Daily Willis Review | 31 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 31 May 2018
  • Losses from storm Alberto estimated at $50 million: KCC
  • Global reinsurer rankings face disruption: S&P Global
  • Allianz acquires 8% stake in Africa Re
  • Hamilton appoints Brenton Slade SVP of Hamilton Capital Partners
Losses from storm Alberto estimated at $50 million: KCC
Karen Clark & Co (KCC) has estimated that total insured losses from storm Alberto will be up to $50 million, Intelligent Insurer has reported.

The total insured losses from the KCC model include residential, commercial and industrial property and auto losses.

Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, first formed as a subtropical storm over the western Caribbean on May 25, moving northeastward near western Cuba.

The report said as Alberto progressed over the Caribbean Sea it was anticipated to transition into either a tropical storm or hurricane.

The storm made landfall on May 28, near Panama City, Florida, with sustained wind speeds of 45 mph.

Global reinsurer rankings face disruption: S&P Global
S&P Global Market Intelligence has said that the rankings of the largest global reinsurers could face disruption following Berkshire Hathaway becoming one of the top three in 2017, Reinsurance News has reported.

It said Berkshire Hathaway’s new position – which the $10.2 billion premium it collected from its adverse deal development with AIG – challenged the dominance of the ‘big four’ European reinsurers for the first time in 10 years.

It said more volatility in the ranking could also be caused by the recent AXA and XL Catlin deal, which would be ranked as the seventh-largest global reinsurer in 2017 had it been treated as a combined entity.

The report said that S&P does anticipate the dominance of the world’s biggest reinsurers to continue once the rankings adjust to the new entrants.

This is due to smaller, less diversified, companies being unable to offer the same level of coverage as their larger counterparts.

It said larger companies have a competitive advantage because they can offer highly specialized, structured deals for large primary insurers, and can allocate considerable resources for research and investment.

Allianz acquires 8% stake in Africa Re
Allianz Group has signed an agreement with Africa Re to acquire an 8% stake in the reinsurer for $81 million.

The company said that the partnership will provide support in areas of reinsurance, business development, sharing of best practices, risk management tools, as well as training and technical support, especially in emerging areas and underserved markets.

Allianz and Africa Re also aim to jointly support insurance penetration in Africa and the economic development of the continent, the company said.

Niran Peiris, Member of the Board of Management of Allianz, said: “Having identified Africa as one of the future growth markets, we continue to invest step-by-step in the continent.”

Corneille Karekezi, Africa Re’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This partnership with Allianz Group, a reliable and strong partner with a global network, particularly in agriculture and the emerging field of cyber insurance, will definitely strengthen Africa Re’s capacity to offer its clients services of higher quality.”

Hamilton appoints Brenton Slade SVP of Hamilton Capital Partners
Hamilton Insurance Group has appointed Brenton Slade as Senior Vice-President of Hamilton Capital Partners, a new capital management unit.

The new business unit will be tasked with the further development of Hamilton’s capital management capabilities.

Mr. Slade joins Hamilton from The Horseshoe Group, where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer.

He will begin his new role effective June 19 and will report directly to Jonathan Reiss, Group Chief Financial Officer.

Pina Albo, Chief Executive Officer, said: “In today’s evolving market, meeting the needs of our clients presents a host of opportunities for real innovation as far as fully integrated customized solutions are concerned.”

As part of WTW’s annual Media Awards programme we have four ‘Publication of Year’ categories, entered by editors and voted for by the industry. As consumers of your industry’s trade media, we would like to invite you to join in and vote for your ‘Publication of the Year’ in any categories that are relevant to you, below.

Each web page contains a short submission from each of the titles that entered that category, as well as a link to the voting page in the top right-hand corner. Voting closes on 22nd June 2018.
·         HR & Benefits Publication of the Year
·         Pensions Publication of the Year
·         Institutional Investment Publication of the Year
·         (Re)Insurance and Risk Publication of the Year


Daily Willis Review | 30 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 30 May 2018
  • Bermuda launches $100 million infrastructure fund
  • Generali launches employee benefits branch in Luxembourg
  • Malaysian Re partners with Argo Managing Agency
  • QBE Europe granted approval to establish Belgian subsidiary
Bermuda launches $100 million infrastructure fund
Insurance firms in Bermuda have raised almost $100 million for the Bermuda Infrastructure Fund, to upgrade the island’s infrastructure, The Royal Gazette  has reported.

The fund is the idea of Brian Duperreault, Chief Executive Officer American International Group (AIG), supported by Don Mackenzie, New Venture Holdings CEO, and Arch Capital Group Chief Investment Officer Preston Hutchings.

