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Laurence

Major insurer strikes Eurotunnel deal

“We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Eurotunnel, and we are looking forward to helping them to strengthen their product offering and the value that is added during the customer journey,” said AXA Partners UK & Ireland sales director Jason Wale. 

“With a customer-first ethos, AXA Partners prioritises the provision of quality products and exceptional customer service, and we are pleased that Eurotunnel share this mutual ambition. Our aligned values put us in a great position to help Eurotunnel grow throughout our new, long-term partnership and provide the best assistance possible to customers, when they need it.”

Under the tie-up, AXA Partners will also be identifying other areas of further collaboration, aside from enhancing existing offerings.

Commenting on the partnership, Eurotunnel chief commercial officer Deborah Merrens stated: “As a trusted and well-known insurer, we are pleased to be working in partnership with AXA Partners to provide travel insurance to our customers.

“Eurotunnel prides itself in offering the best travel experience possible. Therefore, it’s important that we are able to provide added value through the peace of mind of quality insurance, and AXA Partners was able to deliver this. We very much look forward to working together in assisting our customers with this new travel proposition.”     

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IGI to amend financial statements

IGI to amend financial statements

International General Insurance Holdings (IGI) is restating its financial statements in response to a statement issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with respect to the accounting treatment for warrant instruments issued by special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).

According to the specialist commercial (re)insurer, to be amended are IGI’s consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020, as well as previously published quarterly financial results for 2020 and 2021.

“IGI has 12.75 million public warrants and 4.5 million private warrants outstanding,” noted the company. “No warrants have been exercised or redeemed since originally issued.

“The impact of the restatement on the consolidated financial statements will be a decrease to net income of US$4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, an increase in total liabilities of US$13.6 million as of December 31, 2020, and a corresponding decrease to total equity of US$13.6 million as of December 31, 2020.”

It’s been determined that the warrants should have been recorded at fair value as liabilities and not as equity. To reflect the restatement, IGI intends to file an amended annual report as soon as practicable. It was highlighted, however, that the restatement had no impact on IGI’s liquidity, cash or cash equivalents, or cash flows from operating, investing, and financing activities.

“IGI is one of several hundred US public companies to restate or revise their financial statements as a result of the SEC’s staff statement on warrant accounting for SPACs,” said IGI chair and chief executive Wasef Jabsheh.

“This restatement does not impact the financial strength of IGI. We do not anticipate the restatement to impact our previously communicated core operating income and core operating earnings per share. We continue to remain confident in the positive momentum IGI has achieved since we became a public company in 2020.”

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FCA releases BI test case insurer claims update

FCA releases BI test case insurer claims update

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its October update on the claims data from insurers affected by the ruling in the business interruption (BI) test case in the UK.

According to the FCA, there are still 4,403 claims being settled, for which an aggregate value of £329,368,933 in interim or initial payments have been made. Final settlements, meanwhile, have been agreed and paid in 24,463 claims, to the tune of £766,598,035.

Broken down, here are the claims numbers per insurer:

