Roundup of the weekly news and developments from the global insurance market with stories from Lloyd's, Dual, Argenta and more.
Lloyd’s application to create a reinsurance branch in India approved
Lloyd’s application to create a reinsurance branch in India has been approved, meaning that the Lloyd’s market is now in a position to set up operations in 2017. Visiting New Delhi, as part of the United Kingdom Prime Ministerial trade delegation, Lloyd’s Chairman John Nelson welcomed the decision and supported the programme of reform being undertaken by the Indian Government to open up their reinsurance market. Lloyd’s Chairman, John Nelson said, "This is a very significant day for Lloyd’s and we look forward to establishing a branch in Mumbai in 2017. I believe Lloyd’s can bring unique benefits to India by providing both protection and new opportunities for many domestic insurance businesses. India is one of the world’s greatest growing economies. I passionately believe that our presence will contribute to the development of a more diverse reinsurance market, which is fundamental to the stability and future growth of the Indian economy. This can help position India as a centre for insurance, reinsurance and associated services. The progress India is making in reforming reinsurance markets is encouraging and will bring lasting benefits to the Indian economy. A level playing field for all reinsurers will mean that domestic market can thrive and become a hub for innovative new products that meet the need of businesses.” Liam Fox, the secretary for international trade said, “This is a symbolic decision and one that will not only provide protection for growing Indian businesses but also bring additional revenue to the UK insurance sector. This move is yet another example of the strong economic and commercial partnership between the UK and India a partnership that is extremely important to me and the UK government. The bonds we share, not just of commerce and trade but also historically and culturally, will be at the very heart of the strategic relationship between our two nations.”
Talbir Bains to leave dual in January
The group CEO of Dual International, Talbir Bains, is set to step down from the position in January. Bains has lead a number of high profile changes in the company including sweeping changes to its senior management teams. It is understood that a replacement for Bains has yet to be hired. David Howden, CEO of Hyperion said in a statement, "Talbir has led and succeeded in implementing and embedding a transformative programme of strong portfolio management and operating platform development whilst finalising our regional structure and adding significant underwriting and operational bench strength." In the interim, leadership of the organisation will fall to the regional management board, chaired by Clem Booth. Other members of the board include, Asia Pacific CEO, Mark Hudson, Asia Pacific COO, Stephen manning, US chief, Justin Tweedle and head of Europe, Richard Clapham.
Argenta attracts two notable bidders
Lloyds managing agency Argenta has attracted bids from Hannover Re and Exin, the start-up headed by Matt Fairfield. It is understood that bids from the two companies were submitted earlier in the month with both being progressed. Management meetings are due to be held later in the month. Argenta has also attracted bids from China and has set a target of getting a deal agreed upon before Christmas. Taiping Re has been suggested as the bidder from China due to its commitment to expand internationally although the identity has been kept secret. Amoung those who have withdrawn their interest are Hamilton Insurance Group who declined to make a formal approach for Argenta. If the Chinese company is confirmed as the other bidder it will offer tough competition due to its strong focus in international expansion.
Stephen Crabb to lead Allied World’s European operation
It was announced this week that Stephen Crabb has been appointed by Allied World to lead its European claims operation. Crabb will report directly into Allied World’s head of Bermuda and global market claims, Colm Singleton. Crabb was most recently head of claims for Europe, Asia and Africa and also lead the political risk and credit claims division at Chubb. Allied World's president of global markets, Julian James said, "Stephen's experience of handling complex and high-value market losses makes him the ideal appointment to build on our proven track record of successful claims handling."
Sompo Canopius reverses decision on writing UK motor
Sompo Canopious revealed this week that its syndicate 4444 will continue to write UK motor insurance for the foreseeable future, reversing its initial stance of ending the operation at Lloyds. The original decision would have seen Sompo end its business in UK motor at the start of 2017 but have attributed changing circumstances to the change in policy. In a statement the company said, "Our current view is this will represent gross written premiums of £30mn ($37.5mn) with a gross loss ratio of approximately 89%." It has been confirmed that these figures are yet to be ticked off internally so there is still some room for change.
JLT to increase its investment in the US
JLT has announced its intention to increase the amount it has invested in its US specialty business, an increase of £6mn on last year’s commitment. JLT has made this decision due to the negative impact of foreign exchange rates and the additional capital it has compared to last year. It is understood that the speciality business in the US has performed particularly well in the third quarter and is set to increase its operating margin by 20%. JLT has said it expects to receive a further £4mn from exchange rates following the Brexit result, increasing the total amount to £16mn for the full year. It is expected that this will be largely offset by the increase in its investments. Furthermore it is also thought JLT will hit its target of £7mn in savings from the ongoing restructure programme.
AmTrust finalises $203mn deal for ANV
AmTrust has completed a $203mn deal for ANV and its affiliates it revealed this week. It has been widley reported that AmTrust was the front runner to aquired the operation. Barry Zyskind, AmTrust chairman, president and CEO said: "We believe adding ANV's experienced management and established reputation to AmTrust's existing Lloyd's operations will generate profitable growth and attractive returns for our shareholders." The deal marks AmTrusts third in the Lloyds market and increases its combined stamp capacity to £570mn. The previous two deals were of Asta-turnkeyed AG Dore Syndicate 2526 in 2012 and the Lloyds syndicate Sagicor for £56mn in 2013. A 14% growth on total expenses resulted in AmTrust’s earnings falling 16% in the third quarter.