Arch Insurance Hires Jeff Ray as Senior Vice President, Accident & Health

JERSEY CITY, N.J.–(Business Wire)–Arch Insurance (Arch) today announced that Jeff Ray has joined the Company as Senior Vice President for Accident & Health. Ray brings over 35 years of experience establishing and leading Accident & Health businesses and will report to Linda Fallon, Executive Vice President of Arch’s Travel & Accident business unit.

“We are excited to add Jeff to our team as we look to further grow our Accident & Health business,” said Fallon. “His industry expertise and proven track record in business development, distribution and management will help to broaden our position in the marketplace.”

Ray has a long history of successful leadership roles in the Affinity market. Prior to joining Arch, Ray served as Senior Partner, Affinity Markets leader at Mercer; Head of Affinity and Educational Markets at AIG; and Senior Vice President and Affinity Services Business Unit Leader at Transamerica. His career also includes executive roles at Selman & Company and as a Managing Director at Marsh.

“Arch Insurance has a demonstrated history of innovation and growth,” said Ray. “I’ve been impressed with the recent successes across Arch’s portfolio of businesses and am looking forward to working with the team to drive growth in A&H.”

About Arch Insurance North America

Arch Insurance North America, part of Arch Capital Group Ltd., includes Arch’s insurance operations in the United States and Canada. Business in the U.S. is written by Arch Insurance Company, Arch Specialty Insurance Company, Arch Excess & Surplus Insurance Company and Arch Indemnity Insurance Company. Business in Canada is written by Arch Insurance Canada Ltd.

About Arch Capital Group Ltd.

Arch Capital Group Ltd., a Bermuda-based company with approximately $12.89 billion in capital at Sept. 30, 2019, provides insurance, reinsurance and mortgage insurance on a worldwide basis through its wholly-owned subsidiaries.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements. This release or any other written or oral statements made by or on behalf of Arch Capital Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries may include forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in or incorporated by reference in this release are forward-looking statements.

Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe” or “continue” or their negative or variations or similar terminology. Forward-looking statements involve our current assessment of risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. A non-exclusive list of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements includes the following: adverse general economic and market conditions;increased competition; pricing and policy term trends; fluctuations in the actions of rating agencies and our ability to maintain and improve our ratings; investment performance; the loss of key personnel; the adequacy of our loss reserves, severity and/or frequency of losses, greater than expected loss ratios and adverse development on claim and/or claim expense liabilities; greater frequency or severity of unpredictable natural and man-made catastrophic events; the impact of acts of terrorism and acts of war; changes in regulations and/or tax laws in the United States or elsewhere; our ability to successfully integrate, establish and maintain operating procedures as well as integrate the businesses we have acquired or may acquire into the existing operations; changes in accounting principles or policies; material differences between actual and expected assessments for guaranty funds and mandatory pooling arrangements; availability and cost to us of reinsurance to manage our gross and net exposures; the failure of others to meet their obligations to us; and other factors identified in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The foregoing review of important factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with other cautionary statements that are included herein or elsewhere. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

HUB International Names a Chief Sales Officer for Its Cannabis Insurance and Risk Services

Jay Virdi has been named Chief Sales Officer for HUB’s cannabis insurance and risk services in the U.S. and Canada.

PRESS RELEASE – HUB International (HUB) recently named Jay Virdi Chief Sales Officer for its cannabis insurance and risk services in the U.S. and Canada. Virdi most recently developed and managed the cannabis practice group for a North American specialty risks MGA. He has become a reputable leader in the advocacy for risk management and innovative insurance solutions in cannabis for clients, brokers and insurance providers.

As Chief Sales Officer, Virdi will focus on further developing and perpetuating deep expertise and resources across the U.S. and Canada, to provide medical and recreational cannabis producers, distributors and retailers proper protection and specialized solutions to reduce risks in all aspects of their operations.

Virdi has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry providing support for sales activities and operations, including the execution of strategic initiatives. He has experience advising on commercial lines insurance solutions and underwriting complex risks and commercial programs. Additionally, Virdi was a global sales consultant where he advised insurance carriers using big data analytics. His insightful recommendations resulted in the creation of innovative new products, identifying areas of opportunity for revenue generation and establishing meaningful key stakeholder engagement.

Virdi is a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) from the Insurance Institute of Canada. He holds an Honors Bachelors of Arts (Hon. BA) degree in Economics and Business Management from the University of Toronto and a Digital Certification in Communications, Culture and Information Technology (CCIT) from Sheridan College.

