Roundup of the weekly news and developments from the global insurance market with stories from Thomas Miller, Marsh, Tiger Re and more
Bernt Hellman and team join Thomas Miller
Bernt Hellman has joined Thomas Miller Specialty along with his team of six marine and energy specialists. Hellman was previously Duals head of marine and energy and will be responsible for establishing a new energy offering at Thomas Miller. It has been reported that the other six individuals to follow Hellman to Thomas Miller are, James Scott and Jason Wheeler who join as directors of energy, Darren Farr as pricing manager, Kevin Campbell as technical manager and equipment underwriter, Parisha Bansil as senior energy underwriter and Elizabeth Wright as underwriting assistant. It is understood that the team will start writing business in the New Year and are currently at Thomas Miller preparing for launch.
Marsh to Acquire Bluefin Insurance Group from AXA
Marsh, a global leader in insurance broking and risk management and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, revealed that it has reached an agreement with AXA Group to acquire Bluefin Insurance Group Limited (Bluefin), a subsidiary of AXA UK plc. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017. Founded in 2008, Bluefin has approximately 1,500 colleagues based in 45 locations around the UK, providing guidance on creating insurance solutions to over 150,000 businesses and individuals. In addition to insurance broking, it also operates an extensive broker network and growing Managing General Agent business. On completion, Marsh will combine Bluefin and Jelf into a single business unit to be led by Phil Barton, CEO of Jelf and a management team drawn from both firms. This unit will bring together two leading community brokers with complementary regional offices across the UK, serving over 250,000 clients in 80 locations. The combined business will offer a proposition through its commitment to high quality technical advice, bespoke products and distinctive services including claims consultancy and risk management. It will also provide intelligent risk insights that will enable companies to address emerging risks such as cyber, as well as people-related issues through an employee benefits team.
TigerRisk hires former Guy Carpenter executive Patrick Denzer
TigerRisk Partners, a risk, capital management and strategic advisory firm, have hired Patrick Denzer as a partner. Denzer will be responsible for client management and strategic development. Denzer most recently served as chairman for the Americas at Guy Carpenter. Before this, he was president and CEO of John B Collins Associates, a US reinsurance broker at the time it was acquired by Guy Carpenter. Rod Fox, CEO of TigerRisk said, “Pat is one of the most experienced and able reinsurance brokers in the industry. His extraordinary record of accomplishment speaks for itself. I am glad we’ve now got him on our team.” Denzer said of his appointment. “I have always admired TigerRisk’s devotion to client advocacy, their highly analytical approach supported with the latest technology, and their commitment to innovation and creativity. I am looking forward to working with such industry luminaries as Jim Stanard, Rod Fox and Tony Ursano.”
Argo to buy Ariel for $235mn
Argo has confirmed its purchase of Ariel Re for around £235mn. The deal values the Lloyds reinsurer at 1.25x forecast end year tangible book value. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but Argo is reported as being confident in completing the process by the end of March. The deal will see the company increase its diversification with reinsurance accounting for around 12% of its business after the acquisition. Mark Watson III, CEO of Argo commented, "Ariel Re is a terrific fit for Argo Group, operationally and culturally. We remain focused on delivering enhanced shareholder value. This transaction enables us to build upon the successes realised individually by Argo Group and Ariel Re, utilising our combined strength to deploy capital in selected areas to produce maximum return and continued growth."
Paolo Vagnone to join Lloyd's as strategy & change director
Paolo Vagnone has been appointed by Lloyd’s of London as strategy and change director. Reporting to chief executive Inga Beale, Vagnone will be responsible for leading the teams developing Lloyd’s strategy, as well as managing major change projects. Vagnone brings over 20 years of experience in senior insurance roles, having most recently served as head of global business lines at Assicurazioni Generali. Vagnone said, “I am thrilled to be taking on this new role at Lloyd’s. It is vital in today’s competitive environment that businesses have a clear strategic approach that will enable them to navigate the numerous challenges they face. I look forward to applying my experience of the industry to this role and helping Lloyd’s continue to thrive and deliver the innovative insurance and reinsurance solutions businesses need across the globe.”
Stephen Catlin wanted as Lloyd’s chairman
The majority of Lloyds managing agents are in support of Stephen Catlin being appointed as Lloyds chairman as they see executive insurance experience a key attribute for the role. Stephen Catlin is a XL Catlin deputy executive chairman and is the preferred candidate for the appointment. A number said they would be content with the appointment without it being their first choice. Other quality’s that were viewed as important for a candidate were strong reinsurance experience and a number of senior level relationships with politicians.
Nexus launches claims arm
Nexus has announced the formation of an independent claims arm to trade under the name Nexus Claims. Nexus have said that that the claims operation has penned agreements to look after around half of the group’s portfolio. It has also been reported that they have secured agreements to act as a third party claims administrator for over a dozen non-affiliated MGA’s across Europe and the Middle East.
Regulator warns CEOs on shortcomings in managing ‘silent’ risk
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has cautioned company CEOs that underwriters are committing “material shortcomings” when managing a “silent” cyber risk. The PRA said it has significant concerns about potential losses of silent cyber risk, specifically exposures within traditional insurance policies that fail to explicitly exclude cyber risk. It was highlighted that companies do not currently have transparent strategies and risk appetites for managing silent cyber risks. The industry watchdog cautioned that the potential for a significant silent cyber insurance loss is increasing with time. According to the PRA, casualty, marine, aviation and transport lines of business are potentially exposed to silent cyber losses. The PRA is notifying companies on how to equip themselves with the ability to monitor, manage and mitigate silent cyber risk effectively.