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General Insurance Newsletter Friday 8th January 2021

08 Jan 2021

Gallagher has announced that it has been selected to serve as the Broker partner for the University of Cambridge. The appointment was negotiated by Gallagher’s specialist public sector and education practice within its UK Retail operations. Through the partnership, the firm will oversee the university’s risk management and insurance needs.

Telematics pioneer Mike Brockman has received a New Year present in the form of a £3 million investment from comparethemarket.com’s innovation-driven majority owner BHL (UK) Holdings. “The investment from BHL provides vindication for all we have achieved in the last three years and all we plan to accomplish in the next stage of ThingCo’s growth,” said Brockman, Chief Executive at the insurtech behind wireless telematics device Theo.

The sharing economy is thriving but brings with it a host of new risks – and now Marsh is hoping to plug the gaps with the launch of a UK & Ireland focused Sharing Economy & Mobility (SE&M) industry group. To be led by Deputy Leader of the Technology industry group Sam Tiltman, it will bring together 25 sector specialists from across the business and will support all of the brokerage’s clients.

Adler Insurance Brokers Ltd will now be known as Adler Fairways. In a statement published by the Chartered insurance Broker’s Chief Executive, Anthony Adler explained: “We have taken the opportunity to rebrand following several acquisitions made by the group which have enabled us to open a further two offices in Evesham and Bristol. These supplement our existing Birmingham, Coventry, and Kineton locations and our intention is to continue to expand our team across the Midlands and beyond.” Now trading as Adler Fairways, the firm specialises in Property, Construction, and Business insurance. 

Nexus Group has completed the acquisition of Hiscox MGA’s Marine business (HMM), effective December 30, 2020. The transaction was conducted via an asset purchase into Millstream Underwriting Limited, a Nexus Group company specialising in consumer insurance, a statement from Nexus said.

London-based ZPG Comparison Services Holdings UK Ltd (RVU) is acquiring Admiral Group Plc’s wholly owned subsidiary Penguin Portals Ltd, as well as Admiral’s joint venture with MAPFRE known as Preminen Price Comparison Holdings Ltd.

Allianz Insurance Plc and Marco Capital Holdings Limited have crossed the finish line in their deal involving UK non-life insurance firm British Reserve Insurance Company Limited (BRIC). In separate releases, Allianz UK and Marco said all the required regulatory approvals were granted. Financial terms of the transaction remain undisclosed.

Pen Underwriting has struck a new long-term capacity deal with Zurich Insurance Group in the area of hazardous industries and tanker transportation. The new deal builds on a strategic partnership of capacity provision that the two companies have had for over 30 years. Under the agreement, Zurich will provide capacity for in excess of £165 million in premium over the next five years for Pen’s hazardous goods and environmental industries’ Motor Fleet proposition.

London Re has arrived. Established through a joint venture agreement between Seventeen Group and German commercial lines Brokerage MRH Trowe, London Re is a Dusseldorf-based European Lloyd’s broker with a London branch. According to Seventeen Group – the insurance group that is also behind Touchstone Underwriting – London Re will offer an independent broking solution for clients and Brokers in the European Union who wish to access the London Market. Areas of specialisation include Property, Casualty, Marine and Motorsport.

From £16.2 billion in February 2020 to £11.4 billion in May/June – that’s how the total liquidity resources of insurance intermediaries and Brokers went down because of the coronavirus crisis, according to data published this morning by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

More than one in five of Zurich’s 4,500 employees in the UK are set to benefit from a new HR initiative introduced by the Insurer following the national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. “With schools closed, working parents will be frantically trying to juggle their jobs and childcare responsibilities,” said Human Resources Head Steve Collinson. “We already offer flexibility for employees who want to change their working hours or structure some days differently. But for parents trying to balance work, childcare, and home schooling, this may not be enough. We’re helping our employees get through this crisis by offering mums and dads paid time-off so they can look after their health and their family. This is also available for anyone with other caring commitments.”.

With COVID-19 cases spiraling out of control across the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown late Monday – overriding the previous tier-based local lockdown system – and its impact has already been felt by the insurance industry. Lloyd’s of London has taken the decision to close its underwriting floor because of the lockdown. The move is in contrast to its action during the last national lockdown in November – which saw it keep the underwriting floor open for one day a week, on Wednesdays.

PIB Group (PIB) has kicked off 2021 as it means to go on, revealing its purchase of the Manchester-based independent Broker, UK & Ireland Insurance Services Ltd (UIIS). Originally established in 1993, UIIS specialises in providing insurance for the Construction industry, offering a range of insurance products across the professional, commercial and manufacturing sectors.

Specialist Risk Group (SRG) is galloping into the world of Equestrian insurance via its first acquisition for 2021. Without disclosing financial terms of the deal, SRG said it has purchased KBIS British Equestrian Insurance which will become part of the group’s Specialist Risk Insurance Solutions (SRIS) unit. 

