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EC News (29th November 2018)

Round-up of the weekly news and developments from the global (re)insurance market with stories from Lloyd’s, TransRe, RSA and more.

Lloyd’s appoints Noyer to Council and Brussels Board

Lloyd’s has appointed Christian Noyer as non-executive director of Lloyd’s Council and as non-executive director of the Lloyd’s Brussels Board, effective from 2 November.

Noyer served as the Governor of the Bank of France from 2003 to 2015, and has since held the position of Honorary Governor.

He is also a member of the French Fiscal Council and an advisor to the French Government on issues related to Brexit.

Noyer has spent over 40 years in international public finance and has held numerous high-profile positions, including as vice president of the European Central Bank between 1998 and 2002 and as president of the Bank for International Settlements between 2010 and 2015.

He worked for the French Treasury for over 20 years and was appointed Director of the Treasury in 1993.

In a statement Lloyds shared: “We would like to congratulate Christian on his appointments and look forward to his invaluable contribution.”

TransRe partners with Concirrus for new marine platform

TransRe has partnered with London-based insurtech Concirrus, a provider of marine and motor analytics, to jointly develop data-driven reinsurance products and services.

As part of the collaboration, TransRe will also join Concirrus' Power20, who will work together to assess how technology can be used to fundamentally change the marine insurance model to the benefit of all involved.

Concirrus has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) powered insurance software platform known as Quest Marine, which will enable the teams to assess and monitor the changes in marine portfolios in order to develop highly customised reinsurance structures.

Andrew Yeoman, CEO of Concirrus said: “There is inherent uncertainty when creating reinsurance programs due to a lack of definitive data about a portfolio’s aggregate risk,

 "Quest Marine enables an insurer to have a data-driven dialog with its reinsurer, which will reduce the frictional cost of doing business together. We look forward to working with TransRe to offer compelling marine solutions to our joint customers.”

Peter Clements, TransRe’s global marine leader, added: “We have been monitoring data and analytics developments in the marine market very closely, and we believe that Concirrus has the most compelling proposition. Concirrus has created the ‘Digital Power 20’, a unique community of industry partners to drive powerful digital change, and we are pleased to be a part of that future.”

New Lloyd’s broker prepares launch

New specialty insurance and reinsurance broker, Marken Re Specialty, is imminently waiting to be launched by Pieter Vlasbloem.

According to the website, Marken Re will be an authorised representative of Dublon Insurance Brokers which was formed in 2006 and is approved by the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) and admitted as a Lloyd’s broker in 2007.

The specialty areas that Marken Re would like to target include trade and investment credit, surety and political risks, as well as agriculture and energy.

On his LinkedIn profile managing director at Marken Re, Vlasbloem shared:  “I am pleased to announce the establishment of a specialty re/insurance broker.”

He explained: “These areas are however not a limitation of our capacities and possibilities, we serve our clients reliably and professionally for all their re/insurance requirements.”

Previously, Vlasbloem has been CEO of NDI Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers and managing director at NDI Takaful & Retakaful, according to the LinkedIn profile.

RSA appoints director of specialty & wholesale division

RSA Group has appointed Geoff Jones as director of its specialty and wholesale unit, part of its global risk solutions (GRS) business.

In his new role, which he assumes at the beginning of 2019, Jones will lead the refocused specialty and wholesale division. He will report to GRS managing director, Tony Buckle.

The company announced earlier this month that it will streamline its London Market offer to concentrate on fewer selected specialisms.

Jones joined RSA in 2010 following a 15-year career as a solicitor specialising in defendant litigation, heading up RSA UK Injury leading a multi-disciplinary function of lawyers, loss adjusters and claims handlers.

In 2014, he was named claims director for RSA Ireland, before returning to the UK in January 2016 to take on his current role of commercial claims director.

In this capacity he oversaw RSA’s commercial property, marine, construction and renewal energy liability teams, and customer account management teams.

Commenting on the appointment Buckle said: “The development of a thriving and focused specialty and wholesale business is a crucial part of RSA’s strategy. Geoff has the skills and experience to develop a brilliant service for customers in our chosen specialisms, underpinned by market leading expertise, high quality underwriting and fair, accurate pricing.”

Jones commented: “Having been part of RSA’s commercial lines executive team for the last three years, I am greatly excited by the prospect of leading the specialty and wholesale business to deliver consistent quality for our customers and shareholders. My claims experience will serve me well in addressing the performance challenges facing the S&W business, whilst strengthening our relationships with our customers and partners to secure our long-term success.”

Qudos Insurance enters into liquidation

New Nordic Advisors has placed its wholly-owned Danish insurance subsidiary, Qudos Insurance, into liquidation with immediate effect.

This decision follows a comprehensive review of the insurance company’s position.

New Nordic had entered into a number of retrospective reinsurance treaties with Darag to de-risk Qudos and provide a prudent solution for policyholders.

Both New Nordic and Darag are continuing to explore whether similar solutions can be brought to bear for other portfolios in Qudos.

