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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 19th January 2018

19 Jan 2018

Market News

It has been revealed The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is primed to move to offices at 21 Lombard St, near Bank. The move is  believed to be taking place in May, will see the body relocate from the historic Aldermanbury building to the new offices close to Leadenhall Market and within walking distance of the Lloyd’s building. The CII has declined to confirm the move but a spokesperson stated: “The CII has considered many options as part of its relocation plan, of which 21 Lombard Street was one. We are currently in advanced discussions on our preferred option for our new head office and those discussions are progressing well. All things continuing as they are, we hope to be in a position to announce our new head office in early February 2018.”

It has been reported that Towergate founder Peter Cullum has lodged a financial claim against the consolidator. According to reports, the case relates to money lost by Cullum as a result of allegedly poor financial advice. Cullum, who reportedly lodged a claim against Towergate Financial in the Commercial Court in May last year, left Towergate in 2015.

Specialist travel Broker AllClear has sold a majority stake in its business to private equity firm Synova Capital. The Broker stated that founders Mike Rutherford and Chris Wacey will re-invest and remain with the business as Non-Executive Directors. In addition, the firm has appointed Chris Rolland as Chief Executive Officer as part of the deal. He has previously worked as CEO of Staysure and CEO of American Express Insurance Services.

Global Risk Partners has bought the County Group for an undisclosed sum. Crewe-based business becomes GRP’s second purchase in 2018 and is the next major step in executing the group’s UK regional hub strategy, according to the consolidator. The acquisition has received regulatory approval. The deal follows GRP’s move – via its south west hub Higos - to buy GMMCommercial Insurance Services.
Lycetts has opened a third office in the South West region at Tisbury in Wiltshire. The branch is its 17th location nationwide and sits alongside the Broker’s Marlborough and Exeter sites. The Tisbury branch will offer specialist insurance cover for farmers, estate owners, racehorse trainers, stud farms and other equestrian and rural businesses, as well as high net worth cover.

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Europe (ANDIE) has completed the buyout of Box Innovation Group which includes the brands Insure The Box and Drive Like A Girl. The Insurer, part of the MS&AD Group which is headquartered in Tokyo, previously bought 75.01% of the business in December 2014 for £105m. At that time the remaining 24.99% of shares were kept by the management. The provider did not release a figure for the cost of the latest deal however stated that it intends to integrate Box Innovation Group within ANDIE. According to the company, Box Innovation Group now has £130m of annual gross written premium with all customer cars fitted with telematics technology.

Broker Network has bought Saffron Insurance, which has offices across East Anglia, for an undisclosed sum. The deal follows Broker Network’s acquisition of Thompson & Richardson in December last year and is the network’s fourth purchase as it moves to build up a number of “regional powerhouse” locations. The business also bought Finch Group and Boyd Insurance in 2017. According to Broker Network, this deal will see Saffron Managing Director, Dave Beswick and his team stay on at the brokerage and continue its acquisition programme.

Peer-to-peer insurer InsurePal has raised £15m in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to fund its UK motor launch in the first half of 2018. An ICO is a way of crowdfunding via the use of cryptocurrency, usually Bitcoin, and the InsurTech start-up said that the crowdsale for InsurePal tokens online was sold out in less than two minutes. The company uses the Ethereum blockchain platform as a technology base for transactions and stated that it will offer lower premiums for those able to gain ‘social proof’ guarantees from friends and family. In addition, key advisers to the company include former Direct Line Chief Operating Officer Damian Arnold and Lloyds of London veteran Tom Manson.

Nexus Group is considering its options including a potential IPO, further stakeholder investment, a trade sale or investment from private equity in 2018. The managing general agent described the move as a “potential shareholder liquidity event” but declined to pinpoint a preferred option. The news came as the firm appointed Mike Sibthorpe will join as Chief Executive Officer of insurance and reinsurance at Nexus Underwriting Management, effective April 2018. Sibthorpe, who was previously Chief Underwriting Officer for AmTrust at Lloyd’s, will also become a member of the Nexus Group board.

Marsh and an insurance tech start-up have become embroiled in a row over the word marshmallow. The dispute over trademarks has broken out after Marsh laid claim to the word, which was the name chosen by a couple of entrepreneurs for their London start-up which is planning to launch its own insurance product. The dispute has been going on for longer than founder brothers Oliver and Alexander Kent-Braham have been in business. They received notification of the trademark infringement claim after they came up with the idea in 2016 and registered the name - something they said was run past Lawyers at the time.

In further news, Marsh has teamed up with Ataraxia in a move it said would support medium to long-term succession planning for commercial insurance Brokers. The partnership is available to Marsh Networks members made up of Marsh ProBroker, Purple Partnership, and Bluefin Network members. As part of the agreement, Marsh Networks will introduce Broker members looking for investment in their business to Ataraxia while Ataraxia clients will be given the option to join the Marsh Networks offering most suitable for them. Marsh detailed that Ataraxia provides an equity release service to Brokers. It highlighted that this could be used should a Director wish to retire, to generate funds for an acquisition or simply to swap capital for cash.

