The latest job moves and senior hires news;
Allianz Commercial is continuing its focus on maximising London market opportunities and has announced Karen Pickersgill as the new regional underwriting manager for London.
In this role Karen will drive growth and promote expertise in the London property and casualty Mid-corporate book. She will also be responsible for diversifying the primary and excess portfolios whilst leading the talented team. Karen joined Allianz in 1999 following roles at Aviva and Cigna and has since held a number of underwriting management positions across the business including property and casualty manager for Maidstone and then Luton.
Pen Underwriting announces that Sarah Breslin has been appointed Managing Director of its Specialty division, subject to regulatory approval. Sarah, who is currently Chief Financial Officer of Pen – a role she has held since 2020 – will take on the strategic and operational leadership of the division with effect from July 2023.
A chartered accountant by profession with a strategic financial and commercial background, Sarah brings more than 20 years’ experience to the role. Having begun her career in the investment banking and asset management sectors, she moved across to insurance in 2012 when she joined the central finance team at insurance broker Gallagher. As MD of Specialty, Sarah will replace Steve Thornett who has left the business.
Tom Downey, CEO of Pen Underwriting, said: “Sarah’s appointment to lead one of our core trading and underwriting divisions is testament to the hugely positive impact she has had on Pen in the time she has been with us. She brings to the role strong leadership capability, proven business acumen and extensive knowledge of both Pen and the insurance industry gained during her time as our CFO, and a decade working within the wider Gallagher group. On behalf of Pen, I’d also like to thank Steve for his valued contributions over the years and wish him well for the future.”
The MIB has announced Andrew Wilkinson will become their new Chief Claims Officer this summer. Andrew is the final addition to a series of senior leadership appointments announced in September last year as part of the MIB’s aim to increase its benefit to the industry and partners.
Since then, James Dalton, Kjirste Coltham and Chris Makomereh have joined MIB, who exist to protect people from the devastation of uninsured and hit-and-run driving. The senior claims role has been created in order to provide dedicated focus on managing and developing MIB’s largest operation, which sees over 26,000 claims from victims of uninsured and hit-and-run drivers each year. Andrew joins MIB after 25 years at Aviva. He was a driving force in Aviva’s successful campaign for personal injury reform and most recently served as their Technical Claims Director.
DOMESTIC AND GENERAL
Domestic & General (D&G), the UK’s leading appliance care specialist, is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Capitanio as Chief People Officer. In her new role, Anna will also be joining the D&G Leadership Team.
Anna brings more than two decades of experience in supporting and developing large international teams, in addition to leading companies through transformation across a multitude of industries and sectors, from pharma to telecommunications to hospitality and mining. She has proven experience fostering strong workplace cultures across more than 50 countries, bringing a unique perspective on collaboration, diversity and inclusion.
Anna joins D&G from BT, where she was the Director of Human Relations across the consumer division. Prior to this, she was Chief People Officer at global talent and technology solutions business La Fosse Associates and Global Diversity and Inclusion Diversity, Australasia Talent & Learning Director at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Anna has also held roles at publicly listed Australian multinational firm BHP.
Open GI, the leading technology partner for the insurance industry, has appointed Neil Hart to the role of Chief Sales Officer, further strengthening the executive leadership team at the company, who provide digital solutions to brokers, MGAs, and insurers. As Chief Sales Officer, Neil will have a key role in helping to nurture existing customer relationships and will also drive new business growth for the technology partner.
Alongside this key hire, Paul Thornton, formerly Chief Commercial Officer, will now take on the position of Chief Operating Officer. Since Paul joined Open GI in 2020, he has been central to evolving the customer and operations areas of the business. In his new role, Thornton will focus on customer services, digital services, solutions, and product underwriting services.
TOKIO MARINE KILN
Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK) today announces the appointment of Will Green as divisional head of war within its aviation underwriting team. Having written this class for many years, this appointment marks the creation of a dedicated aviation war team to provide clients a service-driven and creative platform for the challenges ahead.
Recent geopolitical uncertainty and an increasingly complex trading environment have heightened focus and demand for specialist war risks coverage. TMK’s aviation war team is able to offer bespoke solutions for clients and brokers alike, backed by an outstanding claims team.
Inver Re – the reinsurance arm of the Ardonagh Group – has made another key hire, appointing Alun Thomas in the new role of Global Head of Property Reinsurance.
Alun will be responsible for the development of a new property reinsurance proposition – with a base in Bermuda. Having been on the island for 15 years, most lately as Head of Property at MS Amlin, Alun is a well known figure in the market and brings with him 26 years of experience from both broker and underwriting perspectives.
The role reports into Chris Bonard, CEO – Bermuda. He commented: “Our aim at Inver Re is to do things differently and breathe a breath of fresh air into reinsurance – and that’s exactly why we think we’re so lucky to have Alun join us. He knows the global property market inside out and brings an underwriting perspective that’s going to help us shape something new, relevant and dynamic for our end clients.”
