Blog Img

General Insurance Newsletter Friday 28th June 2024

Back to Blogs

Insurance News

​Aviva has seen a significant uptick in fraudulent claims for 2023, the insurer said in a recent news release. Aviva revealed a 39% increase in fraudulent claims, with more than 11,000 suspect claims valued at £116 million – averaging 30 bogus claims daily worth £318,000. Additionally, the insurer is investigating 13,100 more claims for potential fraud. The majority of fraudulent claims, accounting for 66%, were related to motor insurance, particularly for injuries and vehicle damage. Motor injury fraud alone made up 35% of all fraudulent claims detected by Aviva, with a notable 19% increase in declined injury claims, totalling over £23 million. Of this, £6 million stemmed from crash-for-cash schemes. (Steven Byerley, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva sees spike in fraudulent claims')

​Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) has sounded the alarm over the spiking rates of personal lines in the UK and Ireland – exceeding other countries in Europe – which, according to experts, spell ‘disaster’ in the local insurance markets. This statement was made after two insurance giants, Allianz and AXA, increased their personal lines pricing in Ireland and the UK by 51.7% and 35.3% respectively, in the first quarter of the year. Allianz has decided to increase its rates in an attempt to improve the performance of its motor insurance book, says BI. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Allianz, AXA rate hikes may put UK insurance market in peril')

Lockton, the biggest privately held insurance brokerage in the world, has published its financial results for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2024. According to Lockton, its annual global revenue grew by 15% to $3.55 billion. The result was attributed to Lockton’s 14% organic revenue growth in the period, which made fiscal 2024 the fourth consecutive year of double-digit organic global revenue growth for the company. Of the global revenue, US$2.43 billion came from Lockton’s US operations, while the international operations contributed US$926 million. The positive change from the previous fiscal year stood at 11% and 24%, respectively. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Lockton publishes higher global revenue')

The year 2023, indeed, was a landmark year for independent insurance, risk, wealth management, and insurtech company Thomas Caroll Group – which also celebrated its 50th anniversary –  as it registered a gross profit (pre-tax) of £1m based on FY2023 results. It also saw a 2% growth in turnover, as it transitioned into employee ownership, via an employee ownership trust (EOT). The Thomas Caroll Group stated that while they have incurred several one-off additional expenses, which are reflected in its financial performance, it still reported a 2% growth in turnover in 2022, achieving a pre-tax profit of £935,862. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Thomas Caroll Group registers £1m in pre-tax profits in FY2023')

Mergers & Acquisitions

​Originally announced in September last year, the mega merger between Markerstudy and Atlanta Group has now finally been completed. Ardonagh Group made the announcement, with a party related to the broking giant to retain a substantial minority equity stake within the combined business. “I am hugely energised to start our journey to create a major new player in the UK insurance landscape,” said Atlanta Group Founder and CEO of Markerstudy Distribution Ian Donaldson. “With the formidable talent and expertise of our colleagues focused toward this new chapter, we look forward to delivering innovative solutions and service for the eight million+ customers now shared across our leading and specialist brands." (Paul Lucas, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Markerstudy-Atlanta merger crosses the finish line')

​Phoenix Group Holdings plc (Phoenix Group) has announced it is considering selling its SunLife Limited (SunLife) business. This decision follows a strategic review. SunLife, which offers financial protection products to the over-50s market in the UK, reported a post-tax profit of £16 million in 2023. After the review, the Phoenix Group board concluded that SunLife is no longer core to the group’s strategic focus on becoming the UK’s leading retirement savings and income business. Consequently, the board has decided to explore a sale, having received several initial expressions of interest from third parties. However, there is no guarantee that a sale will proceed. (Roxanne Libatique, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Phoenix Group explores potential sale of SunLife business')

American International Group (AIG) is selling its global personal travel insurance business to Zurich Insurance Group for US$600 million in cash plus additional earn-out consideration. On what’s included in the sale, AIG noted: “The agreement includes the Travel Guard business and its servicing capabilities, excluding Japan and our AIG joint venture arrangement in India. Travel coverages offered through AIG’s accident & health business are also excluded from this agreement.” Expected to close by the end of 2024, the deal will see Zurich combine the acquired operations with its travel insurance provider Cover-More Group. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AIG offloads global personal travel insurance business to Zurich')

