Roundup of the weekly news and developments from the global insurance market with stories from Elseco, Korean Re, XL Catlin and more
Elseco insurance hires Matthew Holmes as head of energy
Elseco has hired Matthew Holmes as head of energy and will be responsible for the continued expansion of the high-technology specialty insurance underwriting platform headquartered at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Holmes will also be responsible for Elseco’s global energy underwriting portfolio using his significant risk management experience in this specialty line. Laurent Lemaire, Chairman and CEO of Elseco said, "We are delighted to have Matthew in our team. He has great leadership and underwriting skills and trust him to grow our profitable energy portfolio". Holmes previously served at Beasley for 5 years joining from Catlin where he covered upstream and downstream risks. Commenting on his appointment Holmes said, "This is an incredible opportunity and I am extremely excited to be a part of the Elseco team and I fully share their vision for the future. I look forward to developing Elseco’s Energy business to become one of the leading energy markets, consistent with what Eelseco has achieved in the Space and Aviation lines."
Korean Re begins work on a full Lloyds syndicate
Korean Re has made plans to launch a full syndicate at Lloyds following discussions with a number of managing agents. It has been reported that Korea Re have been in discussions with both Charles Taylor and Asta but discussions with other firms have not been ruled out. Using other companies as a reference, it is thought that it will take a year to be ready to launch, this means Korea Re will, most likely, be aiming for a January 2018 launch. The reinsurer already has an SPS agreement with a large Lloyd’s insurer, in this case Beazley, a method used by some to test the water before launching a full syndicate. Korea Re has long made public its ambitions to grow internationally and has a target of becoming the world’s third largest insurer by 2050.
XL Catlin hires Jardine as CEO of Lloyd's Syndicate 2003
XL Catlin has named Paul Jardine as the CEO of Syndicate 2003, which is managed by Catlin Underwriting Agency and CEO of Catlin Insurance Company (UK).Syndicate 2003 has been the most successful syndicate at Lloyd’s in terms of gross premiums written since 2007. The syndicate writes a full range of property, casualty, marine, aviation and other specialty coverages. Jardine will take both of these roles from Andrew McMellin. He will keep his role as chief experience officer of the XL Catlin leadership team, a position he has served in since May 2015. The appointment has been revealed to be part of wider management changes at the firm. XL Group had previously revealed a planned realignment of its property and casualty operating model, with all appointments effective 1 January 2017. Spearheading this restructured operation is Greg Hendrick, who had been appointed to the role of president of property and casualty.
Willis Re promote James Kent as Global Deputy CEO
Willis Re has revealed the promotion of James Kent, formally co-president of Willis Re and president of Willis Re North America, to the position of global deputy CEO, Willis Re. A long serving member of Willis Re’s global leadership team, Kent will continue in his role as president of Willis Re North America and continue to work in New York alongside Willis Re North America CEO, Jim Bradshaw. His focus will be to steer sales and growth efforts, produce business and maintain market and client relationships in the region, which has seen 50% market share growth over the past five years and is now Willis Re’s largest business segment. As global deputy CEO, Kent will work closely with global CEO, John Cavanagh and global chairman, Paddy Jago, to lead global business production, client and market relationship management and to drive the business’s operations worldwide.
Axis to aquired Aviabel
Axis has agreed to acquire Aviabel in a bid to grow its capacity in the global aviation market. Aviabel writes around EUR50mn of gross written premiums annually and provides products and services across general aviation, airlines, airports, pilots and crews and aerospace manufacturers. Axis confirmed they will continue to honour the Aviabel name, including all subsidiaries, as the company looks to grow its global coverage in the market. It has been reported that the leadership team of Aviabel will be kept as they are as they, and the markets Aviabel operates in, compliment Axis. The deal is expected to be completed within six months and is still subject to regulatory approval. Mark Gregory, CEO of Axis Insurance's international division, described Aviabel as being a great cultural fit saying, "Like Axis, it is a specialty company that is entrepreneurial and agile and that places a very high priority on its clients and its employees."
Geoff Riddell to become Neon chairman
Geoff Riddle has been named as non-executive chairman of Neon, the Lloyds business of American Financial group. It has been reported that the appointment is the last replacement of the old Marketform leadership team with Riddle taking over from John Mumford in the first quarter of next year. Riddle brings a wealth of experience leading insurers having led Zurich’s Asia Pacific and Middle East business from 2009. Before ruling himself out of the running Riddle had been tipped by many to replace John Nealson as the chairman of Lloyd’s.
Tokio Marine Kiln the lead reinsurer in the LaMia liability policy
Tokio Marine Kiln is the main insurer in the $25mn liability policy which covers charter airline LaMia, the airline in the crash which killed 76 people in South America this week. It is thought that Tokio Marine Kiln is 30% line on the international reinsurance policy, placed by Aon. The plane, which had 81 passengers on board including 22 of top-flight Brazilian football team Chapecoense, crashed this week. The liability of the crash, given the number of fatalities and the presence of the football players, could rise to $25mn. It has been reported that the plane attempted a forced landing after losing contact with ground control, it has been speculated the plane ran out of fuel or had an electrical fault.
Underwriting director appointed by ERS
Gina Butterworth has been hired by ERS as director of underwriting. Butterworth brings a decades experience at Chaucer where she held numerous executive positions including head for UK insurance. Butterworth reports to active underwriter Mark Bacon. The appointment is one of two by ERS with Duane Barr becoming head of its professional sports, entertainment and supercar division. Barr said there was a "strong appetite" in his market for an alternative to wholesale arrangements and for direct access to specialist underwriters. Barr will report to head of bespoke products, Tom Donachie.