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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 5th July 2024

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Insurance News

​AXA has announced its support for the Insurance Development Forum’s (IDF) Infrastructure Resilience Development Blueprint. The initiative seeks to mobilise insurance sector investments to boost vulnerable communities in emerging and developing economies in the fight against climate change and other natural disasters. The IDF Infrastructure Task Force introduced the Blueprint concept earlier this year. The aim was to drive greater mobilisation and investments from the insurance sector into smaller to mid-size commercial infrastructure projects in developing and emerging markets. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'AXA announces support for IDF's resilience development initiative')

HCR Insurance & Risk, a specialist insurance practice within the UK law firm HCR, announced it has trebled in size since its launch in 2022. The practice, led by Partner Jonathan Edwards, has expanded its team to 12 members, including Partner Leanne Conisbee, who joined in 2023. Edwards, formerly of Clyde & Co and BLM, brings extensive insurance sector experience, with guidance from former Zurich UK GI CEO Guy Munnoch. HCR noted that the team has successfully attracted leading insurers, serving over 70 clients in areas such as policy reviews, disputes, claims resolution, inquests, regulatory investigations, prosecutions, crisis management, and risk reviews. It also supports growing companies with M&A due diligence. (Kenneth Araullo, 5/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'HCR Insurance & Risk marks major milestone in second year of operation')

Global insurance broker Gallagher has formed a strategic partnership with LifeSearch, an independent protection advice specialist, to expand insurance offerings for micro-SME businesses in the UK. Under the new partnership, Gallagher will supply commercial insurance products – from directors’ and officers’ insurance and professional indemnity to cyber insurance and public liability cover – to LifeSearch’s SME clients and business-owning individuals. Conversely, LifeSearch will offer protection insurance advice and products, such as life insurance, critical illness cover, mortgage protection, and income protection, to Gallagher’s micro-SME clients. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Gallagher, LifeSearch team up')

WTW has introduced IMI Plus, an enhanced investment management insurance solution. IMI Plus is designed to meet the needs of various asset managers, including wealth managers, hedge funds, private equity firms, and real estate strategies. WTW said that IMI Plus aims to provide comprehensive and unified risk management, reducing the administrative burden of multiple policies and the risk of protection gaps. The global broker said that unlike traditional insurance options that segment coverage into separate policies, IMI Plus combines critical protections under one streamlined policy, including comprehensive cyber coverage and other benefits. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'WTW announces enhanced investment management insurance solution')

​Global broking company Brokerslink has launched a dedicated trade credit insurance (TCI) practice in response to increasing demand from its worldwide network of independent brokers. Brokerslink’s new TCI practice will provide its partners and affiliates access to a collective pool of expertise in the trade credit sector, enabling brokers to enhance their propositions to clients locally and for multinational business. According to Brokerslink, a recent survey revealed that 75% of brokers were interested in expanding their remit to trade credit insurance. Of those, half identified existing accounts in their regions needing international support, which Brokerslink says it is well-placed to provide. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Brokerslink establishes dedicated trade credit insurance practice')

​Zurich Insurance Group and Aon have introduced a new clean energy insurance facility to provide comprehensive coverage for blue and green hydrogen projects with capital expenditures up to $250 million. As part of this new initiative, Zurich serves as the lead insurer while Aon acts as the exclusive broker. This initiative aims to support the development of clean hydrogen projects and is part of Zurich’s broader commitment to the net-zero transition through customer engagement, new services, and product innovation. Insurance plays a critical role in facilitating the net-zero transition by offering protection and risk expertise. Clean hydrogen, seen as a promising alternative to fossil fuels, is expected to play a key role in the energy transition. (Kenneth Araullo, 1/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Zurich and Aon open new clean hydrogen insurance facility for net-zero transition')

Thomas Carroll Group has reported a 2% growth in turnover, as well as pre-tax profits of nearly £1million in its FY 2023 results. 2023 was a landmark year for the Thomas Carroll Group - the independent insurance, risk, wealth management and insurTech company celebrated its 50th year in business and also transitioned into employee ownership, via an employee ownership trust (EOT). (Thomas Carroll Group, 1/7/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Thomas Carroll Group reports pre-tax profits of nearly £1million FY 2023')