The Bermuda Infrastructure Fund aims to improve ports, docks, roads, bridges, industrial facilities and healthcare facilities on the island.

Founding members of the fund include AIG, Arch Capital, XL Catlin, Axis, RenaissanceRe, Hamilton Insurance Group, Argus and BF&M.

Mr. Duperreault said: “Don, Preston and I are delighted to be able to announce the formation of this fund, which represents an investment in Bermuda by the insurance and reinsurance industry.”

David Burt, Premier of Bermuda, said: “The establishment of the infrastructure fund is a vote of confidence in Bermuda and in the co-operative approach to governance that this Government has taken.”

Generali launches employee benefits branch in Luxembourg
Generali has established a new branch in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg dedicated to its employee benefits business.

The new branch will operate as the insurance and reinsurance operation of the company and will consolidate Generali’s position in the multinational corporate segment.

The company said the new operation will accelerate Generali’s expansion in the international middle market segment and help launch new initiatives in the fields of health and wellness, business travel assistance, voluntary employee benefits and pensions.

It said that the branch is in line with the strategic objectives of the Generali Group to consolidate its leadership in the employee benefits sector.

Frédéric de Courtois, Chief Executive Officer Generali Global Business Lines and International, said: “The creation of this new branch is another important step towards the strengthening of our position in the Employee Benefits market.”

Malaysian Re partners with Argo Managing Agency
Malaysian Reinsurance Berhad and Argo Managing Agency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sees the former providing underwriting and technical support, Reinsurance News  has reported.

Argo Managing Agency, a member of Argo Group, manages ArgoGlobal Syndicate 1200 and Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 at Lloyd’s.

As part of the partnership, Malaysian Re and Syndicate 1200 will collaborate on developing and distributing specialty products for the Malaysian and regional markets.

Zainudin Ishak, President and Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Re, said: “I am excited to be working closely with Argo.

“This partnership is strategic in nature and a key component of Malaysian Re’s Business Transformation 2020 (T20) in asserting our regional market leadership and fulfilling the company’s long-term vision to become the regional leading reinsurer.”

Dominic Kirby, Managing Director of Argo Managing Agency, said: “We are excited about our partnership with Malaysian Re and look forward to mutually profitable growth and launching more innovative products for the Malaysian market in the near future.”

QBE Europe granted approval to establish Belgian subsidiary
QBE Europe has announced it has received a license from the National Bank of Belgium to establish a new Belgian subsidiary.

The subsidiary is part of the company’s post-Brexit plans to ensure QBE will maintain passporting rights across Europe.

It said QBE Europe will leverage its existing base in Brussels to ensure a seamless transition for its customers across Europe.

Richard Pryce, Chief Executive Officer of QBE European Operations, said: “Our priority throughout the Brexit process has been to provide seamless continuity and certainty for our customers and staff, whatever the final terms of the UK’s exit.

“I am delighted that our Brexit program is on track and that we have reached this important stage in our plan to continue to provide a full service capability offering to our customers.”

Daily Willis Review | 29 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 29 May 2018
  • Swiss Re ends talk with SoftBank
  • NOAA predicts near or above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
  • Mid-year renewals point to damaged business model: KBW
  • AIG appoints CEO of AIG China
Swiss Re ends talk with SoftBank
Global reinsurers Swiss Re and SoftBank Group have announced they have agreed to end discussions about a potential minority investment of SoftBank in Swiss Re.

Swiss Re has said it will continue with the implementation of its technology strategy which will combine in-house developments and third-party collaborations.

However, the company has said in this context it will explore business ideas between Swiss Re’s operative entities and the portfolio companies of Softbank.

Swiss Re first announced it was in talks with the Japanese conglomerate regarding a minority investment in February 2018, Intelligent Insurer has reported.

According to the report on the company’s Q1 results call, John Dacey, Chief Financial Officer, suggested that Swiss Re may be in talks with companies other than SoftBank in relation to selling a stake in the company.

NOAA predicts near or above normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center has forecast that there is a 75% chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near-normal to above-normal.

NOAA forecasters have predicted a 35% chance of an above-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends November 30.

Forecasters have said there is a 70% likelihood of 10 to16 named storms, five to nine of these storms could become hurricanes and one to four major hurricanes.

According to the Climate Prediction Center, two of the factors driving this outlook is the possibility of a weak El Niño developing in conjunction with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, said: “With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way, is unprecedented.”

