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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 29th January 2021

29 Jan 2021

Bermuda-headquartered insurance group AXIS Capital Holdings has found itself in the red after the tremendously challenging year that was 2020. According to the firm, the company’s full-year net loss attributable to common shareholders amounted to US$151 million (around £110.6 million). The figure represents a massive drop from the US$282 million (around £206.6 million) in net income posted in 2019. Operating loss for the 12-month period, meanwhile, stood at US$174 million. In 2019, AXIS Capital enjoyed an operating income of US$213 million.

Generali has announced that it has undergone an organisational restructuring, with several new appointments to support the major change. The restructuring was proposed by Generali Group CEO Philippe Donnet, and was approved by the company’s board of Directors during a recent meeting. A release said that the new organisational structure is “designed to address key strategic priorities for the continued successful delivery of the Generali 2021 plan.”.

Insurtech Concirrus has entered into an agreement with global P&C Insurer Arch Insurance, to allow the latter to utilise its behavioural analytics platform, Quest Marine. Quest Marine digitalises the assessment, pricing, and monitoring of marine risk for new and existing business. Notably, the platform’s pricing system utilises a new behavioural model that aggregates the collective, real-time insight of the market to predict an expected loss and premium adequacy.

The British insurance giant Prudential Plc has announced plans to demerge its US business in Q2 2021. The proposed demerger would accelerate its Jackson separation, completing the breakup of the 173-year old insurer and its transformation to focus exclusively on its high-growth Asia and Africa businesses. The demerger is the latest separation the Insurer has faced since it completed the demerger of UK operation M&G in 2019.

The CEO of Allianz has called on European regulators to overhaul their capital rules in order to allow Insurers to invest more heavily in climate-friendly infrastructure products. “Today, the regulatory framework we have in Europe has actually disincentivised us helping with the transition,” Oliver Bäte said during a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum discussing how to finance the low-carbon transition.

The travel medical insurance directory of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has been given the thumbs up by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). “This directory meets our criteria for a medical cover firm directory,” said the FCA in an update. “This means there are now two directories that meet our criteria: the Money and Pensions Service – confirmed on October 08, 2020; BIBA – confirmed on January 27, 2021.”.

Covéa Insurance has partnered with Vitality to provide cover for a new direct-to-consumer car insurance product that will launch in the spring. The new offering is based on Vitality’s Shared Value Insurance Model, which uses incentives to reward members and promote behaviour change, a statement from the companies said. Aside from car insurance, VitalityCar will focus on supporting members to drive more safely and encourage them to consider the environmental impact of their driving.

Howden Group, previously known as Hyperion Group and the name behind both Howden Insurance Brokers and DUAL International, has revealed its 2020 full-year results. Among the financial highlights issued by the business, on a bank reported basis, it has seen an increase in revenue of 7% to £777 million and total organic growth of 6%. The group also reported an adjusted consolidated EBITDA of £223 million, an increase of 6% from 2019, and over £300 million available through cash, cash-like and other facilities to support sustainable growth and further acquisitions.

Global (re)insurance Provider Everest Re Group won’t be publishing its quarterly and full-year financial results until February 08, but this early overview has painted a picture of what’s to come. For the whole of 2020, Everest expects to report a figure between US$475 million and US$525 million for its net income. The group’s operating income, meanwhile, is forecast to be somewhere in the US$275 million to US$325 million range.

In February 2020, parametric insurance Provider FloodFlash set the record for the fastest property flood claim, at 26 hours and 15 minutes during Storm Ciara. Now, for Storm Christoph, the Lloyd’s of London coverholder has broken its own record with same-day compensation. This time around, it only took nine hours and 44 minutes from the flooding to the policyholder receiving full settlement, remotely. How it works is an installed internet-connected sensor at the property measures flood depths and wirelessly sends the information to FloodFlash, which organises payment when the depths reach the pre-agreed amount.

Gallagher has launched a new development programme that is open to both new graduates and sales-focused people who are looking for a career shift into insurance sales. The new Gallagher Futures programme is a two-year development programme that starts this coming August.

Travelers posted a core income of US$1.26 billion (£900 million) in the fourth quarter, up from US$867 million (US$3.32 per share) a year earlier. Analysts had predicted a profit of US$3.18 per share on average. Travelers said net written premiums rose 3% to US$7.27 billion for the quarter.

With COVID-19 cases soaring worldwide, and much of Japan under a state of emergency due to a third wave of coronavirus infections, the viability of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has once again been called into question. If the Games are cancelled as a result of the pandemic, Insurers are facing a US$2-3 billion loss, which would be the largest ever claim in the global event cancellation market.

By Bits has launched a Motor insurance technology platform by the same name, which aims to transform the customer experience and bring fair and transparent pricing to drivers. According to a statement, the new platform enables Motor insurance providers to create innovative, personalised services for customers and makes it easier to bring usage-based policies to market. This comes amid an increase in demand for pay-by-mile insurance products during the COVID-19 pandemic, when millions of people have continued to pay the same insurance premium despite driving significantly less.