Allianz Legal Protection (ALP) has partnered with Forster Dean Solicitors; a leading multi-disciplined law firm which offers a wide range of legal services to support claimants across the North West. ALP will provide After the Event (ATE) insurance for personal injury and clinical negligence cases to protect customers against the disbursement and adverse cost risks associated with litigation.

Hyperion has announced their 2017 full year results. Revenue grew from £444m in 2016 to £535m in 2017, an increase of 20% and the EBITDA increased by 24% from £123m to £152m in 2017. The EBITDA margin was 28% in 2017 (28% in 2016). Whilst, the organic revenue growth was 8% (2016: 8%), which the Board regards as a strong result in a highly competitive operating environment.

Erskine Murray has bought Essex-based brokerage Asciak Holdaway Merritt (AHM) for an undisclosed sum. This is the independent Broker’s second deal in the last six months and follows the purchase of Cheshire-based Offley Insurance Services in October 2017. Erskine Murray Chief Executive Officer Tom Bartleet noted that the new deal would “significantly enhance” the Broker’s capabilities within the London region as well as the professional indemnity insurance sector.

Managing general agent (MGA) platform Volante Global has rolled out Edison Motor for commercial motor business. Volante was launched in December last year by founder and CEO Talbir Bains who spent 14 years at QBE and was also previously group CEO and group CUO of Dual International. Edison Motor, its first operation, will be led by Steven Dickie and Doug Ockwell as joint Managing Directors. The London Market-based MGA said it will be backed by AA+ rated capacity and will target: public sector, including police forces, fire and rescue services, and ambulance fleets; hazardous goods; and haulage business.


Market Movers and Shakers

Colm Holmes, the Chief Executive Officer of Aviva UK general insurance, is moving to become President and Chief Executive Officer of Aviva Canada. As part of the changes Rob Townend, currently Aviva’s UK Claims Director, has been appointed Managing Director of Aviva UK general insurance.

CNA Hardy, a leading specialist commercial insurance provider for clients within the Lloyd’s and company markets, has announced the appointment of Stuart Middletonas CEO of their Luxembourg subsidiary, subject to regulatory approval.

The Ardonagh Group has announced that David Newman is to step down as CEO of Carole Nash. David will remain with the business until the end of March 2018. Ian Donaldson will be appointed CEO of Carole Nash, in addition to his leadership of Autonet.

Axa Insurance has hired John Heaney to the newly created role of head of schemes. Heaney has previously worked as Global Underwriting Officer for package business at AIG and will join the provider on 22 January.

Thomas Miller, the international provider of market leading insurance services, has appointed Ann Haugh as Chief Operating Officer, with immediate effect.

Andy Homer has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Hood Group, the data and technology driven insurance specialist which works with major brands including esure, Shelias’ Wheels, Asda Money and the RAC.

Probitas 1492 has announced the appointment of QBE’s former Portfolio Manager, Mark Smith as Senior Underwriter for management liability.

Markel International has appointed Nic Brown as Sales and Marketing Director of its national markets business in the UK, with responsibility across all its insurance, tax and legal operations. 

SSP has strengthened its software development with the appointment of Matt Gatrell as Software Engineering Director., the UK’s leading temporary insurance comparison site is delighted to announce and welcome Paul Pestell to the business as the new Chief Financial Officer. He will be in charge of all financial aspects of the business and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in both finance and the insurance industry.

Cambridge-based S-Tech Insurance Services has announced that Phil Thorpe was appointed to its Board of Directors in December 2017.

JLT Specialty (JLT), the specialist insurance Broker and Risk Consultant, has appointed Colin Taylor as Partner within the Professional Indemnity (PI) team. 

Neon has announced the expansion of its Political and Credit Risk team, with hires across underwriting and credit analysis, and entry into Financial Guarantee. Paul Barrett becomes the third in a string of positive hires for Neon’s Political and Credit Risk team as it looks to expand its offering. Arriving from Arthur J. Gallagher, Barrett joins Anthony Vaughan, Senior Credit Analyst, and Paul Carrington, Underwriter, both of whom joined in late 2017.

Airsports Insurance Bureau appoints James Dunn to join their Private Client Insurance Team in Eastleigh.

Legal Protection Group has announced that they have appointedJulia Pomphrey to the newly created role of Business Development Executive for BTE.

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM)
, part of Liberty Mutual Insurance, has appointed Chris Hall to the role of Senior Underwriter. 

at Lloyd’s (ATL) has announced the appointment of Chris Gibbs as their new Head of Space.

All information provided in this Market Digest has been gathered from multiple General Insurance Media sources and individual company press releases.


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