Firm name

Number of BI claims for COVID-19 related loss that have been accepted

Number of BI claims where the insurer’s claim validity decision is pending

Number of BI claims where an initial or interim payment has been made

Number of BI claims where full payment has been made

Accredited Insurance (Europe) Ltd

12

79

3

3

Ageas Insurance Limited

34

41

4

34

Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance UK Limited

12

0

0

2

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE

6

0

1

5

Allianz Insurance plc

2314

19

181

1977

Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd

1242

56

1

889

Argenta Syndicate Management Limited

1095

58

32

1035

ArgoGlobal SE

341

0

24

77

Aspen Insurance UK Limited

6

6

0

0

Asta Managing Agency Ltd

13

12

0

13

Aviva Insurance Limited

1880

193

123

1180

AXA Insurance UK plc

3131

90

511

1567

AXIS Managing Agency Limited

3349

257

73

2837

AXIS Specialty Europe SE

455

108

6

372

Beazley Furlonge Limited

79

0

2

73

Brit Syndicate Limited

31

0

0

16

Canopius Managing Agents Limited

1371

15

447

538

Catlin Underwriting Agencies Ltd

55

45

7

30

China Taiping Insurance (UK) Co Limited

266

81

8

106

Chubb European Group SE

65

0

9

19

Covea Insurance plc

2778

113

42

2605

Coverys Managing Agency Ltd

426

86

58

354

Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc

37

0

6

15

ERGO Versicherung Aktiengesellschaft

230

189

2

214

Fairmead Insurance Limited

946

3

0

932

Faraday Underwriting Limited

51

7

3

35

Great Lakes Insurance SE

10

10

2

10

HCC International Insurance Company Plc

5

9

0

1

HDI Global SE

102

40

0

11

HDI Global Specialty SE

685

316

342

85

Hiscox Insurance Company Ltd

9963

2215

1790

3363

Hiscox Syndicates Ltd

76

32

1

73

Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE

61

0

0

57

Markel International Insurance Company Limited

856

107

65

688

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company (Europe) Ltd

0

1

0

0

MS Amlin Insurance SE

596

0

18

182

MS Amlin Underwriting Limited

3043

0

232

1418

Navigators Underwriting Agency Limited

0

0

0

0

Probitas Managing Agency Limited

0

5

0

0

QBE Europe SA/NV (UK Branch)

54

0

0

3

QBE UK Limited

2375

0

103

1123

QIC Europe Limited

546

0

54

293

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd

2011

58

170

1371

Swiss Re International SE – UK Branch

0

6

0

0

The Channel Managing Agency Limited

7

12

0

8

The New India Assurance Company Limited

905

251

41

421

Travelers Syndicate Management Limited

5

6

0

0

XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited

533

36

10

383

XL Insurance Company SE

74

1

1

28

Zurich Insurance

102

52

34

20

“Any BI policyholders who believe they may have a claim but have not yet submitted this to their insurer should do so as soon as possible in accordance with the policy document,” added the regulator.

“Policyholders may also find it useful to refer to our policy checker and our guidance and statements for policyholders for more information.”

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Broadway Insurance Brokers strengthens team with key appointment

Broadway Insurance Brokers strengthens team with key appointment

Broadway Insurance Brokers may still be a relatively new entrant to the UK insurance broking market, but it is continuing to strengthen its operations, an emphasis cemented by its latest senior appointment – Martin Lilley (pictured), who has joined the team as director of corporate services,

During his 25-year career, Lilley has advised some of Britain’s biggest brands in retail, sport and logistics. He is a fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII) and has spent the last decade working in senior positions with Marsh and Aon. Broadway’s chief executive Daniel Lloyd-John noted that Lilley’s recruitment is in keeping with the firm’s commitment to only hiring insurance professionals capable of enhancing the service provided to its roster of business and private clients.

“Martin is genuinely acknowledged as one of the most experienced and capable individuals when it comes to advising both major corporate brands and emerging enterprises on their insurance needs,” he said. “To be able to attract someone of his calibre is not just tremendously exciting news for Broadway and its clients but testament to the progress which we’ve been able to make in such a relatively short space of time.”

Lilley adds further credibility to Broadway’s corporate offering, Lloyd-John said, which has already seen it become the advisor of choice for several prominent North-West companies. He noted that the senior team assembled at Broadway has made great strides since its inception and that the firm will be announcing further hires in the coming months to evolve the level of support it can offer clients.

“It is that emphasis on providing a very tailored service of the highest possible quality which has quickly enabled us to appeal to a broad range of private and corporate clients across the North West,” he continued.

Last month, Broadway revealed it has arranged cover for more than half a billion pounds worth of assets on behalf of corporate and private clients across the North West during its first year. Lloyd-John highlighted that the broker’s existing corporate clients feature businesses involved in a wide variety of sectors, including logistics, engineering, manufacturing, construction and property – with a “significant” number turning over in excess of £250 million.

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Lockton unveils emerging asset protection team

The team is headed by Sarah Downey, who joined Lockton in April to lead the LEAP team and executive risk claims. She is one of the nation’s top D&O, digital asset and executive risk claims and coverage experts, Lockton said.