Mergers & Acquisitions

Howden has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire the AGEO brokerage group, an independent Employee Benefits (“EB”) insurance broker headquartered in Paris. This acquisition positions Howden France as a leading Employee Benefits broker in the French insurance market. Founded in 1984 by Eric and Maryse Oziebala, AGEO is a major Employee Benefits broker, providing a wide range of solutions to around 12,000 corporate and SME clients, with 300 employees working across 32 offices in France. AGEO specialises in Employee Benefits, health insurance, policy administration and claims management platform, Retirement & Pensions services and boutique P&C capabilities. (Howden, 4/7/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Howden strengthens position in French market with broker acquisition')

Specialist Risk Group has announced the acquisition of Tristar Special Risks. Tristar Special Risks has deep expertise in terrorism insurance and supports broker partners across the UK through its comprehensive coverage for all types of commercial and residential risks including political and religious properties. The acquisition of Tristar Special Risks continues SRG’s build out of their Managing General Agent, MX, which was launched in December 2021. The acquisition of Tristar Special Risks is a further demonstration of SRG’s strategy to develop deep expertise across specialist areas. With its proven track record for attracting businesses operating in niche industries, SRG continues to pursue this strategy through the next chapter of its growth. (Specialist Risk Group, 4/7/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Specialist Risk Group buys MGA')

​Monument Re Limited announced that its Belgian subsidiary, Monument Assurance Belgium NV, has completed the acquisition of a branch 21 closed book classical group life insurance portfolio from Contassur – Contibel Assurances Vie – Contibel Levensverzekeringen SA/NV, following regulatory approval from the National Bank of Belgium. Koen Depaemelaere, CEO of Monument Assurance Belgium, and Carlo Elsinghorst, Group CEO of Monument Re Limited, stated that the acquisition marks another step in Monument's consolidation strategy for Belgium. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Monument Re further expands with latest acquisition')

Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd is set to acquire Danish insurer Codan’s global marine and energy portfolio for approximately $163 million. The acquisition price represents about 11% of Gard’s total equity, the marine P&I mutual specialist stated. As per AM Best, the acquisition aims to diversify Gard’s portfolio and strengthen its position in the renewable energy sector. With the deal, Gard will establish a new office in Denmark and gain around 50 insurance specialists. The transaction, subject to agreed conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed at the beginning of 2025. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Gard P&I to acquire Danish insurer’s marine and energy portfolio')

​Premier Choice Group (PCG), a PMI and employee benefits business under Brown & Brown (Europe) Ltd, has acquired the employee benefits intermediary Advo Group Limited, with the acquisition following six others completed by PCG in the first half of 2024. PCG operates out of London, Towcester, Bournemouth, Darwen, and now, with the inclusion of Advo, Maidstone. The company collaborates with UK insurance providers for health, risk, and protection products. Advo, based in Maidstone, Kent, specialises in employee benefits for both domestic and international clients. Recently, Advo restructured, creating the HR and Payroll division, Advo One, which remains within Advo Holdings Limited. Lucy Pearce, Advo Group’s Commercial Director, will join the PCG management team, taking on the role of Commercial Director for PCG. She will work alongside Darren Perkins, the newly appointed Managing Director. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'PCG expands employee benefits footprint with latest acquisition')

​Global insurance group Howden has announced its entry into the Japanese market with the launch of Howden Re Japan Ltd and a partnership with Keystone ILS Capital. The new entity will provide reinsurance brokerage services and strategic advice utilizing data, analytics, and capital markets expertise for the Japanese market. As part of the launch, Howden has appointed Kentaro Tada as CEO of Howden Japan, Tada, who will oversee the strategic growth of Howden's operations in Japan, has previously held senior roles including President and CEO of Rakuten General Insurance Company, President of Guy Carpenter Japan, and President and CEO of SBI SSI Holdings. In an effort to enhance its reinsurance services in Japan, Howden has also invested in Keystone, a Japanese insurance-linked securities (ILS) structuring and capital markets advisory firm. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden enters Japanese market with Howden Re launch')

​International adjusting services and insurance technology solutions provider Charles Taylor has acquired M3 Aviation Services for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, Regional Director John Leonard will continue to lead Charles Taylor’s aviation adjusting operations in Mexico, Chile, and Brazil. Pedro Mesa, Managing Director at M3 Aviation Services, will take on the role of Regional Director for Charles Taylor’s North American aviation adjusting team. He brings around four decades of experience to the wider group. Rudy Viamonte, a Partner at M3 Aviation Services, will serve as Principal Surveyor and Director. Together, Mesa and Viamonte will collaborate closely with Leonard and his team to support their existing clientele across the Americas. (Terry Gangcuangco, 2/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Charles Taylor buys M3 Aviation Services')