Chubb Tempest Re recently announced that Wayne Ashley has been appointed Division President, Chubb Tempest Re International. Currently, he serves as Deputy Head of the business. In his new role, Ashley will be responsible for the overall management and development of Chubb Tempest Re’s international property and casualty reinsurance business.
The appointment, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be effective on April 1. Ashley will report to Jim Wixtead, Senior Vice President, Chubb Group and President, Chubb Tempest Re. Ashley succeeds Stephen Roberts, who is retiring from the company at the end of April.
“Wayne is a seasoned reinsurance executive who has had leadership roles at Chubb Tempest Re for more than 15 years. Having served as deputy head of our international P&C reinsurance business, he is well positioned to lead as division president,” said Wixtead. “I look forward to working with Wayne as we continue to serve our clients in this important international business.”
Chubb has appointed Steven M. Hill, Executive Vice President, leading Management Liability for the company’s North America Financial Lines division. Currently, he serves as Senior Vice President for the division. In his new role, Hill will be responsible for developing and executing the division’s operational strategies, as well as ensuring the management and delivery of management liability products and services across all distribution channels.
USQRisk, the international managing general agent specializing in alternative risk transfer solutions, announced today the addition of Rhys Jones as head of UK pricing and senior underwriter. Jones will oversee USQRisk’s underwriting of UK alternative risk transfer transactions in his new role. Prior to joining USQRisk, Jones served as assistant vice president and reinsurance actuary at Hamilton Re.
“We have seen tremendous growth in the UK over the past few years, and the underwriting needs for our activity there have only increased as risks become increasingly complex,” said Anibal Moreno, CEO of USQRisk. “Rhys’ comprehensive understanding of actuarial and underwriting processes and unique perspective directly align with USQRisk’s goals. At this exciting period of growth for our organization, his experience and dedication will instrumental as we continue to grow.”
With more than 10 years of experience in actuarial work and underwriting, Jones is well-positioned to help to advance USQRisk’s processes in the UK and strengthen the organization’s underwriting strategy development and implementation. In his new role, Jones will lead the development and implementation of standardizing pricing actuarial tools, support current and onboard new capacity providers, mentor and develop junior actuarial and underwriting colleagues, among other responsibilities.
Omaha National Group, Inc. (“Omaha National”) a leading tech-enabled provider of workers’ compensation insurance, has announced the appointment of Dale Mackel to Chief Financial Officer.
“As we continue to grow our premium volume and develop as a full-stack carrier, we’re very pleased to welcome Dale to our team. He brings experience and expertise that have tremendous value for the direction we have planned for our company,” said Omaha National President and CEO Reagan Pufall. “The Board, the executive team, and I are highly impressed by the breadth and depth of his knowledge and judgment.”
Mackel is joining Omaha National after spending two years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer with LHC Group, a publicly-traded home health and hospice provider based in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Fidelis MGU announces the promotion of Ben Fortune to Chief Underwriting Officer of its Bermuda operation effective immediately.
In his new role, Ben will be responsible for overseeing all books of business written out of Bermuda as well as managing the company’s Bermudian based team of underwriters. Ben has more than 16 years of industry experience and joined Fidelis in 2015 as an Underwriter, later becoming Head of International Reinsurance in 2020. Prior to moving to underwriting, Ben spent several years as an Actuarial Analyst, holding roles at Leadenhall Capital Partners, Aon and Lockton.
Richard Brindle, Chairman & Group Chief Executive Officer said: “Since joining in 2015, Ben has become an outstanding member of Fidelis MGU. This promotion showcases his commitment and dedication to ensuring Fidelis MGU continues to be a market leader and natural home for talented underwriters such as Ben. I am delighted to be able to recognise all his hard work and welcome him to the role of Chief Underwriting Officer in Bermuda.”
Nick Williams has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of AX, stepping into the role following a period as Deputy Chief Executive Officer.
Nick succeeds Lucy Woods, who led AX for six years and now transitions to Non-Executive Director. He will lead AX after excelling in several senior leadership roles during his three years with the business, holding key strategic positions on the Executive Team.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Executive Office in 2022, Nick was Strategy Director and subsequently Projects & Propositions Director. He has over 25 years of operational and industry experience including six years with the RAC, leading its Motor Claim businesses and associated connected car development.
Changes to the AX Leadership Team also include the appointment of Nikki Roy to the role of Chief Financial Officer. With 19 years of experience at AX, Nikki has the knowledge and expertise to support the business as it executes its objectives and plans for growth in 2023.
Aurora, the digital commercial insurance platform for micro, small and medium-sized businesses, has appointed Ki Insurance’s Dorota Blaszczuk as Head of Algorithmic Underwriting. Dorota will be responsible for driving the design, development and integration of algorithmic pricing models across the company’s portfolio management teams.
Dorota joins Aurora from Ki Insurance, where she worked in portfolio underwriting, and sat between the algorithmic modelling and algorithmic underwriting teams to optimise Ki’s portfolios, using portfolio monitoring and portfolio analysis techniques.
Aurora prioritises data enrichment and has developed a proprietary Algorithmic framework which supports the optimisation of pricing and underwriting. The platform enables the creation and design of bespoke policies that meets end customers’ needs. Dorota’s role will be vital in augmenting Aurora’s existing algorithmic capabilities.