Less than a week into 2021, M&A activity is already heating up and it has been revealed that Compass London Markets (Compass) and Bishopsgate Insurance Brokers (Bishopsgate) will join forces to create a “centre of excellence” for UK Brokers looking to access Lloyd’s and the London Market. The move follows the acquisition of Compass’s parent company Bravo Group into The Ardonagh Group in August 2020.

Marking its first acquisition of 2021, Global Risk Partners Ltd (GRP) has purchased Newstead Insurance Brokers Ltd (Newstead). Its acquisition of the Birmingham-based Commercial Lines Broker has received regulatory approval and the consideration is undisclosed. All the Broker’s team, which includes MD Paul O’Donnell and Directors Julian Simon and Sarah Giles, will remain with the business.

Independent insurance intermediary FOCUS Oxford Risk Management Ltd is now part of Partners&. In an announcement by Partners&, the Chartered insurance brokerage said the move is in line with its strategy of combining the best traditions of broking with intelligent use of technology. The ‘modern-thinking’ organisation did not disclose financial details of the deal.

UK-based specialist professional services firm Davies has announced the acquisition of Northshore International Insurance Services, a provider of audit, claims management and subrogation management, and consulting services to the insurance market, as it continues its US expansion.

Aston Lark has revealed its first acquisition of 2021 – the purchase of Lloyd’s Broker CRS Yachts less than two months after its acquisition of MS Amlin’s Marine pleasure craft book. CRS Yachts, which has provided a bespoke service focused on serving the insurance needs of superyacht owners for almost 20 years, is headquartered in the City of London with an additional office in Suffolk.

In a fitting start to the New Year, a dual investment in two Altrincham-based Brokers has seen Ataraxia and Minority Venture Partners (MVP) complete the purchase of a minority stake in Alan Stevenson Partnership (ASP) and Seacombe Insurance Brokers (Seacombe).

Through its wholly owned subsidiary Randall & Quilter II Holdings Limited, legacy specialist Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings is snapping up the firms behind Vibe Syndicate 5678 for £25 million in cash. 

The independent Personal Lines and commercial insurance Broker Be Wiser Insurance (Be Wiser) has today revealed the appointment of Jeff Brinley as its new CEO. Be Wiser noted that Brinley, who joined the business as CFO in November 2020, will replace former CEO Sharon Beckett who stepped down from her role at the beginning of January 2021 to pursue other interests.

The Managing General Agents’ Association (MGAA) has turned to an experienced name as its new Head of Operations. It has brought in Julia Coakley to the role – a veteran of Chubb, insurance Broker Lark, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and, most recently, Senior Customer Relationship Manager at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Brussels-based MS Amlin Insurance SE (MS AISE) has appointed Herbert Baeten as Chief Underwriting Officer for the Property & Casualty segment. Baeten succeeds Rudy Benmeridja, who retired at the end of 2020. 

Arch Insurance International has appointed Tim Watson as Senior Underwriter for Credit and Political Risk. Watson, who is set to join Arch in mid-2021, will be based in London, UK, and will report to Ed Cornish, Head of Credit and Political Risk.

The Clear Group has revealed the appointment of Mike Edgeley as its next CEO. Edgeley, who most recently served as MD at A-Plan Insurance brings significant insurance sector experience to the position, including roles at BDL, Lancaster Insurance and Capita plc. Before joining the insurance sector, he spent 17 years in the military, holding several leadership and operational positions in the Parachute Regiment and he was a Staff Officer in the Ministry of Defence.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) expert Trevor Gandy has come onboard Markel Corporation as Talent and D&I Managing Director. Gandy, who previously served as Chubb’s Chief Diversity Officer, has been a Consultant for the D&I initiatives at Markel since last year.

Conduit Reinsurance (Conduit Re), a subsidiary of Conduit Holdings, has made a number of senior appointments within Conduit Re’s underwriting, management, and executive teams. The company’s new hires and their positions are: Chris Board, Head of International Property and Short Tail Specialty, Erik Soria, Head of US Casualty, Greg Roberts, Head of Property, Marc Bearman, Head of Specialty – Marine and Energy, Andrew Smith, Chief Risk Officer, Keith Griffin, Chief Actuary and finally, Bianca Harris, Head of Human Resources

With the start of a new year comes another C-suite promotion at Aviva. This time, the Insurer has announced that Mark Versey, currently the Chief Investments Officer of real assets at Aviva Investors, has been appointed the Chief Executive of the unit, with immediate effect.

Nicolas Papadopoulo, who has been with Arch Capital Group since 2001, has been promoted to president and Chief Underwriting Officer of the Bermuda-headquartered group effective January 01. 

Loss adjusting firm Woodgate & Clark has hired West Midlands Police alumnus Marie Quinn as Special Investigations Head. Quinn – whose credentials include time spent at the Criminal Investigation Department before making the switch to the world of insurance – comes onboard the Property and Casualty claims management business after 18 years at RSA.

Saga Insurance Chief Executive Cheryl Agius has stepped down after only a year in the post. An announcement by Saga Plc said Agius cited “personal reasons” for her departure, which has taken effect immediately. The decision, further details of which were not provided, also saw the insurance boss leave the Saga Plc board where she was an Executive Director.     

 

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