Mid-year renewals point to damaged business model: KBW
According to Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW), mid-year catastrophe reinsurance rate increases are falling behind those at the January renewals, pointing to the old business model being “permanently” damaged.

The majority of reinsurers who spoke with KBW confirmed that mid-year reinsurance rate increases were smaller than those seen at 1/1, Reinsurance News has reported.

At mid-year renewals loss-impacted accounts renewing flat to up 5%, and loss-free layers renewing at flat to down 5%.

While rates improved at the January renewals, it is clear that the abundant availability of capacity has hindered rate increases and limited the ability of the market to improve rates in a sustainable manner, the report said.

KBW analysts said: “We think the industry’s inability to materially raise rates after 2017’s huge catastrophe losses show that the old catastrophe reinsurance business model is “permanently” impaired, which (along with other factors) should drive sustained consolidation.”

AIG appoints CEO of AIG China
American International Group (AIG) has announced the appointment of Lisa Sun as Chief Executive Officer of AIG Insurance Company China, subject to regulatory approval.

Ms. Sun will report directly to Chris Townsend, Chief Executive Officer, International General Insurance and succeeds Eric Zheng who is leaving AIG to pursue other opportunities.

She brings with her more than 20 years’ experience in the industry and most recently she served as CEO of Mercer’s Hong Kong and South and East Asia Zone.

Mr. Townsend said: “China is a core growth market for AIG. I am pleased to welcome Lisa back to AIG to take on the important role of leading our China business.

“I look forward to working closely with Lisa and the team in this dynamic region.”

Daily Willis Review | 25 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 25 May 2018
  • CoreLogic launches non-weather-related risk solution
  • IUA forms cyber reinsurance group for London Company Market
  • Internal reinsurance units of Allianz and Aviva as big as leading EU reinsurers: report
  • Canopius appoints Head of Continental Europe for Reinsurance
CoreLogic launches non-weather-related risk solution
Analytics and data solutions provider, CoreLogic has launched what it describes as the industry’s first non-weather-related water and fire risk products, WaterRisk and FireRisk.

Both products measure the frequency of non-weather-related water and fire events and use predictive analytics that look at appliances, systems, wiring, structures, climate and geographical location.

It said the solutions will allow insurers to more accurately quantify the likelihood and severity of damage from water and fire beyond previous methods of qualification.

Currently, across the U.S. non-weather-related water damage accounts for approximately 20% of all homeowner insurance losses nationwide.

CoreLogic said 84% of home structure fires are either intentionally ignited or a result of misused or failed cooking equipment, unattended candles or failures of heating and electrical systems.

Steve Brewer, Executive, Insurance and Spatial Solutions at CoreLogic, said: “With WaterRisk and FireRisk, insurers are now empowered with these previously unaccounted-for quantifiers of risk to more accurately underwrite and price policies commensurate with real risk.”

IUA forms cyber reinsurance group for London Company Market
The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has formed a new group dedicated to addressing the cyber concerns of reinsurers.

The IUA currently has a Cyber Underwriting Group for underwriters offering standalone cyber policies, and it is made up of carriers offering direct cover.

It said the new group has been formed following interest among reinsurers in the activities of the Cyber Underwriting Group.

The IUA said reinsurers have a “slightly different focus” than insurers, and that 14 companies had joined the new group, which held its first meeting on May 22.

They discussed the scope of future discussions, which are expected to cover issues such as cyber war and terrorism, accumulation and aggregation of risk, the provision of cyber cover within traditional classes of business, and natural perils as potential triggers for cyber events.

Chris Jones, IUA director of legal and market services, said: “The rapid growth and fast-changing nature of cyber threats have created many challenges for reinsurers.

“Companies are keen to support the development of dedicated cyber products in the London Market and our new reinsurance group aims to encourage this through discussion of both underwriting and claims issues.”

Internal reinsurance units of Allianz and Aviva as big as leading EU reinsurers: report
The internal reinsurance entities of Allianz and Aviva are similar in scale to the largest reinsurers in the European Union, Insurance ERM has reported.

It attributed this to an analysis by Insurance Risk Data of solvency and financial condition reports (SFCR).

It said that Allianz and Aviva are among the groups to have been driven by Solvency II to set up internal reinsurers or ‘mixers’ to pool risk and take advantage of the diversification benefits that the regulation offers.

It reported that SFCR data from 2017 on income for proportional reinsurance of fire and property damage revealed that Aviva International Insurance Limited bought £1.1 billion ($1.5 billion) and Allianz took €2.7 billion ($3.2 billion).

