Roundup of the weekly news and developments from the global insurance market with stories from Placing Platform Limited, Lloyd's, Zurich and more.
Placing Platform Limited to see three new classes to go live
Financial institutions, professional indemnity business and directors’ and officers’ (D&O) will go live on the Placing Platform Limited trading system in November. Standalone terrorism business was the first to be introduced to the electronic trading platform and as David Ledger, chairman of the board at PPL commented, the business had seen increased traffic from the platform. Ledger also confirmed that the board was working to answer the volume of feedback it had received and was invested in improving the platform. Ledger said, "A clear roadmap has been created to deliver additional functionality with significant improvements by the end of the first quarter of next year, with more to follow throughout 2017. We believe that as the benefits of PPL become available more widely, so market confidence will further increase."
Lloyd’s greenlights Blenheim Syndicate 5886
Lloyd’s of London has given permission to Blenheim Syndicate 5886 to underwrite for the 2017 year of account. The new Lloyd’s syndicate has a capacity of £150 million for 2017, underwriting US and international treaty books, direct insurance and some speciality lines. The portfolio of lines is expected to be built out over time. Blenheim Managing Director John Lynch said, “We are very grateful to Asta for the expertise and resources that they have committed to this project that has enabled us to get Blenheim up and running. With new appointments to be announced over the coming weeks we can now focus on the task of building a quality business.” The senior management team includes Lynch and Peter Scales, who was previously CFO and CEO of Cathedral. Nick Destro was previously hired as active underwriter while Geraldine McMillan and Michael O’Sullivan were also appointed to underwrite the treaty account.
Matthias Horntrich leaves Zurich
Matthias Horntrich, global corporate EMEA CUO of Zurich, has parted the company. Mario Greco has initiated a series of cuts to senior management recently and Horntrich’s position was one of those that was earmarked to be cut. Horntrich joined Zurich in 2014 following a two year stint as CUO for XL Catlin. Before moving to the position of CUO he spent time as regional head of property at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty after serving in Germany for XL Catlin as an underwriting manager for property, risk and construction. Greco is understood to be cutting back further with departures running until 2018
Liberty Mutual frontrunner to take over Ironshore
Liberty Mutual has confirmed it is in late stage talks with Fosun to buy Ironshore and is the likely frontrunner to take over the company. Liberty has made two previous bids for Ironshore which is valued at $2.1bn plus equity. Ironshore was nearly bought by The Hartford earlier in the month but The Harford walked away from the deal when the difference in valuation couldn’t be met. Everest Re, Canada's Intact, Markel and Axis are all believed to have shown an interest in Ironshore now the company is available for purchase.
Hurricane Matthew damages rise to $549mn in Florida
Claims relating to Hurricane Matthew rose to $549mn in Florida this week with most affecting residential property. Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti with wind speeds of 145mph killing more than 500 people before hitting the Bahamas. The storm was a category 3 Hurricane before connecting with Florida and travelled up the east coast slowing to a category 1 as it made its way to South Carolina. Claims have risen by 21% this week from the 75,000 claims filled out last week. Estimates predict that the total cost for Florida will land between $500mn and $2bn with a slightly higher, $1bn - $3bn estimate for Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Matt Fairfield’s team grows to 20
Matt Fairfield’s Zurich start up, Exin Re, has now recruited over 20 staff as the launch date for the company nears. Fairfield has set the company a target of hitting $500mn in premiums after five years. The Re insurance operation of the boarder international Reinsurance group is in the later stages of its licence application with the Swiss regulator. Exin Re is hoping for a January launch with a large proportion of European business renewing at the start of the calendar year. The company has raised £700mn of capital with another £300mn promised to support future growth efforts. Exin Re will be led by CEO Marc Maupoux who has hired some personnel from his old company Axis Re.
Casserley to leave Willis Towers Watson
Willis Towers Watson has confirmed that President and deputy CEO, Dominic Casserley, will leave the company on 31 December 2016. Casserley joined the Willis Group in January 2013 as CEO, holding the position until January 2016, when Willis and Towers Watson merged and he took on his current position. Casserley was a member of the board, co-led the integration process and was head of one of the global business segments, investment risk and reinsurance, the broking giant stated. Casserley said, "I have been honoured to lead Willis for three years, and to help build Willis Towers Watson this year. have been delighted to work with John Haley and the expanded Willis Towers Watson team to build a unique global advisory, broking and solutions franchise across property and casualty, retirement, health care, insurance, investment and talent and rewards markets."