Howden Re has announced the appointment of Shireen Gammoh as Managing Director within the legacy and structured reinsurance team. Gammoh's career includes roles such as Global Head of Capital Advisory & Modeling at Gallagher Re and Head of Strategic & Financial Advisory at the same firm. Prior to that, she was Group Head of Capital Management and Modeling at Enstar Group, Head of Capital and Reinsurance Analytics at Flood Re, and Head of Reinsurance Analytics and Reinsurance & Capital Actuary at Canopius Group. She has also worked as an Actuarial Analyst at International General Insurance and completed a reinsurance internship at Zaris Insurance Consultants Ltd. (Kenneth Araullo, 4/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Howden Re welcomes new MD')

There is a new face at the top of the UK & Ireland arm of international specialty insurance firm Beazley. The company has named Sam Franks as its Country Manager for the region, with the move taking effect immediately. Franks, who will be situated in Birmingham, is set to develop the regional business outside its Lloyd’s operations. He is currently the Head of Partner Engagement for the region within the distribution team – a role he is set to retain. (Paul Lucas, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Beazley names new UK & Ireland country manager')

​CNA Hardy has named Clive Magnus as its new Active Underwriter for Lloyd’s Syndicate 382. Meanwhile, Carl Day, who has served CNA Hardy for nine years, has resigned from his role as Active Underwriter of Syndicate 382 and will be departing the company. Magnus has been with CNA Hardy since October 2015, initially serving as Class Manager - Upstream Energy. His career, which spans over 40 years, includes various specialist underwriting and operations roles. Magnus has also held positions such as Deputy Active Underwriter and Active Underwriter, showcasing his extensive industry experience. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'CNA Hardy names new active underwriter as big name departs')

Managing general agent Specialty MGA UK has bolstered its international property, financial lines, and cyber units by adding Luke Bristow, Tony Loizides, and Lisa Rowe as Senior Underwriters. Having worked with both large multinationals and small businesses, Bristow offers over a decade of experience in international and US property risk within the London Market where he has fostered robust relationships with brokers placing direct and facultative insurance. Loizides, with more than three decades in specialty lines, has focussed significantly on cyber for over 25 years. His global market engagement, particularly in the US, complements his background in directors’ and officers’ (D&O), errors and omissions (E&O), financial institutions, and healthcare. Previously, Loizides served as Head of Broking at a cyber-dedicated London broker, bringing valuable market and management insights to Specialty MGA UK. Rowe, meanwhile, has spent over a decade in the insurance sector as both a Broker and Underwriter, with her expertise spanning investment managers, banks, aircraft leasing, and fintechs. At Specialty MGA UK, she will serve as Senior Underwriter for financial lines. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Specialty MGA UK strengthens teams')

​Commercial and consumer property and casualty (P&C) re/insurance provider Sompo has announced the appointment of Christoph Müller as Country Manager, Insurance for Switzerland. Müller, with more than 20 years of insurance industry experience, joins Sompo from Allianz Risk Transfer, where he was CEO and Head of Distribution for Allianz Commercial Switzerland. In another recent development, Sompo appointed Allan Murley as its new UK Distribution Head, effective from the last quarter of the year. The global firm has also announced the appointment of Thomas Leone as its new Chief Investment Officer, taking over the role vacated by Mark Silverstein, who has retired after more than 18 years with the firm. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Sompo names new country manager for Switzerland')

Independent specialist insurance and reinsurance broker BMS Group has appointed Ryo Iizuka as Director of Private Equity, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Tax (PEMAT) in Japan, effective immediately. Iizuka brings extensive experience from large global investment banking and M&A consulting firms, having held senior positions at Deloitte, Accenture, and HSBC. He will work with Hewitt and associate Kaori Iwai to meet the growing demand in Japan for independent, specialist advice and tailored insurance solutions to mitigate complex risks in various transactions. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'BMS bolsters Japan presence with new director')

The claims management giant Crawford & Company has confirmed that Lisa Bartlett is resigning from her position as COO of International Operations and president of UK & Ireland operations, effective July 31, 2024. Effective immediately, Andrew Bart, CEO of International Operations, will take on the interim role of leading Crawford & Company’s UK business, with the assistance of the UK executive leadership team. Bartlett first took up her role as President in October 2019, taking on additional responsibilities as COO of the Atlanta-based firm’s international operations in October 2023. Her tenure at Crawford saw her lead a people-first strategic agenda looking to reinvent the way the market grapples with existential threats and opportunities. (Mia Wallace, 2/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Lisa Bartlett to depart Crawford & Company')