It was in March 2019 when Aon Plc confirmed it was in the early stages of considering an all-share business combination with fellow broking behemoth Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Now, nearly two years later, the Irish-domiciled and London-headquartered peers have identified the future leadership team that will be in charge of the soon-to-be-merged brokerage. The 25-member executive committee, which will be effective when the Aon-WTW union is completed, includes Chief Executive Greg Case, President Eric Andersen, UK CEO Julie Page, North America CEO Alexis Faber, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) CEO Eduardo Dávila, Latin America CEO Luis Maurette, Asia-Pacific CEO Anne Corona, Commercial Risk CEO Lambros Lambrou, Reinsurance CEO Andy Marcell, Chief Financial Officer Christa Davies, and Chief Operating Officer James Platt.

Markerstudy has revealed an agreement for a £200 million investment led by Pollen Street Capital (Pollen Street) which will see Pollen Street partner with the group and make a substantial investment alongside the existing founder team. It has been announced that QIC will also participate in the transaction as part of its ongoing commitment as a strategic partner to Markerstudy.

Towcester-based Premier Choice Healthcare (PCH), which came under the umbrella of Global Risk Partners (GRP) last June as the group’s healthcare hub, has made its first acquisition since being snapped up itself. Without disclosing financial terms of the transaction, the 25-strong specialist healthcare intermediary announced its swoop for the portfolio of SJA International. Based in Sussex, the latter is the health insurance Broker trading as SJA Health Insurance.

It has been announced that, subject to regulatory approval, funds advised by Apax Partners (Apax Funds) will acquire independent specialist insurance intermediary PIB Group (PIB) alongside PIB’s management team. Meanwhile, funds advised by The Carlyle Group, which has been PIB’s investor since 2015 will re-invest for a minority stake. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

JM Glendinning Insurance Brokers has brought in two-decade industry stalwart Lee Tetley to serve as Managing Director of the company’s operations in Newcastle. Taking over from former North East MD Neil Forrest, Tetley is an experienced Managing Director whose credentials include time spent at Allianz Business Services, Marsh, and SME Insurance Services. At JM Glendinning he will initially focus on developing the SME strategy at the Newcastle office, which is manned by a workforce of 18 people.

Crawford & Company has announced the appointment of Baoling Wang as Vice President, Managing Director and International Executive General Adjuster. Wang will report to Paul Kottler, President of Crawford Global Technical Services.

Clear Insurance Management has made two senior appointments to its leadership team – a move in line with the continued development of its growth strategy. Victoria Canton has been named Group HR Director, with responsibility for driving the strategic development of human resources across the group. Clear has also appointed Jodie Horgan as Group Sales and Marketing Director, responsible for leading the company’s business development strategy.

Legal expenses and assistance provider ARAG has named Duncan Ogilvie as its new Product Development Manager following Lesley Attu’s death last year. Ogilvie has over 30 years of insurance experience, working across underwriting, reinsurance, research, and product development roles.

Willis Insurance and Risk Management (Willis IRM) has welcomed new teammates. In a LinkedIn post, the Northern Irish Broker announced the arrival of Courtney Beattie, Hannah McHugh, Nathan Burns, and Michael O’Kane. The key hires are joining the company’s Belfast office as Finance Officer, Marketing Manager, Wealth Management Graduate Trainee, and the private clients unit’s Personal Lines Director, respectively.

Lockton has announced the appointment of M&A expert Matt Heinz as a Partner in its transaction Liability practice. Heinz will co-lead the practice with Partners Josh Halpern, Eric Ziff, and Gaurav Sud, who joined the company last year as it sought to bolster its transaction Liability capabilities.

AIG has appointed Dana E. Ripley to the newly created role of Vice President, Global Head of Media and External Communications. Ripley will be based in New York, and will report to AIG Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Global Head of Communications and Government Affairs, Lucy Fato.

Wholesale and retail insurance Broker Voyager Insurance Services Ltd has unveiled a new leadership roster. Replacing Carl Carter as Managing Director is Stephen Cox, the four-year Voyager Insurance stalwart who previously served as Finance and Operations Director. The reason for the succession is unclear, but Carter is staying as Non-Executive Director of the company. Meanwhile it’s also been announced that Bianca Williams has been promoted to Operations Director; Chris Gooden to Broking and Underwriting Director; and Adam Underhill, Marketing Director.

FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial Property Insurers, has appointed company veteran Allan J. Johnson to the new role of staff Senior Vice President and Head of Power Generation.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS) has announced the appointment of Olav Spiegel as Chief Information Officer. In his new role, Spiegel will report to Bettina Dietsche, AGCS Chief Operating Officer and board member.

Aviva Plc’s Patrick Tiernan is moving to Lloyd’s of London to take on a newly created role. Tiernan, who Chairs the International Underwriting Association and serves as Managing Director of UK Commercial Lines and Global Corporate & Speciality at Aviva, has been named Chief of Markets at Lloyd’s.





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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