Chartered insurance broker Verlingue Ltd (Verlingue), has established a dedicated media practice under plans to expand its presence in the fast-growing independent media sector.
The team, headed up by Maia Olesen, Client Director, will focus on independent advertising agencies and production companies, as well as associated event, post-production, music, editing, marketing, digital planning and public relations businesses. Coverage provided typically includes professional indemnity, cyber liability, employers and public liability, along with more specialist covers such as cancellation and contingency.
The move fits in with Verlingue’s overall strategy to provide total solutions for mid to large corporates across a range of specialist sectors, encompassing general insurance, trade credit, employee benefits, risk management and claims services and solutions. The media practice will be based in Redhill, part of Verlingue’s growing network of offices which include Manchester, Egham and London, employing over 170 employees.
Acrisure, a fintech leader that operates a top-10 global insurance broker, has announced the formation of Acrisure Deutschland GmbH, a new subsidiary covering the German, Austrian and Swiss markets. Mathias Pahl will serve as President of Acrisure Deutschland GmbH and Head of DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) with immediate effect. Pahl is based in Munich and reports to Jason Howard, President of Acrisure International and Chairman of Acrisure Re.
Pahl is an Insurance leader with three decades of experience. He joins Acrisure from Willis Towers Watson where he spent 19 years managing its German division, most recently as CEO of Willis Germany and Austria. In his new role, Pahl will be responsible for building out P&C operations including through potential acquisitions.
Karen Johnson has been appointed Network Relationship Manager at Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF). Karen, who has been at CBPF since 2000, is replacing Allan Oliver, who is retiring after nearly twenty years with the premium finance provider.
Elliott Hayes, Director of Sales – Commercial Lines, said: “Karen’s appointment underlines CBPF’s strong and continuing commitment to the network sector, where it is the market leading provider of finance, working exclusively with Hedron and Cobra, as well as a strong partnership with Bravo.
He added: “Allan has been a fantastic leader of our networks division. He’s worked tirelessly to achieve the best for our brokers, networks, and our business, and overseen consistent growth. We wish him a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement. Karen has been with us for many years and will bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her new role, and I’m sure that, under her watch, we will continue to maintain our long-term successful relationships with networks and their members.
Optio Group, the specialty MGA, today announces the appointment of David Robinson as chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Robinson was initially appointed by Optio in March 2022 as managing director and his promotion reflects his work to optimise operational excellence across the group’s underwriting, claims and data support functions. He has also been at the forefront of driving Optio’s expansion across multiple lines and geographies, notably in establishing Optio Re MENA Ltd, which began trading February 2023.
He will continue to report to executive chairman Matthew Fosh and his appointment follows a strong year of growth in revenue and profitability for Optio Group.
Fosh said: “I am delighted to announce David’s appointment as CEO of Optio Group. David has had a major impact since he joined, accelerating growth across the business and allowing us to achieve important strategic milestones, including establishing operations in MENA.”
Catalyst Services UK has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Paul Slattery as its new operations manager. Paul has worked in operational management for more than 20 years, including 14 years in the drainage industry. During this time he set up then managed a drainage claims team for major insurance companies.
He will be responsible for leading the expanding Catalyst claims handler team and working closely with our field teams to deliver seamless service for insurance clients and their customers. Catalyst Managing Director Brad Jackson said: “Paul has the perfect combination of operational expertise and insurance experience to support our claims handling teams during the next stage of our growth as a business.
Fathom, the global leader in flood and climate risk intelligence, is pleased to announce that Malcolm Haylock will be joining the company as Head of Catastrophe Modeling on March 1, 2023.
Malcolm is a highly experienced catastrophe modeling expert, who joins from Global Parametrics and has previously worked at both PartnerRe and Aspen Re, giving Malcolm a keen insight into the user perspective of how risk/catastrophe models are adopted and utilized. He also holds a PhD in Climate Science from the University of East Anglia.
“I’m excited to be joining Fathom,” said Malcolm. “The company’s research-driven approach and dynamic ways of working were a big draw, and I’m looking forward to contributing to Fathom’s continued success by helping calibrate workflows to strengthen our partnerships across industries.”
Gallagher has appointed Paul Watson as Risk Engineering Partner to lead the strategic development and expansion of its risk engineering services. In this newly created role, Paul will bring his experience in energy, power and renewables to support the expansion of Gallagher Specialty’s in-house risk engineering capabilities across practice areas including energy, construction and property & casualty.
Paul will also work closely with third-party risk engineers, which currently partner with Gallagher Specialty, embedding strong relationships leading to better outcomes for clients. Paul will additionally be responsible for joining forces with Gallagher offices globally in order to further develop the company’s overall risk engineering services at scale.
Paul joins from Willis Towers Watson where he was Associate Director of Risk Engineering and brings with him over 22 years’ experience working in insurance and the power and utilities sectors. Prior to joining Gallagher he supported global clients across industries including conventional power, onshore and offshore renewables, construction and property.
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