Coverys Limited, a UK entity within the Coverys Group of Companies, has received approval from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), effective from June 26th. This new entity is part of Coverys' London platforms, which include both insurance company and MGA operations (collectively “Coverys London”). To lead the newly expanded London operation, Coverys has appointed Stef Raftopoulos as CEO of Coverys London. Additionally, Mike Sibthorpe is also stepping down as CEO of Coverys London after completing the goals set for his tenure. Sibthorpe joined Coverys to lead the reorganisation of the London office and develop an alternative platform to replace Coverys Syndicate 1975. (Kenneth Araullo, 2/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Coverys receives PRA, FCA approval for new London insurance entity')

DWF has appointed Steve Varley as Independent Non-Executive Chair. In his new role at DWF, Varley will chair the firm's group board, providing non-executive oversight of the group's strategy. Varley previously served as Chair and Managing Partner of EY in the UK & Ireland from 2011 to 2020, and as Global Vice-Chair, Sustainability at EY Global from 2020 to 2023. Varley brings over 30 years of experience in the professional services industry, including 14 years at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) and 18 years at EY. He joined EY in 2005 to build its consulting practice in Northern Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa. Following this, Varley was elected as UK & Ireland Chair and Managing Partner in 2011. Varley has also served as a member of the Business Advisory Group to two Prime Ministers and has advised on visits to China, Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia, and Japan. (Kenneth Araullo, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'DWF appoints independent non-executive chair')

Aon has announced the retirement of Paul Davies from his role as Vice Chair after a 36-year tenure with the company and 63 years in the industry. Davies assumed the position of Vice Chair in 2023, reporting to Aon Chief Executive Greg Case. In this capacity, he provided strategic advice on the shifting risk management landscape and contributed to the enhancement of Aon’s risk capital capability. The industry veteran began his career as a Reinsurance Broker in 1961 and later became President and Owner of Reinsurance Agency, which merged with Aon in 1988. Following this, Davies founded and served as CEO of Aon Reinsurance, eventually becoming Chairman of Aon Re Worldwide. (Terry Gangcuangco, 3/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Aon stalwart retiring after 63 years in the industry')

Superscript has announced (2 July 2024) the appointment of Stephen Taylor as Head of SME Distribution. Taylor joins from Allianz, where he has been for 13 years, the last five of which he was Head of Distribution, Digital Trading. Having overseen SME Distribution for one of the leading insurers in the market, Taylor brings a wealth of expertise across underwriting, distribution, partnerships and trading to his new role at Superscript. Superscript’s mission is to become a world-leading SME insurance provider. (Superscript, 2/7/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Superscript adds Stephen Taylor from Allianz to head up SME distribution')

Independent specialist re/insurance broker Miller has appointed Kazuhiko Shinkai as Head of Miller Non-Marine Japan Strategy, continuing its expansion in the Japanese market through Lead Insurance Services Limited. Shinkai has over 35 years of experience, most recently at Itochu Corporation, where he held various management roles. He is a graduate of the Insead International Executive Program and has previously worked at PWC and Liberty Mutual. (Kenneth Araullo, 1/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Miller further expands in Japan with non-marine hire')

​The Bspoke Group has appointed Adrian Ewington as Managing Director of Bspoke Private Clients, a specialist MGA focused on mid and high net worth clients. Ewington brings over 30 years of experience in the UK personal lines market, with a focus on the mid and high net worth sectors for the past 15 years. He specialises in business strategy, performance delivery growth, and customer service. Ewington began his career with General Accident (now Aviva) in 1992, followed by two years at Willis Corroon (now WTW) and over 20 years at Allianz UK in various leadership roles. He spent 13 years at Home & Legacy Insurance Services, most recently as Underwriting & Market Director. (Kenneth Araullo, 1/7/2024, Insurance Business UK, 'Bspoke Group expands private clients team with managing director')

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM), a division of the Liberty Mutual group, announces the hire of Karine Paul as Head of Client & Broker Distribution, Continental Europe. Paul’s most recent role was Director of Commercial and International Strategy at French loss adjustment firm Alkera. Prior to this, she was at Chubb for almost 11 years, her last role being Vice President, Global Client Executive, Continental Europe. (Liberty Specialty Markets, 1/7/2024, youTalk Insurance, 'Liberty Specialty Markets appoints Karine Paul as Head of Client and Broker Distribution, Europe')

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