Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global insurance market with stories from Third Point Re, Munich Re, XL Catlin and more.
David Govrin joins Third Point Reinsurance
Third Point Reinsurance Ltd. revealed that David Govrin will join the company as executive vice president for underwriting based in the US. Robert Bredahl, president and chief executive officer of Third Point Re, commented, "I am extremely pleased to have David joining the Company. His extensive experience and relationships across the insurance and reinsurance industries will be a tremendous asset as we continue to execute our strategy of scaling our U.S. underwriting platform." David Govrin added, "This is an exciting time to be joining the Company given the opportunity that lies ahead. I have great respect for the Third Point Re team and look forward to helping them continue to build their presence in the United States." Govrin brings over 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry. Before joining Third Point Re (USA) Ltd., Govrin served as vice president for Berkshire Hathaway's Reinsurance Group for seven years, where he was a key member of the underwriting team. Immediately prior to joining Berkshire Hathaway, Govrin founded an insurance private equity fund focused on specialty insurance underwriting and distribution as well as a convergence focused reinsurance intermediary. Prior to that, he spent the majority of his career as a senior executive at Goldman Sachs and Guy Carpenter.
Munich Re interested in OneBeacon
Munich Re are reportedly interested in OneBeacon as the auction nears its end. Launched at the start of the year by White Mountains, the Credit Suisse lead process was due to end last week. A deal is thought to be in its final stages and is likely to go ahead, should White Mountains receive the reserve price for the insurer. Zurich and The Hartford are thought to be two other companies who showed an interest in acquiring the insurer but opted not to progress to the final round of bids. Initial expectations were that White Mountains would try to attract a bidder from the Far East. However, Chinese acquisitions have struggled to get approval recently and it has been reported that White Mountains didn’t what the process falling down in the final stages. It has been said that the price expected is 1.5x to 1.6x book value, which would value the business at between $16.23 and $17.31 per share or $1.53bn to $1.63bn.
XL Catlin names Bewlay as Global Casualty CUO
Insurance and reinsurance firm XL Catlin have named Nancy Bewlay as global chief underwriting officer of its Casualty insurance operations, effective April 17th. Bewlay takes on underwriting and portfolio management for all of XL Catlin’s Casualty insurance coverages globally, reporting to Neil Robertson, chief executive, insurance underwriting. Robertson commented on the appointment, “We’re excited for Nancy to join us. Nancy’s intense casualty underwriting experience will be invaluable in monitoring our Casualty exposure worldwide, refining our underwriting performance, and growing our Casualty businesses by developing innovative casualty coverage that addresses our clients’ changing business risks.” Bewlay has over 25 years’ experience in reinsurance with a focus on primary and excess specialty casualty lines. Most recently with reinsurer Swiss Re, she was managing director and head of Casualty for the US and Canada, developing and managing the company’s casualty portfolio. She began her career as an underwriter for General Star Management Company in the Excess, Umbrella Division.
Syndicate 2526 put into run-off by AmTrust
AmTrust has placed Syndicate 2526 into run-off after it was unable to make a profit from the business. Adverse reserve development was also a factor in the decision to end underwriting at the Syndicate. The management team made the decision after they realised that 2017 would produce a loss on the current business plan. AmTrust’s acquisition of the syndicate marked its entry into the Lloyds market when it bought the syndicate for £8mn in 2012. AmTrust has spent more on the non-aligned portion of Syndicate 2526's capacity in auction than on acquiring the syndicate itself. The management team had made a number of changes to bring the company into profit and, while accepting a loss in 2016, it was predicted the company would turn a corner in 2017 and bring in a profit, which has proven not to be the case.
Zurich changes its mind on downstream energy
Zurich will continue to underwrite downstream energy business after deciding it would reduce its operation in the area less than a year ago. Over the past 12 months Zurich has downsized its operation in the area and put much of its business into run-off. This new change in policy comes after the hire of Rob Kuchinski who brought a lot of downstream energy experience to Zurich’s new property segment that incorporates energy. Zurich pulled out of writing parts of its portfolio in December 2015 before exiting the remaining class in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Zurich was previously a leader in downstream energy and for much of 2016 it reduced its operation to the US and Singapore. Ratings pressure has affected the sector recently with major losses hitting the market in January. Kuchinski joined as global head of property as part of a new tripartite structure within Zurich's commercial business. Further to property, Kuchinski’s portfolio includes upstream energy, construction, engineering and energy liability.
Aon Benfield’s APAC head retires
Malcolm Steingold is to retire as Aon Benfield's head of Asia Pacific. Steingold served 35 years in the sector including 24 years with Aon. He became CEO of Aon Benfield Asia Pacific following the merger with Benfield in 2008. Prior to this he had been CEO of Aon Re Asia Pacific and CEO of Aon Re Australia. Steingold has helped clients manage the impact of some of the world’s largest catastrophe events, such as the Thailand floods, Tohoku and the New Zealand earthquakes. Following Steingold’s retirement, the APAC executive team will lead the business and will report directly to Aon Benfield CEO Eric Andersen. Aon Benfield said in a statement, “Malcolm has been an exemplary Aon colleague, whose strong leadership skills have enabled Aon Benfield to achieve growth across its Asia Pacific business and become the market leader in the region. Throughout his career Malcolm has developed a well-earned reputation as a trusted advisor and consummate professional to our client base.”
Car insurance premiums increased by £110 in 2016
Car insurance premiums rose by an average of £110 in 2016. More expensive repairs and recent government changes to injury payouts added an extra 16% to insurance costs. It has been reported that drivers paid on average £781 on comparison sites for a comprehensive policy in the year to March 2017. Average premiums are set to rise again and could exceed £1,000 next year. Newer vehicles have witnessed the biggest increases as their increasingly complex electronics cost more to repair. Insurers have also raised prices in response to a new formula for calculating compensation payments, according to data from comparison websites. The government altered the Ogden Rate for calculating lump sum payments to accident victims who suffer long-term injuries. Car insurers have warned that policy costs will "soar" to offset the higher payouts.
CNA Hardy appoints David Legassick as head of Life Sciences and Technology
CNA Hardy has announced the appointment of David Legassick as head of Life Sciences, Technology & Cyber. Reporting to Rhonda Buege, head of Healthcare and Technology, David will assume responsibility for CNA Hardy’s Life Science, Technology and Cyber business for all international business across both company and Lloyd’s platforms. Buege said, “David has significant experience in managing both Life Sciences and Technology industry segments. His track record in creating package insurance solutions for these sectors perfectly aligns with our ambition for growth. As an organisation, we are extremely optimistic about the opportunities that exist for us as a specialist insurer, and I am delighted to welcome such a strong leader to CNA Hardy.” David will join CNA Hardy from Chubb where he has held a number of positions including underwriting specialist, London team manager and, most recently, UK and Ireland Technology and Life Sciences manager. David’s appointment follows a number of senior hires and internal promotions in the segment, including Tony Bainbridge who joined CNA Hardy in Singapore as senior healthcare underwriter and Matt Sumpter, who was promoted to technology underwriting director.