This ranked them among the top six proportional property reinsurance units in Europe together with Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (€3.7 billion) ($4.3 billion), a unit of Munich Re, Lloyd’s of London (£1.8 billion) ($2.1 billion), SCOR Global P&C SE (€835 million) ($976 million), and Hannover Re (Ireland) DAC ($517 million) ($604 million).

Canopius appoints Head of Continental Europe for Reinsurancer
Canopius has announced the appointment of Stephan Ott as Head for Continental Europe, Reinsurance.

Mr. Ott most recently served as Chief Underwriting Officer for Emirates Re and has held various senior underwriting positions throughout his career, predominantly in Germany and the Middle East.

Jamie Wakeling, Chief Underwriting Officer Reinsurance, said: “Stephan is a highly experienced, analytical and forward-thinking industry professional and we are delighted he is joining the team.

“His proven track record of providing ideas and solutions to insurers and reinsurers and his long-standing client relationships make Stephan the ideal person to drive our business forward in Continental Europe.”

Daily Willis Review | 24 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 24 May 2018
  • Willis Towers Watson releases Q1 InsurTech briefing
  • U.S. commercial P&C to see modest underwriting profit: Fitch Ratings
  • Lloyd’s granted regulatory approval for Brussels subsidiary
  • Neon appoints new Group Underwriting Director
Willis Towers Watson releases Q1 InsurTech briefing
Willis Towers Watson has released its quarterly InsurTech Briefing, in collaboration with CB Insights, which found there were a total of 66 InsurTech investment deals in Q1 2018 marking a new high.

It found that as transaction sizes continued to increase and the line between InsurTech funding by incumbent insurers and reinsurers and traditional venture capital was blurred by newer ‘hybrid’ investment funds.

InsurTech investment volume of $724 million in Q1 was 16% greater than the $624 million recorded in Q4, 2017, and up 155% from Q1 2017.

The briefing found that insurance sector incumbents prefer minority investments in start-ups developing technology which will ease their own commercial pressure points, including distribution costs, claims handling, and underwriting excellence.

In contrast, traditional VC investors tend to focus on InsurTechs which address customer pressure points such as price, ease of access, and underserved markets through innovation.

Rafal Walkiewicz, Chief Executive Officer, Willis Towers Watson Securities, said: “For InsurTech start-ups, the funding scene is more complex, and finding the right investment partner has become more difficult.

“Hybrid models will continue to evolve, and maybe the ultimate answer for InsurTech entrepreneurs looking to balance industry expertise and the traditional VC value-creation mentality.”

Paddy Jago, Global Chairman of Willis Re, said: “The incumbent market has actually been relatively receptive to taking a serious look at the digital innovation that is going on around us, and those driving it.

“Most of us know that to remain relevant, we need to embrace change. I have always believed that we cannot view change and not change ourselves.”

U.S. commercial P&C to see modest underwriting profit: Fitch Ratings
According to a report by Fitch Ratings, U.S. commercial property and casualty (P&C) insurers should anticipate improved performance in 2018 following a turbulent 2017, Reinsurance News has reported.

In 2017, the U.S. P&C commercial lines experienced a weaker underwriting performance, reporting a combined ratio of 104% compared to 99% the year before.

The ratings agency anticipates these results will improve in 2018 after a return toward historical norms for catastrophe losses and pricing improvements.

Should these historical norms return, Fitch Ratings believes that underwriting results are likely to revert towards a modest profit in 2018.

James Auden, Managing Director, said: “Commercial auto insurance remains a chronic problem for underwriters despite numerous rounds of rate increases and underwriting actions.

“Loss severity trends, rising litigation costs, shortages of experienced drivers and continued reserve weakness may limit the potential for underwriting improvement in the near term.”

Lloyd’s granted regulatory approval for Brussels subsidiary
Lloyd’s of London has been granted regulatory approval from the National Bank of Belgium for Lloyd’s Insurance Company, which will be known as Lloyd’s Brussels.

The license provides Lloyd’s Brussels with the ability to write non-life risks from Europe, ensuring that Lloyd’s customers can continue to access the market’s specialist underwriting, the release said.

Vincent Vandendael has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lloyd’s Brussels, in addition to his current role as Lloyd’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Inga Beale, Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since the UK referendum on European Union membership Lloyd’s has been working hard to ensure that whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations our partners across the European Economic Area will continue to enjoy access to Lloyd’s unique offering.”

Neon appoints new Group Underwriting Director
Neon has announced the appointment of Theo Butt to the newly-created role of Group Underwriting Director.

