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General Insurance Newsletter - Friday 27th April 2018

27 Apr 2018

Market News

CFC Underwriting, the London-based MGA, is celebrating this week after Her Majesty The Queen approved the UK Prime Minister’s recommendation that it should receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the international trade category. Announcing the award success, CFC outlined how winners in the category are recognised for having demonstrated a “substantial and sustained increase in export earnings over three consecutive 12-month periods, to a level which is outstanding for the products and services concerned and for the size of the organisation.” CFC has grown from just one office in London to providing insurance products to insurance Brokers in more than 75 countries worldwide – making it a clear choice for the honour.

Software house SSP has added Pex Insure to its panel and will distribute motor products via SSP Pure. Pex Insure is an Managing General Agent headed up by Byron Shepherd who was formerly Service Delivery Manager responsible for services including MyLicence and the NCD database at the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). According to a statement from SSP Pex Insure, which has its own delegated authority, it has also signed up to wholesale insurance products through SSP’s Brokers through its commercial e-trading platform. These wholesale products include Motor Excess Protection, Guaranteed Car Hire and Vehicle Breakdown.

Ardonagh Group has paid £1.75m for the right to renew a number of business lines from Ageas Retail. The deal was struck in late February and could see Ardonagh pay up to a further £5.25m this July depending on “the number of policies transferred to the group”. The payments were revealed in Ardonagh’s strategic report for its 2017 results as the group posted rising income but a net loss. The Ardonagh Group – formed in June 2017 by bringing together Autonet, Chase Templeton, Direct Group, Price Forbes, and Towergate has reported strong income growth for its ‘year of execution’. From the £481.3m income in 2016 to last year’s £535.7m, the new “challenger brand” – as Chief Executive David Ross put it – posted 11.3% growth. The independent insurance Broker cited its successful acquisition strategy, effective hiring of staff described as “market-leading” and underlying organic income growth of 3.5% as the drivers for the positive change.

Brunel Insurance Brokers (BIB) has been awarded chartered insurance Broker status by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). It was reported that BIB was being set up by Brunel Group to focus on corporate and global customers requiring professional advice. The Broker stated it had met “rigorous criteria relating to professionalism and capability” in order to achieve chartered status.

The cybersecurity report, by EEF (the manufacturers’ organisation) and Insurer AIG, zeroed in on where manufacturers in the UK currently stand in their fight against cybercriminals. Described by EEF Chief Executive Stephen Phipson CBE as among the least protected against cyber threats, the manufacturing sector isn’t too confident about how it stacks up against possible attacks. The survey, conducted by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), found that 41% of firms do not believe they have access to enough information to even assess their true cyber risk. In addition, 45% feel that they do not have the right tools at their disposal and 48% reported having been subject to cyberattack – about half of which cited accompanying losses. The figures do not include businesses that might not even be aware of their susceptibilities. The report also noted a 12% of those surveyed who admitted not having technical or managerial processes in place to either assess or mitigate risks as well as two-thirds of manufacturers do not have Cyber insurance.

Call Connection, which went into administration in July 2017, has had its administration period extended by a year to 13 July 2019. In a document filed on Companies House, Call Connection’s joint administrators Martha Thompson and Colin Haig of accountancy firm BDO stated that the decision had been made with the consent of the company’s creditors. Call Connection went into liquidation shortly before the collapse of Broker Ignition Select, which has its registered office in the same building as Call Connection. The two are legally separate but both are majority owned by entrepreneur Graeme Kalbraier.

As a result of Ignition Select going into administration, Close Brothers and unsecured creditors of are set to lose money. According to a progress report filed by the joint administrators, which outlines how much money Ignition Select owes its secured and unsecured creditors, Ignition Select’s current balance of £162,682 will not cover the amount owed. The Broker owes its secured creditor Close Brothers £2.2m and the report noted that while Close Brothers will receive some of it, it is “anticipated that there will be a significant shortfall”. For the unsecured creditors total claims of £404,179 have been received.

Allianz has announced that it will delist Euler Hermes from the Euronext Paris stock exchange on 27 April 2018. The German provider currently holds 94.91% of the Trade Credit Insurer’s share capital. Remaining shareholders will be paid €122 (£106.7) per share.

Hiscox has launched a CyberClear Academy which it said has been designed to help its Cyber insurance customers mitigate and manage Cyber risks. The Insurer listed that the academy is an online interactive suite of cyber training content made up of nine learning modules. The platform features diagnostic assessments to test existing knowledge and ensure that training is tailored to specific knowledge gaps.

Incorporated Insurance Group (IIG) has launched an Electrical Contractors’ Liability product which it said will help regional Brokers compete with trade association Insurers. Mike Smith, CEO of IIG, explained that the business already had a construction based product which wraps up all the contractors covers under one policy. However, the new policy has been added in response to requests from Brokers. Smith noted: “One area where our Brokers struggled to win business is electrical contractors, as many are tied into their trade association’s Insurer.”

Market Movers and Shakers

Simon Cuthbert has been promoted from Regional Business Manager to the role of Senior Account Development Manager, Technical, at Allianz Insurance.

Berkeley Alexander has announced the appointment of Dave Probert as its new Director of Private Clients, to spearhead the launch of its new specialist High Net Worth (HNW) Division.

SchemeServe, a leading provider of technology solutions for intermediaries, has announced the appointment of a new experienced Software Developer, Simon Cull.

Alesco Risk Management Services (Alesco) — the specialist insurance and risk management Broker has announced the appointment of Martin Hiller as Chairman of the business’ UK Construction team.

Source Insurance has recently appointed Steve Jenkins to the role of Head of Commercial Partnerships.

BMS Group Limited (“BMS”), the independent specialist insurance and reinsurance Broker, has announced the appointment of Kristina Juul and Richard Force as Divisional Directors in BMS’s growing Energy division.

Howden, part of Hyperion Insurance Group, has announced the appointment of Glenn Thomas as Managing Director, Employee Benefits.

JLT Specialty (JLT), the specialist insurance Broker and Risk Consultant, has announced the addition of five members to its Professional Services practice across the UK. Ashley McCluskey and Danny Seaman has joined the London Office, whilst Kerry Greenwood and Marianne McWilliams have joined the Manchester office and Bhaven Mashru has joined the Bristol office.

Commercial Express, the West Midlands based market leading Managing General Agent, have announced Tom Bolstridge as their new Technical Underwriting Manager.

Sompo International Holdings Ltd. (SIH), a Bermuda based specialty provider of Property and Casualty insurance and reinsurance, has announced that  John (Jack) Kuhn has assumed the new role of Chief Underwriting Officer for Sompo International’s Property & Casualty (P&C) business in addition to his current role as Chief Executive Officer, Global Insurance.

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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