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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 23rd October 2020

23 Oct 2020

Bearing in mind what we have seen in 2020 so far, it won't be a surprise that the overlying theme at this year’s Applied Net conference, which included insurance agents, Brokers and industry experts from around the world, was how to move forward in a digital world, where many firms have had to adapt quickly to the new remote working environment. 

Charles Taylor InsureTech has announced the launch of Authority Hub. A system it claims is designed to save insurers time, improve efficiency and accuracy in managing and controlling authorities.

In a dramatic twist, it looks like the Financial Conduct Authority’s Business Interruption test case won’t be dragged out as many feared. Legal documents cited by a Reuters report show that the Insurers will no longer contest the verdict as it relates to the Resilience, Eaton Gate Retail and Eaton Gate Pubs & Restaurants policies. However, the same can’t be said about the Cottagesure and Eaton Gate Commercial Combined policies. The judgement on those remains subject to a Supreme Court appeal.

Liberty Specialty Markets has announced plans to boost its Broker proposition with some key technology developments. First is a new website that aims to provide Brokers with critical information quickly and intuitively. It includes a completely new design and navigation, including a "partner centre" that gives access to the second innovation – virtual rooms. These virtual rooms will offer video communications without the need to download additional software, they are currently available to brokers in the UK and will eventually be rolled out to the wider global network.

Danish firm O2 Broking ApS – which is co-owned by Lloyd’s of London Broker Independent Broking Solutions Limited (IBS) and Executives in O2 Broking – has been granted approval to operate as a Lloyd’s registered Broker. This makes it the first brokerage in Denmark to be able to transact business with Lloyd’s Underwriters.

AXIS Insurance is collaborating with international law firm Kennedys Law to launch a new Cyber offering to the Marine shipping market. The new AXIS Marine Cyber insurance product will provide cover to protect against exposures onboard vessels and in shipping company offices.

In its latest financial results, Travelers Companies surpassed third-quarter profit expectations thanks to higher premiums, lower costs and an increase in return from non-fixed income investments. Net written premiums rose 3% to US$7.77 billion in Q3. Core income was US$3.12 per share, surpassing analysts’ average estimate of US$3.03 per share. Total revenue was up by 3%.

Aon Plc has rolled out a new platform in London called Alternative Distribution, aimed at providing access to risk capital via fronting. In January 2021, QBE and Mitsui Sumitomo alumnus Graeme Rayner is coming onboard from Pioneer Underwriters, to serve as Alternative Distribution Chief Executive. 

This years Interbrand Best Global Brands Ranking was dominated by tech giants, with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Samsung taking the top five, respectively. However, Allianz came out as the top insurance brand (39th place), with AXA the only other Insurer in position 48. 

In recent months, the management Liability market has come under scrutiny and the COVID crisis has led to many Insurers undertaking strategic reviews of their product lines in the face of a hardening market. Following this review, AXA XL has announced that it is withdrawing from the management Liability and financial institutions business in the London market.

Applied Systems has committed to an organic growth plan, as it seeks to become the market leader in the UK & Ireland. However, European CEO Andy Fairchild has not ruled out deals, given the right opportunity. Fairchild commented “The three to five year plan is unashamedly organic because we’ve got an opportunity to bring the market leading Epic to market".

Goldman Sachs International (GSI) has been hit with a £96.6 million fine by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. The penalty relates to risk management failures associated with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and GSI’s role in three fundraising transactions for the Malaysian state-owned development company.

Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. and Everest Re Group have both published their respective loss estimates for this year’s third quarter catastrophes. Argo’s quarterly approximation stands at US$54 million in natural catastrophe losses, pre-tax and net of reinsurance recoveries. This is alongside third quarter net losses of roughly US$17 million as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas Everest expects to post pre-tax net catastrophe losses worth US$300 million, also net of reinsurance and reinstatement premiums. These relate to the US wildfires and Midwest derecho, and Hurricanes Hanna, Laura, and Sally.

RSA has revealed that it will not be appealing the decision of the High Court with relation to the RSA4/Resilience wording. Sonia Campbell, the Partner leading the action on behalf of Hospitality Insurance Group Action (HIGA) commented "this decision represents a significant step in the right direction for many businesses".

Amid the gloom of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been some good news for motorists, with average car insurance premiums falling. According to the latest Confused.com Car Insurance Price Index, drivers are now paying an average of £50 less than they were at the start of the year. Prices in Q3 stood at an average of £765, down from £815 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Marshall Wooldridge, a part of Global Risk Partners (GRP), has revealed its acquisition of Messrs R F Broadley Insurance Brokers (R F Broadley). The Yorkshire-based commercial Broker which was founded in 1928 and specialises in farm insurance. Husband and wife team, David and Shirley Broadley, along with their team, will remain with the business.