​Specialist Risk Group (SRG), an insurance intermediary, has agreed to acquire Strategic Insurance Services Limited (SISL), pending regulatory approval. Founded in 1997 and headquartered in West Sussex, SISL specialises in niche insurance schemes, with established relationships with insurers, brokers, and financial services clients across Europe. The acquisition aligns with SRG’s strategy to expand its range of specialisms. (Roxanne Libatique, 25/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialist Risk Group expands with SISL acquisition')

​Private equity investor Perwyn has announced its acquisition of insurance distribution and growth platform Atec. The acquisition was made through an off-market transaction from Kester Capital. With the acquisition, former BGL CEO and Founder of Compare the Market Matthew Donaldson will be joining Atec as Chairman. Perwyn will also be partnering with Atec CEO Brendan Devine as well as his management team in strengthening Atec’s position in the market. (Abigail Adriatico, 24/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Perwyn announces acquisition of Atec Group')


Howden Capital Markets & Advisory (HCMA), the risk, capital, and strategic advisor arm of the global brokerage giant, has announced the appointment of Sébastien Bamsey, formerly with JP Morgan, as its new Managing Director. He will be based in HCMA’s London office, effective July 15. Bamsey will bring more than 18 years of re/insurance-focused corporate finance and global capital markets expertise and experience, largely from managing international teams at JP Morgan. Before joining HCMA, Bamsey served as JP Morgan’s Head of European Insurance Debt Capital Markets, leading the financing dialogue with the bank’s national and global re/insurance clients headquartered in Europe, targeting both public and private markets. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 28/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden arm appoints new managing director')

​Accenture has named Carmina Lees as the head of its insurance practice for the UK and Ireland. Lees, who has been with Accenture’s financial services industry group since 2017, previously led projects for major banking clients. Lees brings over 25 years of experience across various industries, focusing on technology and digital transformation. Lees’ background in the banking sector includes acting as a Strategic Advisor to senior executives, directing digitisation projects that improved customer experiences, agility, and performance. She has been involved in innovative programs using digital, data, and AI technologies alongside key partners. (Roxanne Libatique, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Accenture taps new leader for UK and Ireland insurance sector')

Optio Group has appointed Deepak Soni as its new group CEO, while Cigna Healthcare has named Neil Kirby as CEO of global individual health. Soni makes the switch to Optio Group via AXA, where he served in the role of Commercial Director for nine years. During his tenure with the firm, he held a host of senior positions – including heading up the specialty lines business, delegated authority and direct-to-consumer. Before joining AXA, Soni was with Hiscox, also in variety of roles, and prior to that, began his early career as a Broker with Aon. Kirby joins Cigna Healthcare having built up extensive experience across global health insurance. His previous roles include Global Marketing and Sales Director at Bupa Global. (Paul Lucas, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Two insurance firms announce new CEOs')

​On the heels of its recent acquisition by BlackFin Capital Partners, affinity insurance company SPB Group has announced the appointment of Mathieu Sebastien as CEO. Sebastien became CEO effective June 24. He has more than 20 years of experience in strategy and consulting, with a primary focus on insurance sector clients. Previously holding positions at Roland Berger and Oliver Wyman, Sebastien has assisted several insurers, brokers and service providers in revitalising growth, making acquisitions and executing transformation projects. (Ryan Smith, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'SPB Group taps new CEO')

RSA Insurance has announced the appointment of Caroline D’Urso as Senior Underwriter for its Risk Managed Property team, effective Aug. 27. The team is part of RSA’s UK specialty lines business. D’Urso has more than a decade of industry experience. She joins RSA from Zurich, where she works in the global corporate team. D’Urso joined Zurich in 2011 as a Catastrophe and Accumulations Technician before becoming an Assistant Underwriter. She advanced to her current role of Property Underwriter in 2017. (Ryan Smith, 27/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'RSA snags new senior underwriter')

Hamilton Global Specialty has announced the appointment of Niamh O’Brien as its new Chief Actuary. O’Brien first joined Hamilton in 2021 and had led its key actuarial reserving activity as well as providing advisory support as one of its actuarial consultants. She also held senior actuarial roles over the past 20 years in firms such as Caitlin, Hiscox, W.R. Berkley, and Tokio Marine Kiln. (Abigail Adriatico, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Hamilton Global Specialty welcomes new chief actuary')