Mr. Butt joins Neon from Ascot Underwriting, where he most recently served as Head of Non-Marine within their executive underwriting team.

He will begin his new role in September 2018 and reports directly to Martin Reith, Group Chief Executive.

Mr. Reith said: “I am delighted to welcome Theo to Neon. I know him well having worked with him for a number of years and he has developed an exceptional reputation in the market.”

Mr. Butt said: “I am thrilled to be joining Neon. The business is well positioned for further growth across a number of initiatives.”

Daily Willis Review | 23 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 23 May 2018
  • European insurers face challenges in GDPR implementation: A.M. Best
  • Swiss Re enters global licence deal with CMS
  • KBW reports mixed outlook for the P&C sector
  • Ascot acquires Greyhawk Insurance Company
European insurers face challenges in GDPR implementation: A.M. Best
A.M. Best has found that operational and legal complexities, as well as the tight reporting window for breach notification, are the main challenges that insurers and reinsurers face in complying with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The ratings agency’s findings are based on discussions with rated companies to determine their level of preparedness and the impact of GDPR on their enterprise risk management function.

One of the key findings from the report is that the new regulation has urged the insurance and reinsurance industry to undertake a comprehensive data mapping exercise.

Alvise Argenton, Senior Financial Analyst, said: “A.M. Best has been closely monitoring the process of alignment to GDPR among its rated companies as part of their ERM assessment, with a particular focus on associated operational, regulatory and reputational risks.”

Swiss Re enters global licence deal with CMS
Swiss Re has secured a global licence from Collision Management Systems (CMS) which allows it to embed CMS’s software into its telematics-based reinsurance proposition.

CMS said the deal provides Swiss Re with the ability to process vehicle data from any telematics system and deliver a reliable crash alert to its insurance clients, without the large volume of false alerts.

Charles Smith, Chief Executive Officer, CMS, said: “The crash filtering and data aggregation software licence taken by Swiss Re demonstrates the value and reach of our solution.

“We are proud that an established and well-regarded organisation such as Swiss Re is embedding us into the unique proposition being offered to their global customer base.”

Sebastiaan Bongers, Swiss Re’s Head of Products and Technology, said: “We noticed that insurers across the globe are interested in telematics as a means to turn around the recent trend of increasing number of motor claims.

“However, costs, lack of customer appeal, and doubts as to whether telematics factors are a good proxy for risk have hindered insurers seriously entering the market with telematics products.”

KBW reports mixed outlook for the P&C sector
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) has placed a mixed outlook on the property and casualty (P&C) sector for 2018, following the update of its 2018 P&C industry earning model, Reinsurance News has reported.

Factoring in the recent Q4 2017 results from Verisks’s ISO, KBW found that the mixed results were likely to drive mid-single-digit industry return on equity.

KBW found that the industry experienced its highest net written premium growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2003, with rates up 6.3% year-on-year.

Analysts also expect the industry’s combined ratio to stabilize but warn that underwriting margin compression could be exacerbated if inflation levels increase beyond expectations or if there is heightened regulatory pressure to adjust rates.

According to the report, KBW believes that operating income over 2018 and 2019 should benefit from the recently introduced U.S. tax bill, while rising core loss ratios will stabilize later in the year as reserve releases shrink.

Ascot acquires Greyhawk Insurance Company
Through its subsidiary Ascot U.S. Holding Corporation, Ascot Group has acquired Greyhawk Insurance Company and its subsidiary Greyhawk Specialty Insurance Company, Intelligent Insurer has reported.

Greyhawk Insurance Company, which has been in run-off since 2006, is a Colorado domiciled admitted lines insurer.

Greyhawk Specialty, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greyhawk Insurance Company, is a dormant Rhode Island domiciled excess and surplus lines insurer.

According to the report, Ascot said that the acquisition of the Greyhawk companies will help to expand the Ascot U.S platform and provide increased access to the U.S. insurance markets.

The acquisition is subject to receiving the relevant regulatory approvals.

Daily Willis Review | 22 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 22 May 2018
  • Africa Re reports growth in gross written premium for Q1 2018
  • U.S. cyber insurance market experiencing “significant growth”: A.M. Best
  • Castel Specialty launches political risk business
  • XL Catlin strengthens U.S war, terrorism and political violence team
Africa Re reports growth in gross written premium for Q1 2018
Africa Reinsurance Corporation has reported a 26.31% growth in its gross written premiums for the first quarter of 2018 from $167.13 million in March 2017 to $211.1 million in 2018.

The company said that the increase reflected a “successful” January 1 renewals combined with the “slight hardening” in the South African reinsurance market.