“In addition to being core for digital asset-centric companies, digital assets are playing an increasingly prominent role in more traditional businesses, and there is a growing need for insurance in this space,” Downey said. “The digital asset ecosystem has grown significantly in recent years, creating an even more dire need for insurance in this space.”

The LEAP team works with clients on the most crucial risk concerns in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors, including crime insurance, specie insurance, directors and officers liability, errors and omissions insurance, and cyber insurance. The team tailors coverage and creates new products and new insurance capacity with support from across the organisation, including capital markets, reinsurance, captives and surety.

“The LEAP team is aligned with Lockton’s mission to deliver high-level consultative and risk management services to the marketplace,” said Carl Moore, partner, Global Professional and Financial Risks.

“We are intently focused on working alongside organisations as they navigate the insurance space,” said Rob Russell, regional director of Lockton’s Global Professional and Financial Risks practice in Asia. “Our goal is to help them ultimately promote the growth and continued development of their business.”

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Senior leaders on the key barriers to creating more inclusive workplace cultures

During a panel discussion on ethnic diversity chaired by Maxine Goddard (pictured), senior vice president, strategic distribution & development at Sompo International, insurance professionals lent their insights into how employers can overcome the challenges preventing the creation of more inclusive workplace cultures. Exploring some of these concerns, Goddard noted that recruitment bias is a significant concern within the industry.

“Recruiters will tell us that they’re just the messenger,” she said. “The recruitment companies will say it’s the hiring managers who do the screening. So, we need to be honest with ourselves – what’s going on in our own organisations? Where’s the blockage? Where’s the barrier? Bullying [is another issue], under many circumstances it’s not microaggressions, it’s full-on aggression happening. And it’s not just related to race, of course. But in terms of allyship, it shows why speaking out and really taking a stand is so important.”

Goddard highlighted that inclusion remains a real concern for the insurance sector. People need to treat each other better, she said, and while there’s been a lot of discussion around kindness within the profession, particularly in the last 12-to-18 months, this needs to translate further.

Read more: Sompo International onboards Zurich veteran Maxine Goddard

Reverse mentoring is something that a lot of organisations rely on to promote inclusivity, she said, as sometimes it is the only way that C-Suite executives get a chance to interact with a more diverse range of people. However, it should be recognised that it can be quite draining for an individual to have to instruct their leader on things that should really be in the remit of that leader’s self-education.

Adding his thoughts to the discussion, David Otudeko, assistant director, head of prudential regulation at the ABI said he believes that the financial services profession can become too focused on the easy elements of tough inclusivity conversations. It’s easy to look at the things that companies are doing well, he said, and at where inroads are being made on topics such as gender balance or race but that runs the risk of bypassing more difficult to measure topics such as cognitive diversity.

Read more: Where’s the insurance industry at in terms of female representation at the top?

“And that’s where the rubber hits the road in terms of the benefit a business is going to get from diversity,” he said. “Because you want people to think differently, you want people to bring different perspectives to the debate. We talk about diversity and inclusion [being] a spectrum, with diversity at one end and inclusion at the other but we don’t talk about equity in the middle. You have a lot of programmes called D&I programmes but how do you get from having a diverse business to an inclusive business? You need to consider how you break down those barriers that prevent inclusion and that’s where equity comes in.”

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is so important, he said, and when it comes to examining the need for DEI, as finance people it can be very tempting just to focus on the numbers involved. And the statistics on the business case for having a truly diverse workforce reveal how this leads to increases in the bottom line, which in turn can catch the attention of a CFO or finance director. But Otudeko highlighted that these conversations have to go beyond diversity being the financially beneficial thing to do, to recognise that it is also the right thing to do.

The reality is that nobody is really an expert on the subject of DEI, he said, and the only way to actually tackle these issues is by people being honest about that. Businesses and individuals can talk as much as they want about the things they do well but nobody knows everything and instigating real changes means getting everybody together to pool their knowledge and resources.

As an example, Otudeko said, look to the move of the financial services industry to address what can be done to mitigate the financial risk of climate change. When it came to finding solutions for the most difficult parts of that challenge, financial services companies, supported by their regulators, set up the Climate Financial Risk Forum to allow for knowledge exchange and the sharing of new ideas.