Zurich North America has appointed former Fortitude Re CEO James Bracken as its new Chief Finance Officer (CFO), replacing Peter Hirs, who will return to Zurich Insurance Group in Switzerland as Head of Mergers & Acquisitions. Both start their roles on July 1. Bracken, a UK Chartered Accountant with over 25 years of financial services experience, was previously CFO at AIG General Insurance and worked at GE Insurance, GE Capital, and Arthur Andersen & Co. As Fortitude Re’s CEO, he built a $75 billion runoff reinsurance company and led its sale to an investor consortium. Hirs, succeeding Dalynn Hoch, previously held CFO roles at Zurich Asia Pacific, Zurich Global Corporate North America, and Zurich Switzerland, and joined Zurich Group M&A in 2005 after working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. He will report to group CFO Claudia Cordioli. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Former reinsurance chief switches to insurer')

​Sompo has announced the appointment of Allan Murley as its new UK Distribution, Insurance Head effective from the last quarter of the year. Murley joined Sompo in 2019 after his stint at AXA XL as Head of UK Broker Management. He has more than 30 years of experience in the insurance industry, including 14 years at Zurich, before joining XL in 2014 as a Client and Distribution Leader. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Sompo names new head of UK distribution, insurance')

QBE Insurance Group has appointed Simon Højmark as Product Manager for Cyber and Dr. Patrick Seul as Product Manager for Management Liability and Financial Institutions in its European operations. Højmark, based in Copenhagen, has been with QBE for 13 years, starting as Finance Controller and progressing to roles in underwriting and cyber insurance. Seul, based in Germany, has 14 years of insurance experience, having previously managed portfolios for QBE, Allianz, Aon, and AIG. (Terry Gangcuangco, 26/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'QBE promotes duo to product managers for Europe')

DUAL Europe announced the appointment of Aram Stoop as DUAL Benelux’s new Managing Director as its Founder Peter Kegel leaves the company. Stoop joined DUAL Europe in 2023, assuming the role of Head of Marine, which is headquartered in Benelux. DUAL Europe in a statement said that Stoop brought with him more than 20 years of solid experience in leadership roles in the insurance industry, including as an internationally recognized market-leading Underwriter in Marine Builders Risks. (Noel Sales Barcelona, 25/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'DUAL Benelux appoints Aram Stoop as new managing director')

Chaucer has made a strategic leadership change by appointing Hayley Spink as its new Group Chief Operating Officer – she will take the role in the fourth quarter. The move is significant as it aligns with Chaucer’s aim to enhance its operational efficiency and service strategy amid a competitive insurance market. She joins Chaucer with over 20 years of experience in the London Market, having held senior roles at Lloyd’s. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Apollo Syndicate 1969. (Mav Rodriguez, 24/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Chaucer confirms new COO')

​In a move to boost its global expansion, BMS Group has appointed Ali Trauttmansdorff as its new Group Chief People Officer, effective immediately. Trauttmansdorff brings extensive global experience, having held senior HR roles at Goldman Sachs and Rothschild & Co. She was most recently the Chief Human Resources Officer for a US publicly listed global wealth and alternatives manager. (Mav Rodriguez, 24/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BMS Group enhances global leadership with new chief people officer')

Palomar Holdings, Inc., a specialty insurance provider, has announced the appointments of Tim Carter as Chief People Officer, effective June 24, and Rodolphe “Rudy” Herve as Chief Operating Officer, effective July 1. Carter joins Palomar from LPL Financial Inc., where he was Senior Vice President of human resources. His extensive experience includes key roles at G4S Integrated Services, Parexel, Home Depot, and as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. Carter’s expertise in human capital, talent management, and corporate real estate is expected to support Palomar’s growth strategies. (Jonalyn Cueto, 24/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Palomar Holdings appoints new chief people officer and COO')

UK-headquartered Aviva Plc has appointed Canadian national Thomas Neil Morrison to its board as a Non-Executive Director. The former Platform Insurance Management Chair and Managing Partner brings more than 38 years of Canadian insurance industry experience to the Aviva board. Morrison presently chairs Canada-based cybersecurity, prevention, and insurance provider BOXX Insurance. Appointed by Aviva on June 17, Morrison is a past Chair of the Insurance Institute of Canada and a past Chair of Worldwide Broker Network. His credentials also include time spent at Hub International. The new Non-Executive Director, who is also currently a board observer of InsurePay Inc., will become a member of Aviva’s nomination & governance and risk committees. (Terry Gangcuangco, 24/6/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aviva adds overseas market expert to board')

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