However, following adverse claims with several large catastrophe losses, Africa Re reported an almost break-even underwriting result, the release said.

Investment income decreased to $3.34 million in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $13.97 million for the same period in 2017.

Corneille Karekezi, General Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Corporation continues to show resilience even after the major losses recorded in 2017 and impacting 2018.

“The performance is in line with our forecast of a positive underwriting result year-end.”

U.S. cyber insurance market experiencing “significant growth”: A.M. Best
The U.S. cyber insurance market experienced “significant growth” in 2017, but take-up is still low, particularly among small to medium-sized enterprises, A.M. Best has reported.

In 2017, the U.S cyber premiums rose by nearly 32% year over year to $1.8 billion, and policies in force jumped 24% to $2.6 million.

The report said that the low take-up rate for cyber policies in small to medium-sized companies presents insurers with a meaningful growth opportunity.

The ratings agency also found that in 2017 cyber packaged policies in force increased 28% for the U.S. property and casualty industry, partly due to the addition of affirmative cyber coverage in commercial policies.

While systematic events remain a serious threat for cyber insurers, A.M. Best believes that underpricing from new market entrants also should remain a concern.

Bobby Skrabal, A.M. Best Industry Analyst, said: “At this point, underwriting and pricing are driven more by market forces than by loss experience and models.”

“As insurers develop more experience they’ll improve their pricing models, but due to the constantly changing nature of cyber threats, pricing will most likely continue to rely on the judgment of underwriters.”

Castel Specialty launches political risk business
Castel Specialty, a division of club-style MGA formation platform Castel Underwriting Agencies, has announced the launch of Castel Political Risk.

Castel Political Risk will initially underwrite contract frustration and political risk coverages, with a focus on business in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

The business will be led by Tom White, who previously served as Senior Underwriter at ANV, now AMTrust, where he had a role in establishing the political risk book.

Mark Birrell, Chief Executive of Castel, said: “Tom has both broking and underwriting expertise in this niche class.

“This experience, combined with our dedicated infrastructure support, will enable him to access the specialist brokers and markets required to build a strong-performing book of business.”

XL Catlin strengthens U.S war, terrorism and political violence team
XL Catlin has announced the promotion of Lindsey Nieves and the appointment of Jason Gardenhire to its regional U.S. war, terrorism and political violence insurance team.

Ms. Nieves assumes the role of Assistant Vice-President, Underwriting Manager for the South and Central zone in Atlanta.

She first joined XL Catlin in 2014 having previously served as a risk management specialist at American International Group.

Mr. Gardenhire has been appointed as an Underwriter in Dallas, where he will be responsible for leading the terrorism and political violence underwriting activities and manage broker relationships.

Ben Tucker, Head of XL Catlin’s U.S. War, Terrorism & Political Violence, said: “Recent events continue to drive interest in terrorism insurance and even more specialized coverage like our Active Assailant insurance coverage.”

Daily Willis Review | 17 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 17 May 2018
  • Buyers’ market for cyber re/insurance: Fitch
  • $50 million Tangency Capital reinsurance hedge fund launched
  • U.S. sanctions unlikely to affect Iranian reinsurance deals: report
  • MGA and marine group form reinsurance venture in Africa
Buyers’ market for cyber re/insurance: Fitch
According to Fitch Ratings, cyber insurers and reinsurers are facing fierce competition and a buyers’ market following the profitable results in the growing cyber market, Reinsurance News has reported.

The ratings agency found that the increasing high-profile cyber attacks and regulatory requirements have made the cyber sector a significant growth opportunity for U.S property & casualty insurers and reinsurers.

However, as cyber profitability increases the premium renewal rates are expected to remain flat to down, the report said.

Fitch stated that underwriting results will suffer as exposure grows, and pricing movements will be affected as more capacity is attracted to the market.

James Auden, Managing Director at Fitch Ratings, said: “Profitable results in a new market are attracting competition to the cyber space.

“Roughly 75 distinct insurers wrote over $1 million each of annual cyber premiums last year alone.”

$50 million Tangency Capital reinsurance hedge fund launched
Hedge fund Tangency Capital has been launched with $50 million of assets under management to invest in the reinsurance market ahead of the upcoming hurricane season, the Reuters news agency has reported.

The report said Tangency Capital, which has offices in London and Bermuda, will invest in non-life reinsurance risks.

Reuters reported that hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria resulted in record insurance losses, but also further capital raising in expectation of investor demand because of higher rates at renewals in June and July.