 

Peter Staddon isn’t done putting his expertise to good use just yet. From November, Staddon is joining niche Managing General Agent Landmark Holding Group to serve as Non-Executive Chairman. 

Global non-profit association Efma has introduced a new Chairman. Jean-Marc Paihol, is the Head of Global Strategic Partnerships and a board member at Allianz Partners, has spent his career working for major Insurers and banks. 

Chubb has announced the appointment of a new Casualty Manager for the UK and Ireland. C. Alex Forman takes the role, effective immediately, reporting in to P&C Chief Underwriting Officer for the UK and Ireland Mark Roberts. Forman joins from Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and will be responsible for leading the growth of the UK&I Casualty portfolio.

The London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) has may have lost Andrew Draycott, but they have quickly welcomed another key name from Ed to its board. Heather Clarkson, Director and divisional CEO for the firm, joined Ed Broking in 2018 before making the leap to her current position one year later.

Hiscox has named a new CEO for its Hiscox Re and ILS businesses. Kathleen Reardon, who was most recently Chief Executive Officer of Hamilton Re, will now step into the role held by Mike Krefta who is set to step down early in 2021.

Davies, the specialist professional services and technology company, has appointed Emma Wedderburn as Group Chief Human Resources Officer. Wedderburn will also join the company’s Group Executive committee. Wedderburn is currently Group People Director at Capita Plc, having previously held various senior and international roles at Amec Foster Wheeler and Wood plc.

Nick Price, who was global Broker relationship leader at Zurich, is set for a new challenge as market management Director for Gallagher.

With the coronavirus pandemic placing more emphasis on a digital-approach to business, Liberty Specialty Markets has wasted no time in creating a Chief Digital Transformation Officer. Mandy Macqueen has taken the new position, joining the firm with immediate effect in its London office. She will be responsible for implementing the delivery of its change agenda and aligning the structures of its technology, change and project delivery teams. She is set to report to LSM Chief Operating Officer Kirk Maddern, as well as Global Risk Solutions CIO John Heveran.

Robbie Hardingham has been announced as the new UK Head of Downstream Energy and Power at AXA XL Insurance. He is set to manage all underwriting in the UK for downstream Energy and Power, while helping to ensure the strategic development of the business. 

There is no sign of slowing down after Capsicum Re changed its name to Gallagher Re earlier this month. Now they are keeping up the momentum with a key hire in the form of Ian Kerton from Guy Carpenter. He will be taking the role of Partner from April 2021. Kerton will add to the firm’s Motor and Casualty division, having established himself as a well-known name in the sector. 

Direct Insurance Group
has hired Kevin Dawes as Head of Motor for its wholesale operation Direct Insurance London Market (DILM). Previously Head of Motor at HDI Global Insurance, Dawes has more than 20 years of retail broking, underwriting and risk management experience in the commercial Motor market.

Marsh has appointed Rob Hale as London Market leader, Power and renewable Energy practice, at Marsh JLT Specialty. Hale is expected to join the business in the first quarter of 2021. Based in London, he will report to Andrew Herring, CEO, UK & Ireland, Energy and Power, Marsh JLT Specialty.

MCE Insurance has made a step towards fulfilling its gender parity ambitions with two new appointments to the leadership team. The provider has appointed Malgorzata Zakrzewska, currently Head of Finance, as Company Secretary. In addition, Executive Assistant to the CEO, Dee Modha, has been promoted to the MCE leadership team after more than 12 years at the business. Modha joined as a Sales Advisor in 2008 before taking on a series of management roles in sales and claims.

PartnerRe has announced the appointment of Andrew Hughes in the newly created role of CEO of Third-party Capital. He will be based in Bermuda and the appointment is subject to immigration approval. Hughes will be responsible for developing and growing PartnerRe’s third-party capital initiatives.

QBE Insurance Group has announced that Richard Pryce will be taking the helm, in his capacity as Interim Group Chief Executive, while they look for their next boss. Pryce, has been with QBE since 2012, became the group’s CEO for European operations in 2013 before taking on the international chief executive post last year.

Specialist Insurer Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) has appointed an HR veteran to take the role of Chief People Officer.  Elisabeth Ibeson will move into the role, subject to regulatory approval, bringing 30 years’ experience to the Insurer.

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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