“I don’t think it’s overstating to say that we should probably do the same for diversity and inclusion,” he said. “Because everyone has a good idea and everyone has something that works. And the only way we can basically bring this to where we want to get to is by getting our heads together and sharing exactly what works well in each organisation, and then tailoring it to our demographic.

“So there’s a lot of frustration… I’m happy that the industry is clearly making progress, I’m happy we’ve started having the conversation but I feel there are a lot of nuances we’re missing and that is probably because those are the bits we’re not doing very well.”

If you are interested in further exploring the nuances around diversity, equity and inclusion, you can sign up for the upcoming Women in Insurance Conference here.

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SiriusPoint welcomes reinsurance veteran to newly created role

SiriusPoint welcomes reinsurance veteran to newly created role

SiriusPoint has announced that reinsurance industry veteran Bobby Heerasing (pictured above) has been appointed as head of international strategic business development, a newly created role.

Based in Singapore, Heerasing will be responsible for the strategy and development of SiriusPoint International’s growth objectives and management of strategic partnerships with key industry partners and clients, focusing first on the Asia-Pacific region, the company said. He will report to Monica Cramér Manhem, SiriusPoint’s president for international reinsurance.

“We are delighted to welcome Bobby to SiriusPoint and to attract a candidate of his calibre,” Cramér Manhem said. “As a driven and creative executive, he brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the international reinsurance world, particularly in Asia. He has a first-class reputation in building successful and profitable underwriting platforms. This appointment further strengthens our focus on value creation and continued commitment to cultivating relationships with our partners.”

Heerasing, who has more than 25 years’ industry experience, joined from Asia Capital Re (ACR) Holdings, where he served as group CEO and board member. Before his three-year stint with ACR, he spent 19 years working in the property treaty and casualty treaty reinsurance market at XL Catlin, serving as underwriting and distribution director, insurance, and prior to that as chief underwriting office, Asia-Pacific. He began his insurance career in 1995 at Royal Sun & Alliance as a senior underwriting assistant for marine. 

“Bobby is a catalyst for growing SiriusPoint’s footprint and reputation in the international reinsurance market, and is an excellent addition to the senior team,” said Sid Sankaran, chief executive officer and chairman of SiriusPoint. “SiriusPoint’s international platform is a key strength and differentiator for us. With our existing talent, relationships and commitment to delivering for our clients, combined with Bobby’s commercial perspective and impressive track record of success, I am enormously excited about what we can achieve.”

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Arch Insurance International reveals new CRO

Arch Insurance International reveals new CRO

Arch Insurance International (Arch) has appointed Tom Rivers as its new chief risk officer (CRO), effective immediately.

Rivers has been in the insurance sector for more than 20 years, with extensive enterprise risk management and regulatory experience in corporate actuarial and risk management roles.

Before joining Arch, he was CRO at AXIS Managing Agency for nearly five years. Before that, he was CRO at Novae Group and held senior actuarial roles at PwC.

Hugh Sturgess, chief executive officer of Arch Insurance International, highlighted Rivers’ reputation as a “highly respected authority on risk management.”

“His extensive experience in embedding robust risk cultures and using a holistic view of the landscape to guide strategic-level risk decisions is a welcome addition to our senior management team,” Sturgess said. “I look forward to working with him to support the delivery of the business’s long-term needs and ambitions.”

Arch has continued to grow this year despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors.

Aside from Rivers, Silvia Martinez also recently joined the global insurer as a general counsel. She has 10 years of legal experience in private practice and in-house roles, with extensive corporate governance knowledge and expertise overseeing complex corporate and capital market transactions.

In her new role, Martinez will be based in London and report to Kirsten Valder, the chief administrative officer at Arch Insurance International.

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Resolution Life picks group CFO

Resolution Life picks group CFO

Global insurance group Resolution Life – which has operations in Bermuda, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand – has hired Simon Woods as group chief financial officer.

A PwC, HSBC, and UBS alumnus, Woods was insurance financing head at Goldman Sachs’ investment banking division in London before his move to EY in Zürich where he led client services for complex strategic change and was responsible for a range of senior client relationships across insurance.