In October 2018, New Nordic revealed that Qudos Insurance would cease to underwrite new business with immediate effect, pending a restructuring of the business.

At the same time, the investment management company had said that Qudos’ live underwriting platform would be re-launched following a restructuring project and a comprehensive audit.

Nicolai Borcher Hansen, CEO at New Nordic commented: “At the heart of all our decision-making stands prudence towards our investors, policyholders and the regulator,”

Adding: “Following a deep and comprehensive review of the company’s position and open dialogue with the regulator, we have decided to place Qudos permanently into run-off and to liquidate the remaining assets. Darag are consummate experts at legacy and claims handling and will assure the long-term, stable handling of the portfolios they are taking over.” 

Tom Booth, CEO at Darag, shared: “We are pleased to have been able to work with New Nordic to provide a retrospective reinsurance solution for certain Qudos portfolios and to have the opportunity to explore others. Darag is an expert at comprehensive legacy solutions that drive value and security for our clients and insureds.”

AGCS names Browne as UK CEO

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) has appointed Sinéad Browne as its UK CEO, succeeding Brian Kirwan who will depart from the company at the end of the year.

Browne will assume this role in addition to her responsibilities as chief regions and markets officer.

She joined the AGCS board in 2012 as chief operating officer (COO), prior to taking on her current chief regions and markets officer role earlier in 2018.

Originally joining Allianz Group in 1993, she has since held progressively senior roles in underwriting, organisational and strategy development and operations at Allianz Ireland, Allianz SE and Allianz Re.

Tracey Hunt has also been appointed deputy CEO for AGCS UK.

Hunt joined AGCS in September 2012 as head of growth markets, energy. She has held her current regional head of energy role since January 2015.

Reporting directly to Browne, as deputy CEO, AGCS UK, Hunt will have oversight across all lines of AGCS’ lines of business, as well as overseeing key client and broker relationships in the UK.

She will retain her current responsibilities as regional head of energy for regional unit London going forward.

Both Browne and Hunt will assume their roles on 1 January 2019.

Browne commented: “Under Brian’s leadership AGCS UK is positioned strongly for the future,”

“I would like to thank Brian for his contributions and we at AGCS wish him the very best for the future.

“I’m very pleased to welcome Tracey to the position of deputy CEO for the UK. With over 20 years’ working in insurance, her wide-ranging market experience across underwriting, broking, claims and consultancy is an ideal fit for the role. We will work closely together in partnership with clients and brokers to drive the business forward and continue to deliver innovative solutions to help our customers navigate the complex world of current and emerging business risks.”

Talanx taps former AXA CFO for Germany unit

Talanx, the parent company of Hannover Re and HDI, has made changes in the management board of its German unit following the departure of Ulrich Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum is retiring after over 33 years at the Talanx Group. He will remain a member of the company's supervisory boards of the bancassurance companies.

Since 2013, along with his work on the management board of Talanx Deutschland, Rosenbaum has also served as CEO of HDI Lebensversicherung.

Rosenbaum will be succeeded by Patrick Dahmen, who is joining the management board of Talanx Deutschland effective 1 January 2019.

Dahmen specialises in the field of retirement provision and will take the responsibility for the board area of life and investments. He will be based in Cologne.

Dahmen has been a member of the management board of AXA Konzern since 2007; from 2012 onwards he assumed responsibility for the area of retirement provision, after previously serving as chief financial officer (CFO).

"Talanx would like to thank Ulrich Rosenbaum for his outstanding service to the organisation and is pleased that he remains available as a member of the Supervisory Boards of PB Versicherungen and TARGO Versicherungen", said Torsten Leue, chairman of the supervisory board of Talanx Deutschland and CEO of Talanx.

Leue added: "We consider the business of occupational retirement provision in Germany to be a major growth market in which further expansion of our footprint is essential. In seeking to achieve this goal, we have confidence in the expertise of Dr Dahmen."

CEO of Talanx Deutschland, Jan Wicke said: "We are delighted that Patrick Dahmen is joining us. He knows the life insurance business, the sales and competitive situation and the political and economic climate. Thanks to his wide-ranging specialist know-how, we are well-positioned for the future."

VIG Re opens new Paris office in European expansion

Czech Republic-based reinsurer VIG Re has opened a new branch office in Paris to further bolster its presence in Continental Europe.

The new office will be led by Patrick Chevrel and will serve VIG Re’s clients in France, Benelux and Iberia and offer reinsurance solutions for property and casualty business lines.

Johannes Martin Hartmann, VIG Re’s chairman of the board of directors commented: “The opening of the Branch represents another important step in the execution of VIG Re’s strategy which is based on the fundamentals of a consistent underwriting policy, superior financial strength and mutual partnership,”

Adding: “The local presence will further enhance the value proposition to our clients,”

Peter Thirring, chairman of the supervisory board of VIG Re added: “Strengthening the third-party business in Western European markets, is part of the strategy of VIG Re. After the successful opening of the branch in Germany one year ago, the branch in Paris was the next planned step, which is now fulfilled.”