The report quoted industry tracker Preqin as saying that despite the capital raising, only one insurance-linked fund has launched in 2018 out of a market of 82 funds.

Tangency Capital was founded by Dominik Hagedorn, Michael Jedraszak and Kai Morgenstern.

U.S. sanctions unlikely to affect Iranian reinsurance deals: report
Iranian reinsurance deals with foreign counterparts are not likely to be revoked when U.S. sanctions are in place, according to the Chief Executive of the Iranian Reinsurance Company.

“Not many deals were signed with foreign counterparts during the past two-and-a-half years and the number of deals that were signed are not so high that foreign companies would want to cancel them,” Seyyed Mohammad Asoudeh told the Financial Tribune Iranian/English news website.

The report said that when U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from an international nuclear deal with Iran he cast doubt over the country’s new reinsurance deals with foreign counterparts as well as its ties to other countries.

MGA and marine group form reinsurance venture in Africa
Managing general agency (MGA) FourteenZeroFive and the marine group 24Vision.Solutions have launched a venture to help the take up of reinsurance for energy and engineering placements across Africa, Intelligent Insurer has reported.

It said 24Vision.Solutions specializes in solutions for marine operations and that FourteenZeroFive focuses on energy and engineering reinsurance while investing in Africa.

Under the agreement, 24Vision will make its corporate platform available to FourteenZeroFive, with the aim of ensuring there is transparency to the reinsurance market accepting energy and engineering placements.

“By forming this partnership, we can guarantee to our clients a digital platform that will facilitate the way construction and operational risks are underwritten and managed in Africa while reducing claims frequency and severity together with associated costs,” said Attilio Tornetta, Managing Director of FourteenZeroFive.

“As well, our reinsurers will experience a transparent and linear way of managing risks accepted on their behalf, having a live control on underwriting discipline and performances.”

Daily Willis Review | 16 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 16 May 2018
  • Willis Towers Watson first global insurance broker to get full licence in China
  • Zurich finalizes $2.7 billion intermediated longevity swap deal with National Grid
  • XL Catlin launches solution for autonomous technology
  • Hamilton Re appoints Carol Redahan as Controller
Willis Towers Watson first global insurance broker to get full licence in China
Willis Towers Watson has announced that China’s Banking Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has approved Willis Insurance Brokers to be the first fully licensed foreign broker to transact all insurance business in China.

It said this follows President Xi Jinping’s announcement early last month of a series of major financial liberalization initiatives aimed at opening up the Chinese market to foreign operators.

Scott Burnett, Head of Asia at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Willis Towers Watson was one of the first foreign insurance brokers to enter the Chinese market, with a presence dating back to 1994.

“This latest announcement speaks to the long-term commitment of our company to China and the recognition of our reputation and relationships not only in China but across the globe. The expanded license represents a significant vote of confidence by the CBIRC in Willis Towers Watson, our capabilities and our expertise.”

Wise Xu, Head of Willis Insurance Brokers China, said: “We have a strong branch network in China, extensive relationships with carriers and a global placement capability.

“Combined with our global knowledge and experience, the extended license to operate in China enables us to further grow our business with existing and new clients and opens up many new potential opportunities over time.”

Smilla Yuan, Chief Executive Officer of Willis Towers Watson Greater China, added: “Willis Towers Watson is actively exploring and assisting Chinese insurance companies in product innovation and development.

“With forward looking perspectives and innovative experiences, the extension of our license enables us to provide our Chinese clients with enhanced analytical and risk management capabilities.”

Zurich finalizes $2.7 billion intermediated longevity swap deal with National Grid
Zurich has announced the completion of an intermediated longevity swap covering more than £2 billion ($2.7 billion) of pensioner liabilities of the National Grid Electricity Group.

The transaction will protect National Grid against the risk of rising costs for around 6,000 pensioners and future dependent members living longer than expected.

Zurich said it has reinsured a significant proportion of the longevity risk with Canada Life Reinsurance.

Greg Wenzerul, Zurich’s Head of Longevity Risk Transfer, said: “This is our first bespoke intermediated longevity swap and by far our largest deal to date.

“I’m delighted that our solution fitted the National Grid Electricity Group Trustee’s requirements.”

Andrew Bonfield, Finance Director, National Grid, said: “We are very pleased to announce the completion of this longevity insurance which covers around two-thirds of the liabilities of the National Grid Electricity Group pension liabilities.”

XL Catlin launches solution for autonomous technology
XL Catlin has announced that it has created an insurance solution to support the design, development, testing and implementation of autonomous technology.