“Simon’s experience positions him to play an instrumental role at Resolution Life as we continue to grow through M&A (mergers and acquisitions),” said Resolution Life executive chair Sir Clive Cowdery.

“He already knows the business well, and I look forward to working with him as the group helps even more global insurers to release capital by providing a safe long-term home for policyholders.”

Reporting to Cowdery, Woods will join the executive committee and will be in charge of the financial leadership of Resolution Life, including accounting, controlling, tax, investments, capital raising and deployment, debt strategy and management, and treasury services.

Commenting on his appointment, the incoming group CFO stated: “I am delighted to join Resolution at a hugely exciting time for the company and the industry, and to help drive continued growth.

“The industry and societal need for long-term secure solutions for in-force policies has never been greater, and Resolution is uniquely positioned to deploy capital globally, and to provide full-service solutions across investments, biometric risk, and operations.” 

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Delegated authority and the European market

“With the soft market through most the early 2010s through to 2018, it was an opportunity for most people to keep their powder dry and not look to do anything too dramatic in most instances,” he said. “And then since the Decile-10 project and the turn in the market over the last couple of years, people are now seeing their chance to step out of their comfort zone and do something a little bit more entrepreneurial or a little bit more challenging. And some of that flows over into the delegated authority (DA) market, which is great.”

Brexit presented an especially interesting challenge to the sector, he said, as in the lead up to its implementation, there was a lot of thought given to how to access the EU market going forward. The bigger players sorted out their options early on and largely tended to set up their own entities within Europe to handle the transition. DA Strategy opted for this approach, setting up DA Strategy Global in Hamburg to aid MGAs who wanted to have a route to market without setting up a separate entity.

“That offers MGAs, particularly those based in London and elsewhere around the UK, an opportunity to second underwriters into DA Strategy Global so that they then are in an organisation that has an EU licence and passporting throughout the EU and can then underwrite that business, through DA Strategy Global. So what we offer is an economy of scale offering for those MGAs.”

Currently, DA Strategy has got a handful of clients, but adding further clients to this offering will enable the business to add sufficient scale to this model, allowing it to deliver a package offering to clients going forward.

It has been a fascinating mix of businesses that are interested in the facility offered by DA Strategy Global, Rowley said. Generally speaking, they have tended to be smaller businesses who, when they initially considered the implications of Brexit, likely did not consider themselves ready to go into Europe due to their smaller scale or limited business there. At that time, they did not see the business case for setting up a Brexit solution, he said, but they have since reached the scale where this has become necessary.

Read more: MGAs – what are their biggest challenges and opportunities?

“[For many], it’s now too late to set up their own entity in an easy way so they’re opting to use the DA Strategy model to have access,” he said. “So, typically that’s the smaller size firms. We’ve had [several businesses] come to us – we’ve had one come to us that is brand new and we had another that approached us very recently where they have had a new team come on board that they didn’t have last year which wants to write a significant proportion of EU business and they need a solution. So they’ve seen the opportunity to go into Europe, and now want to access it.”

This is an example of the range of businesses looking to access Brexit-friendly solutions, he said, a range that goes from new businesses, small existing firms who didn’t have the opportunity two years ago and existing firms who have taken on new teams that want to access that portfolio. For some of these businesses, there has been an element of waiting for the furore surrounding Brexit to die down before they elected to choose a solution. But the other aspect, he said, has been the capacities appetite to enter Europe. A lot of capacity providers were hesitant about going into Europe through an entity that they weren’t sure was going to be there for the long term.

They were thinking ‘let’s just hold back’, he said, but now that those capacity providers and other market players are getting back into the City to trade, there’s more of a relaxed attitude. Now carriers are opting to help firms who are looking to add a section to write European business, which is part of the reason why MGAs are now opening that door.

Going forward, Rowley does foresee continued interest in market players looking to enter the European market, particularly because a lot of the UK carriers are building a lot of their portfolios in that open market, direct business.

“So I think that though the DA business and the DA market, instead of growing as it has done over the last two decades, was pretty flat in 2020 and the first half of 2021, it’s now starting to pick up again,” he said. “And I think that activity should flow through into the demand for European access.”

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