Howden Re and Tiger Risk create 'largest MGA'; Aston Lark Ireland makes another purchase; Gallagher appoints claims director

For the record

For the record: Post wraps up the major insurance deals, launches, investments and strategic moves of the week.

From Post this week

Analysis: Reinsurance in a critical period after showing signs of resurgence

July cyber-attack causes backlog for Davies

Jensten Group not focussed on larger rivals as it targets ‘clarity’ for brokers

Intelligence: The fallout from Russia without love

Sirius Point appoints former RSA boss Scott Egan as CEO


From people this week

Blog: Cracking the class ceiling

Q&A: Lara Pedley, ISC Group


Pick of the Week


Howden Re and Tiger Risk to create ‘largest global MGA business’

Date announced: 6 September

Deal value: Undisclosed

Howden Re and Tiger Risk Partners have formed Howden Tiger Sab Re, comprising the existing global managing general agent and programme capabilities of Howden Re and Tiger Risk. Sab Re will be in place following the completion of Howden Group Holdings’  acquisition of Tiger Risk, which is expected to close in Q1 2023, subject to regulatory approval.

Comprising specialists from Bowood, Howden’s specialist delegated binding authority division, Tiger Risk and Howden RE’s Coverholder teams, Sab Re will place a combined $6bn of gross written premium, making it the largest MGA globally. The leadership team will include Michael Jameson and Matt Beard of Howden Re in the US, Bowood’s Stephen Greener and Tiger Risk’s Neill Cotton. They will be supported by Ollie Pigeon, Adam Codrington, Mark Sleet, Joe Wakeley, Stuart Beatty, Harry Rokeby-Johnson and Nick Harrap.

Stephen Greener will become chair of Sab Re and report to Howden Re chair Elliot Richardson, who will be Vice Chair of the merged Howden Tiger entity upon completion of the transaction.

The Sab Re team will be supported by Howden Re and Tiger Risk’s treaty and facultative capabilities, bespoke analytics, market leading investment bank, industry leading data and analytics team, and strategic advisory group. Howden Re, Tiger Risk and Bowood coverholder teams will align strategies, resources and expertise, but retain independent branding.

At a time of continuing market disruption, Sab Re will be a core part of Howden’s strategy to enhance the scale and depth of its reinsurance offering, providing a holistic risk, capital and strategic advisory capability that delivers more choice for today’s clients and creates a fresh alternative of real scale and relevance.

Elliot Richardson, chair, Howden Re, said: “MGA and Programme broking is part of our DNA and with the combination of our teams at Howden Re, Tiger Risk and Bowood we will create an industry first with Sab Re. Sab Re will have a combined offer of unrivalled depth, scale and expertise and be a core part of what we will be building with Tiger Risk - a leading position in our chosen markets and a superior offering for the modern client.”

Rob Bredahl, CEO, Tiger Risk, added: “The aligned capabilities of Sab Re will produce the only ‘full stack’ reinsurance broker in the MGA and programme marketplace. Sab Re will be the leading capacity finder, investment banker and strategic adviser to this rapidly growing and important sector.”

Stephen Greener, managing director, Bowood Partners, continued: “We are excited to be a part of the creation of a world-leading MGA/Programme business. Sab Re’s combined talent and expertise is a true differentiator in the market and will provide clients as well as London market and global capacity providers with further opportunities to grow.”


Deals/News of the Week


Aston Lark Ireland acquires Gateway Insurance and Investments

Date announced: 7 September

Deal value: N/A

Hot on the heels of an acquisition last month, Aston Lark Ireland has agreed terms to acquire Revoclife, trading as Gateway Insurance and Investments. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

Gateway Insurance and Investments was established over 40 years ago in Athlone, County Westmeath, and specialises in the SME sector, with an extensive product offering for both commercial and personal customers, including general insurance and financial lines.

Robert Kennedy, Aston Lark Ireland CEO, said: “Tom and the team’s client and people-first approach ensures an excellent cultural fit, and we know that by partnering together the business will continue to prosper and grow into the future, benefiting from being part of Aston Lark and Howden. We are keen to continue growing and acquiring like-minded brokers in Ireland as we look to deliver on our ambition to become Ireland’s leading independent insurance broker.”

Tom Fitzgerald, managing director of Gateway Insurance and Investments, added: “This is a fantastic development for our clients. In addition to all our existing services that are principally based around a highly personable service provided through dedicated and knowledgeable account handlers, we now also have access to global markets, a wider product range, and an experienced, similarly focused network of colleagues.

“We can assure our clients and staff that Gateway, in conjunction with its advisers, took great care in selecting our future partnership. It was only after exhaustive investigations that Aston Lark was selected. After over 40 years of servicing our clients, the future of Gateway is now secure.

“This is a proud day for us at Gateway, and I would like to compliment the Aston Lark team for a smooth and honourable transition of the Gateway business to Aston Lark. I would also like to thank our loyal clients and colleagues for their continued support over the years. It’s with complete confidence that I guarantee you will be well looked after by the Aston Lark family.”