It said the solution will cover all sectors of the industry, and is made bespoke to the client’s need.

To support the new offering, XL Catlin has launched a multi-disciplinary Global Autonomy Center of Excellence.

The center will have a team of experts who will be able to provide guidance and support to XL Catlin’s underwriters, brokers and clients globally.

Mike McGavick, Chief Executive Officer of XL Catlin, said: “Autonomous technologies are changing the world around us, the way companies operate and the risks they face.

“We recognize the new and complex risks that are emerging and, as underwriters, we know we have the expertise to develop and deliver the right insurance solutions.”

Hamilton Re appoints Carol Redahan as Controller
Bermuda-based reinsurer Hamilton Re has appointed Carol Redahan as Senior Vice-President, Controller.

She has more than 20 years of industry experience and joins the company from Equator Reinsurances, where she was Controller.

She holds a Chartered Accounting designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and she will report to Hamilton Re Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hardy Pickering.

Hamilton Re Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Reardon said Ms Redahan “adds an important skill set to our Finance team whose scope of responsibilities have expanded significantly as our company has grown.

“In addition, she will be a valuable asset to Vanessa who will now be able to concentrate on the more strategic aspects of her position as CFO.”

Daily Willis Review | 15 May 2018

Daily Willis Review | 15 May 2018
  • Munich Re establishes Bermuda life reinsurance entity
  • Arch appoints Executive VP and CFO
  • DARAG completes first transaction with New Nordic
  • Munich Re America appoints team leader for credit surety and political risk
Munich Re establishes Bermuda life reinsurance entity
Munich Re has established an entity in Bermuda which will act as a reinsurance vehicle for part of the group’s life reinsurance risk, Reinsurance News has reported.

The new entity, named Munich Re of Bermuda, will take on life risks from across the group and will act as an internal consolidator of life risks and retrocessionaire to other entities within the group.

Previously the company was named Princeton Eagle West Insurance Company Limited and was authorized to underwrite run-off property and casualty re/insurance risks.

Munich Re will provide the new entity with an excess of retention and excess of loss reinsurance treaty to protect its portfolio, as well as explicit support thanks to a capital contribution of $330 million, the report said.

Munich Re of Bermuda has also received a Class C approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority, meaning it can act as an authorized reinsurer of the Munich Re group for certain life risks.

Arch appoints Executive VP and CFO
Arch Capital Group has announced the appointment of François Morin as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, effective May 25, 2018.

Mr. Morin succeeds current CFO Mark Lyons, who is leaving Arch to become Senior VP and Chief Actuary, General Insurance at American International Group.

Mr. Morin first joined Arch in 2011 and currently serves as SVP, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Actuary.

He brings with him almost 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry and will report to Marc Grandisson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arch.

Mr. Grandisson said: “Anyone who has followed our company knows one of Arch’s strengths is its deep pool of talent.

“François’ extensive experience leading Arch’s actuarial and enterprise risk management practices gives him valuable perspective into all financial and capital aspects of our Company.”

DARAG completes first transaction with New Nordic
Legacy acquirer DARAG has completed its first transaction with New Nordic Advisors, following its recent strategic partnership.

As part of the transaction, DARAG and New Nordic will acquire two portfolios of Qudos Insurance, which was first acquired by New Nordic in 2017 through a join cell structure.

According to the release, this is the first in a series of joint cell transactions which will see DARAG and New Nordic combine forces to deliver a holistic solution to clients.

Nicolai Borcher Hansen, New Nordic Chief Executive Officer, said: “The team at New Nordic Advisors is delighted to have negotiated, on behalf of Qudos Insurance, the first in a series of portfolio transfer agreements with DARAG, signifying the deepening of the strategic relationship between our firms.”

Stuart Davies, Executive Chairman of DARAG, said: “As DARAG has continued to grow, we have remained true to our client focused approach of delivering bespoke solutions that enable them to concentrate on their core business.”

Munich Re America appoints team leader for credit surety and political risk
Munich Re America has announced the appointment of Sarina Puccio as Team Leader for Credit, Surety and Political Risk for the reinsurance division.

In her new role, Ms. Puccio will be responsible for managing and growing the surety, trade credit and political risk business portfolio.

She succeeds Frank Bonner who will retire after 40 years with Munich Re America.

Ms. Puccio first joined the company in 2017 as Vice-President and Production Underwriter for the credit, surety and political risk business.

Steve Levy, Chief Executive Officer and President for the Reinsurance Division, said: “Having spent her entire career in the field of surety and credit insurance, Sarina brings deep industry expertise to her new role.”