Daily Willis Review- November 2, 2017

Willis Towers Watson releases Q3 InsurTech briefing
Willis Towers Watson has released its Third Quarterly InsurTech Briefing which examines how technology has the potential to disrupt national insurance markets and alter the global balance of power between insurers and reinsurers in developed markets and emerging economies.

The latest research, produced by Willis Towers Watson Securities and Willis Re, in collaboration with CB Insights, focuses on China and emerging Asia to illustrate the potential impact of technology innovation on legacy-free insurance markets.

It found that InsurTech investment continues to increase in emerging Asia despite the volume of funding decreasing in Q3 by 68% to $312 million.

Rafal Walkiewicz, Chief Executive Officer of Willis Towers Watson Securities, said: “China is the world’s third largest domestic insurance market, having recently recorded the most significant growth of any region globally, and we expect that continued growth of insurance in China will be relatively less constrained by existing infrastructure compared to more developed insurance markets.

“As the Chinese insurance revolution facilitates new mainstream products, like pure protection and product return, the Chinese economy is simultaneously driving the creation of new distribution models.”

Mark Hvidsten, Deputy Chairman of Willis Re, said: “Despite the daily noise about InsurTech, barriers to entry in the insurance industry remain high for the vast majority of InsurTech start-ups.

“But, irrespective of the limited impact that InsurTechs have had on developed insurance markets, it is becoming increasingly clear that legacy-free markets are proving to be more forgiving for innovative start-ups.”

AIG rebrands Hamilton USA as Blackboard
American International Group (AIG) has launched a new technology-focused subsidiary, Blackboard, formally known as Hamilton USA, following the finalizing of its acquisition on October 2.

The new platform is expected to be in operation by the second half of 2018 and will be able to provide an integrated, digital, end-to-end commercial insurance experience, the company said.

Seraina Macia, Chief Executive Officer of Blackboard U.S. Holdings, said: “Our name acknowledges that there will be many advances in data and technology, and Blackboard will be the place where our people, clients, and brokers collaborate continuously to find better ways of doing business and to transform the insurance experience.

“Blackboard is a key part of AIG’s strategy to grow our business with the greatest competitive advantage and ability to serve our clients, today and into the future.”

Sompo International launches global agricultural initiative
Sompo International has announced the launch of a new global agricultural initiative, AgriSompo, to provide agriculture insurance and reinsurance solutions.

The new platform will deliver a common underwriting approach with shared expertise and technology across a range of products and a wide variety of other agri-businesses, the company said.

AgriSompo will continue to operate in the U.S. and will be co-led by Avery Cook, Senior Vice-President, Global Agriculture, and Kristopher Lynn, SVP, Global Agriculture.

John Charman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sompo International, said: “AgriSompo is one of many major initiatives that we are undertaking as we fulfill our vision to build the first truly global integrated insurance and reinsurance business.

“By leveraging our extensive specialty agriculture resources across our overseas operating subsidiaries, we will deliver the best-in-class underwriting, risk management and technical solutions.”

Fidelis launches MGA Radius
Fidelis Insurance has launched its first managing general agent (MGA), Radius, to begin writing business effective November 1.

The MGA will focus on niche specialty treaty excess of loss business, such as Cyber, Nuclear and PA Retro.

Rob Ashton has been appointed to run Radius and joins from Hiscox Re, where he was Head of Specialty.

Radius is the first MGA to be launched through Fidelis subsidiary Pine Walk Capital, which will be led by Rinku Patel.

Mr. Patel joins from Hyperion Insurance Group and brings with him a wealth of experience in the MGA and intermediary industry.

Richard Brindle, Group Chief Executive Officer of Fidelis, said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with Rob and Rinku furthering our strategy to sponsor specialist underwriting products.

“Rinku’s proficiency in managing MGAs together with our underwriting expertise, make Pine Walk a highly attractive destination for new or existing MGAs.”