Markel International launches Media and Entertainment Policy Wording

Date announced: 5 September

Deal value: N/A

Markel International has launched a media and entertainment product. This latest product offering forms an integral part of Markel’s strategy to deliver an all-encompassing solution for brokers and policyholders operating within the media and entertainment space.

The media and entertainment policy wording combines Markel’s existing media production and media liability wordings into one comprehensive policy for production companies registered in the UK and European Economic Area. Designed as a cross-class liability product, Markel’s offering includes the production package, which covers: cast, media, extra expense, property, terrorism, employer’s and general commercial liability, as well as the content of the production, while offering limits of up to $37.5m for the package and $5m for the media liability.

By taking out the policy, Markel’s insureds will have the freedom and confidence to continue creating content for television, cinema, and online, knowing that their assets are protected across all stages of the project lifecycle; from principal photography, through to broadcast and distribution.

Pippa Stone, senior underwriter of entertainment at Markel International, commented: “Our latest product will enable Markel’s brokers and policyholders to transact a simplified process, thanks to one proposal form and an easy-to-understand wording.”

“Previously, our media and entertainment clients would have to take out two policies, but this is no longer the case because our new product will cover their physical assets and the final content, providing that extra level of security and protection when they need it most.”

Stone added: “It is this combined media and entertainment solution which makes our product truly unique to the markets that we serve.”

Building on Stone’s statement, Nicola Marshall, senior underwriter of professional indemnity, telecommunications, media, and technology at Markel International, said: “Over the last few months, Markel’s media and entertainment teams have become more aligned, given the synergies between both business areas and the specialist brokers that we both share.”

She continued: “As a result of the closer collaboration, we are delighted to offer this combined policy, that we know brokers and clients have been looking for, which will provide them with a one-stop shop and enable us to provide a more efficient and streamlined service by offering all covers under one policy.”


Fletchers Group acquires law firm Minton Morrill

Date announced: 6 September

Deal value: N/A

Fletchers Group has acquired 100% of the share capital of Minton Morrill, a Yorkshire law firm specialising in complex medical negligence claims and Court of Protection work.

Leeds-based Minton Morrill has over thirty years expertise of representing clients in high value medical negligence claims often involving brain injury. All members of their team, including directors Simon Minton, Julia Morrill and Sahida Patel will remain with the business under new ownership.

Peter Haden, chief executive of Fletchers Group, said the deal will enable Fletchers to leverage the reputation of Minton Morrill for its work in serious medical negligence injury.

“Simon Minton and his team are highly respected across the sector, and have delivered exceptional results for their clients in high value medical negligence cases, especially birth injuries, where they have an outstanding reputation.”

He explained that Fletchers will retain the Minton Morrill brand and office in Leeds and bring new investment into the business to help it to become one of the leading specialist clinical negligence practices nationwide. The acquisition will also see the Fletchers business strengthen their own footprint into the Leeds area, part of an expanding portfolio of locations.

“The combination of talent at Minton Morrill and Fletchers will give all our existing and potential clients across the UK a high calibre team of legal professionals working on their behalf.”

Simon Minton, managing director of Minton Morrill, said: “Peter painted a compelling picture of the opportunity for us as part of Fletchers, and we are excited by the prospect of being part of a growing and expanding business.”

“We felt that we would benefit from being part of a bigger group in order to push on to the next level of growth.”

“I am convinced that Fletchers Group will be the best possible custodians for our brand, our people and most importantly, our clients.”

The deal has received regulatory approval and the consideration is undisclosed.


Howden launches ‘World-First’ voluntary carbon credit insurance product to help scale the market

Date announced: 5 Sept

Deal value: N/A

Howden has worked with carbon finance business, Respira International, and Nephila Capital, an investment manager specialising in reinsurance risk, to develop a carbon credit invalidation insurance solution to increase confidence in the Voluntary Carbon Market.

The product was developed in partnership with Respira and Nephila by Howden, who were advised by climate risk finance company, Parhelion. It was incubated through the product innovation work stream on the Insurance Task Force of the Sustainable Markets Initiative; an initiative led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

There is no doubt that the Voluntary Carbon Market will play a vital role in the transition to a low-carbon future. Various estimates suggest that the market for carbon credits could be worth between $20bn and $50bn by 2030.

Trading turnover of the VCM has increased steadily over recent years to just under $2bn in 2021. A total of 60% of Fortune 500 companies have now set climate targets and these commitments point to substantial increases in demand for voluntary carbon credits.

However, the VCM remains complex, particularly for new buyers, and doesn’t deliver consistently for carbon reduction and removals projects on the ground. In order to support future growth, it is critical that the VCM implement processes to improve credibility and transparency and to differentiate independently-verified, high-quality credits from unverified credits, thereby helping buyers to engage with confidence.

Given the anticipated increase in scale and number of newcomers to the VCM, this new insurance solution provides another very welcome layer of security. The product, which is wrapped around books of independently-verified, high-quality carbon credits, provides cover for third-party negligence and fraud. It is the first product of its kind for the VCM, and one of a suite of products that Howden is working on to help to grow the market to the scale needed to support global net zero targets.

