA) Prestige Underwriting has announced the expansion of its non-standard product offerings and its enhanced presence on the Applied Systems platform with the launch of its new non-standard motor insurance product. With this enhancement, brokers using Applied software now have streamlined access to Prestige Underwriting’s non-standard motor and home insurance products. The MGA explained that these enhanced products are tailored to address niche and growing risks in the UK market. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Prestige Underwriting revamps non-standard product portfolio on Applied Systems')

KPMG is letting people go in the UK after recently announcing the British unit’s merger with KPMG Switzerland. On May 24, KPMG UK and KPMG Switzerland confirmed their planned combination, noting that the resulting entity will be the second biggest KPMG operations within the group’s global network. At the time, the Big Four enterprise highlighted: “Both firms enter the merger from positions of strength as growing, profitable businesses in their respective home markets and have a long and strong history of working together for multinational clients.” (Terry Gangcuangco, 21/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'KPMG UK to slash jobs after announcing merger')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Seventeen Group has acquired East Pennine Insurance Consultants (EPIC) which trades as Fletcher Smith in Sheffield and North East Insurance Brokers in the north-east. The business was originally formed in 1985 and controls £6.1M GWP. There are 9 staff in total, including Directors Steve Brooke and Simon Walton. EPIC has a strong presence in the motor trade sector and so will become a ‘centre of excellence’ within the Group for this class of business as well as developing wider opportunities for James Hallam and Seventeen Group in the North. (Seventeen Group, 21/6/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Seventeen Group buys broker')


​SCOR has announced the appointment of Olga Chestiperova as Senior Underwriter in the Alternative Solutions Reinsurance team, with her role effective June 5. Chestiperova joins SCOR with a background in structured solutions consulting at Marsh France, where she worked from June 2020 to June 2024. Prior to this, she was a Treaty Property Underwriter for the French Market at Swiss Re from September 2008 to June 2020. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'SCOR taps new senior underwriter for alternative solutions reinsurance unit')

Brace Underwriting Limited has brought in Michael Davis as Senior Underwriter. Davis joins Brace with over 13 years of industry experience. He previously served as a Property Underwriter at Tokio Marine Kiln where he began his career as a graduate trainee in 2010. He was promoted to Property Claim Adjuster in 2012 before transitioning to underwriting in 2015. (Terry Gangcuangco, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'UK hire to help expand underwriter's book of business')

​Global broker Aon has announced the appointment of Tracy-Lee Kus as Head of its London-based Global Broking Centre (GBC), effective September 1, 2024. She succeeds Mark Parker, who will be retiring shortly. After Parker's interim leadership of the GBC in recent months, Kus will focus on enhancing client relationships and leveraging Aon’s Risk Capital capabilities. Kus brings over 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, having worked in South Africa, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. She rejoined Aon in 2011 and has held several senior roles, most recently as Head of Commercial Risk for Aon in the Asia Pacific region. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon names new head of Global Broking Centre')

Arch Insurance has announced the appointment of Roberto Tous as Director of Strategy & Distribution for Europe, effective immediately. Tous brings over 16 years of experience in the european insurance market to the position. He joins from Zurich Insurance, where he held several leadership roles, including Head of General Liability, Financial Lines and Cyber Risk in Benelux, and Financial Lines EMEA Business Development Manager. Prior to this, Tous was a Financial Lines Underwriter at Chubb Insurance Europe. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Arch Insurance appoints European director of strategy and distribution')

Tokio Marine HCC (TMHCC) – Specialty Group, part of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies, has announced the appointment of Shaun Russ as Head of London Market, Crisis Management. Russ brings over 15 years of London Market experience to TMHCC, having previously served as Senior Product Recall Underwriter at Axa XL. His career also includes roles at Chubb Global Markets and Lockton Companies International. (Kenneth Araullo, 20/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Tokio Marine HCC – Specialty Group names new head of London Market')

​London-headquartered independent specialty Lloyd’s broker Servca has launched a new office in Northern Ireland, leveraging the location’s unique position as a key trading hub for both the UK and Europe. The new office will enhance Servca’s high-touch customer service approach by bringing the broker closer to its clients and partners in the region, while also matching the company’s international growth strategy aimed at the Republic of Ireland and continental Europe. Becca McCullough was appointed as Regional Associate Director to lead the new office. With her extensive experience in casualty insurance and strong local connections, McCullough will focus on enhancing existing programmes and developing new solutions specifically for Northern Irish clients. (Terry Gangcuangco, 19/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Servca launches new office in Northern Ireland')