Charlie Langdale, head of climate risk and resilience at Howden, said: “For the voluntary carbon market to grow to $50bn by 2030, buyers need to be able to trust that the carbon credits they are buying are removing the promised volume of carbon from the atmosphere.

The added layer of security provided by this product, combined with independent verification from established, reputable bodies will help buyers to purchase with confidence and should drive more buyers towards high-quality projects like those in Respira’s portfolio.”

David Howden, CEO of Howden Group, added: “This is a perfect example of the insurance market doing what it absolutely must do to drive climate resilience; bringing the client, insurer and broker all to the table to create brand new products that help to accelerate and de-risk the move to a more sustainable future.”

Capacity came from the Lloyd’s market, with Nephila’s Syndicate 2357 as the lead market.

The new product builds on the success of the work that Parhelion pioneered in the regulated California cap and trade market.


Beazley enters distribution partnership with Paragon for Weather Guard

Date announced: 1 September

Deal value: Undisclosed

Beazley has launched a new, efficient and effective online portal solution for its Weather Guard product.

The online portal, created in partnership with Paragon, will provide faster service, with no change to the quality of cover, limits or specific weather perils. Weather Guard will continue to be written on Beazley’s admitted paper and Weather Guard claims will still be handled by the claims team.

Andrew Duxbury, head of contingency at Beazley, said: “Weather Guard is a market leading weather insurance product, leveraging Beazley’s comprehensive historical weather data and experience going back nearly 40 years and backed with outstanding underwriting expertise; it offers excellent protection against extreme weather events to businesses across the US.

“The new online portal will ensure that more brokers are able to easily access Weather Guard using high-quality, cutting-edge technology for speedy, frictionless turnaround times. I’m looking forward to working with Paragon as we continue to build Weather Guard together.”

Christian Phillips, president of contingency practices of Paragon, adds: “Weather Guard, a product I’ve underwritten for nine years, plays an important role in protecting North American businesses from weather related losses and Paragon is excited to be helping bring it to an ever-wider audience, via state-of-the-art digital distribution tools.”


Inshur partners with Premium Credit

Date announced: 5 September

Deal value: Undisclosed

Inshur, a specialty embedded insurance company for taxi, private hire, food and parcel delivery drivers has chosen Premium Credit as its insurance premium finance partner in the UK to deliver a more well-rounded solution that benefits its drivers.

As a digital first insurance company, Inshur’s technology allows customers to complete a quote, buy and renew policies online without the need for paperwork or long waiting times on the phone. Quotes and purchases can be fully completed online in minutes, enabling customers to be on the road almost immediately.

By partnering with Premium Credit through a 24/7 integration to their payment portal, Inshur’s customers are offered a premium finance payment option compliantly every time. This digital solution enables customers to spread the cost of the cover seamlessly. Having made significant investment in market-leading technology, Premium Credit was able to provide Inshur with an end-to-end integration, delivering a smooth, efficient customer and partner journey.

Milan Chavda, head of pricing at Inshur, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Premium Credit. As a like-minded, digitally-led business, we understand each other and the importance of being able to deliver a best in class, tech-forward insurance offering.”

Chavda added “We now have a partner with the technology and the team for us to develop a long-term strategy of mutual growth. Premium Credit’s ability to support our future digital roadmap was key to us choosing them as our insurance premium finance supplier.”

Owen Thomas, chief sales officer at Premium Credit added: “[Inshur is] a respected innovator in the insurance industry and continue to revolutionise the sector with their digitally led offering. Having Insur as a partner further confirms the unique value our digitally led payments platform provides.”


And finally:

  • Gallagher has appointed Phil Daly as claims director for its UK Retail Division. Daly brings over 30 years operations and claims experience having spent his career to date at a number of the UK’s leading general insurers. Daly most recently worked at Hastings Direct as head of claims operations. Prior to this, Daly spent over 20 years at Zurich in a range of senior claims roles.

  • The Insurance Museum will launch its first online exhibition, Fire! Risk and Revelations, focusing on how fire insurance first came about. Covering 250 years of history, the exhibition will launch four galleries throughout the autumn, each focusing on a different era.
  • Animal Friends, has appointed Laura Barry as CFO. Barry joins from the Lending Standards Board where she has been finance director responsible for shaping financial strategy and growth for the independent UK banking oversight and assurance provider. 

  • The London Market Group has appointed Rachel Turk, group head of strategy at Beazley to join its board. She will replace Richard Harries, CEO of Atrium, representing the Lloyds’s Market Association.

  • BMS, the independent specialty insurance and reinsurance broker, has appointed Nick Gillett as CEO of BMS International. He is anticipated to start in January 2023 as the business accelerates its global strategy and invests in further international growth.

  • Instanda has appointed Liz Prior to its executive leadership team and the role of chief financial officer. Her appointment comes at a pivotal moment for Instanda as it moves to expand its geographical presence in Europe, US, Japan, and the UAE as well as to enhance its platform capabilities with the latest $45m fundraising led by Toscafund.


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