SCOR CEO Thierry Léger and Lloyd’s CEO John Neal have been appointed Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of Insurance Europe’s Reinsurance Advisory Board (RAB). Thierry Léger succeeds Gen Re’s Charlie Shamieh, who has held the RAB chairmanship since June 2023. Léger, with 25 years of experience in the reinsurance industry, has been CEO of SCOR since May 2023. Meanwhile, John Neal, CEO of Lloyd’s of London since 2018, will serve as Vice-Chair of the RAB before succeeding Léger as Chair in June 2025. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Insurance Europe adds two major names to reinsurance advisory board')

Global specialty P&C re/insurer Canopius Group has announced the appointment of Chris Getty as Cyber and Technology Underwriter. Getty brings over nine years of cyber insurance experience to Canopius. He joins from Talbot Underwriting, where he most recently served as Head of Cyber and Technology, leading the London and New York underwriting teams. Getty began his career with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert LLP and is a qualified Solicitor. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Canopius bolsters cyber division with key appointment')

In further news...Canopius has announced the appointment of Mark Houghton as Global Product Leader, Specialty. With over 20 years of experience in insurance and financial services, Houghton joins Canopius from AXA XL, where he led the political risk team for over a decade before becoming Head of Specialty in Asia. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Canopius names new global product leader for specialty')

Consilium has announced its entry into the credit and political risk insurance market. As part of the new portfolio, Consilium has hired Alan Wallace to support the business as it aims to establish a differentiated presence in terms of talent, innovative policy wordings, broad coverage, and A-rated Lloyd’s and London Market capacity. Wallace, an experienced insurance professional with over 30 years in the London and global markets, will lead Consilium’s credit and political risk solutions. He brings extensive expertise in developing differentiated policy structures and wordings across credit, political risk, and surety classes, as well as strong business development and leadership skills. (Kenneth Araullo, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Consilium establishes credit and political risk portfolio')

​Global insurance intermediary group Howden has chosen Paul Hipson to take on the newly established role of London Broking Head for the corporate & commercial division within Howden UK & Ireland. Hipson, whose credentials span nearly 21 years with Howden (including Aston Lark and its predecessor firms), will report to Chief Placement Officer for corporate & commercial Paul Hasib. Prior to his widened function, Hipson led the London corporate existing business team through significant development. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden picks first-ever London broking head')

Specialist marine managing general agent Amphitrite Underwriting London has formed a cargo division to be led by Scott Sykes. The new division head joins the London office from Singapore, where he spent the last 14 years. Sykes most recently led Argenta Underwriting Pte Ltd at Lloyd’s Asia. He brings more than 35 years of Lloyd’s experience to Amphitrite, which has secured cargo capacity from the centuries-old marketplace. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Amphitrite forms cargo division')

Generali has announced the appointment of Cécile Paillard as Group Chief Transformation Officer. She will also become a member of the group management committee at Generali as part of her role. Paillard brings more than two and a half decades of experience in the financial services sector, with significant expertise in strategic planning and innovation. Her career includes leadership posts at international insurance companies, most recently serving as Chief Executive for the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa regions at Coface Group. She has also held increasingly senior positions at AXA. (Terry Gangcuangco, 18/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Generali names group chief transformation officer')

​International specialty re/insurance managing general agent (MGA) Rokstone has announced the appointment of Graham Amato to launch a new global sports personal accident portfolio. Amato joins Rokstone from Worldwide Special Risks, where he was a Senior Underwriter on worldwide contingency and personal accident books. With a 35-year underwriting career, Amato has held senior positions at Aviva, InterHannover, and HDI Global Specialty. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Rokstone establishes global sports personal accident division')

​Allianz Commercial has announced a key appointment to its global leadership team, effective immediately, as Vanessa Maxwell has been named Global Head of Cyber, in addition to her current role as Global Head of Financial Lines. Maxwell, who has over 20 years of experience in financial lines and cyber, joined Allianz Commercial as Global Head of Financial Lines nearly two years ago from Berkshire Hathaway. Maxwell’s career history includes positions at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance as Country Manager, UK, and Head of Executive and Professional Lines - UK. Prior to this, she also held roles at AIG, including Head of PI/Cyber UK, Underwriting Manager, and Assistant Professional Liability Manager. She began her career as a Production Specialist at AIG. (Kenneth Araullo, 17/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz Commercial introduces new global head of cyber and financial lines')

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