Another insurer will dump coal and oil sands

Another insurer will dump coal and oil sands

Axis Capital, Chubb and a handful of European insurers embrace a business shift to renewable energy insurance

The article was written By Rachel Koning Beals

Market Watch

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd AXS, +0.40%  is the latest insurer to give up profit potential from coal and oil sands, a departure it says supports the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Axis said Wednesday it will not provide new insurance or facultative reinsurance for construction and infrastructure for new thermal coal plants or mines, nor for oil sands extraction and pipeline projects.

Specifically, Axis will not insure companies that generate 30% or more of their revenue from thermal coal mining or hold more than 20% of their reserves in oil sands. Renewals, however will be on a case-by-case basis.

“We believe insurers have an important role to play in mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a low-carbon economy,” said Axis President and CEO Albert Benchimol in a release. For oil sands production, oil is forced from sand at intense temperatures, using water and natural gas to separate out the extremely thick bitumen. Impure and too viscous to flow, it goes through an “upgrading” process before traveling via pipeline to an oil refinery.

“This policy is in line with our broader strategies such as reducing investments in lines that do not align with our long-term approach; investing in growth areas, such as renewable energy insurance, where we are a top five global player; and growing our corporate citizenship program, a core focus of which is creating a positive environmental impact,” Benchimol said.

The Unfriend Coal campaign said in a report last year that global losses tied to coal hit $337 billion in 2017, including insured losses of $144 billion.

“While Axis’s policy is a good step, it must eliminate the geographic loophole in its policy and stop insuring new coal projects everywhere today, especially in Southeast Asia where there are hundreds of proposed power plants. We call on insurers around the globe to step up and improve upon Axis’s policy,” said Brett Fleishman, head of global finance campaigns at advocacy group 350.org, in a tweet from Insure Our Future campaign, a consortium of activist groups.

The Bermuda-based insurer’s policy shift aligns with that of competitor Chubb Ltd CB, -1.05%   , which in July became the first U.S. insurer to pledge to phase out its coal investments and insurance policies, saying then it will no longer sell new insurance policies to or invest in companies that make more than 30% of their revenue from coal mining. The company said for existing coal plants, insurance coverage for risks that exceed the 30% threshold will be phased out by 2022, and for utilities beginning in 2022.

Axis shares are down 2.6% over the past month, though up more than 22% in the year to date. Chubb shares are down 2.9% over the past month and up nearly 20% so far in 2019.

Germany’s Allianz and Italy’s Generali also pulled back some underwriting for coal companies in 2018, while the French firm Axa tightened its policy further, the Guardian reported. Lloyd’s of London agreed to exclude coal from its investment strategy beginning in April 2018. Reinsurance firms Swiss Re and Munich Re said last year they were limiting their underwriting for coal.

Climate activists at nonprofit RAN have called out other insurers including privately held Liberty Mutual for dropping coverage of corporate clients facing increased climate-linked risk while keeping up their own investment in fossil fuels and insuring coal and oil sands projects.

The Insure Our Future campaign highlighted the move’s potential significance beyond broad climate goals. It’s seen as at least a small victory for the First Nations Native American groups that have been fighting the oil sands industry for indigenous land rights.

Joining forces with the European Space Agency to make healthcare accessible worldwide

What was the impetus for this partnership between AXA and ESA?

Hassan El Shabrawishi: We met with ESA at the Internet of Things Tech Expo in Amsterdam in June 2019, where both organizations soon became very interested in the possibility of forming a partnership in areas where our goals are aligned.

Nick Appleyard: We quickly realized that there is a lot of symmetry between our two organizations, so we developed a memorandum to formally acknowledge this common interest and we agreed to take steps to develop this synergy.

What will be the main benefits for users?

Hassan El Shabrawishi: AXA is now a key player in the healthcare sector in Africa and we’ve found that there is a big gap between what our clients would like us to provide as a service, and what we are able to offer today. To address this gap, AXA is becoming a primary healthcare provider, with the aim of building a network of primary care clinics across the continent. There are two approaches: a bricks and mortar-type solution, or by providing things like teleconsultation for immediate access to quality care. A huge issue in Africa is that the infrastructure for digital technologies is currently lacking. So we are exploring how to leverage ESA’s satellite technology to provide remote areas with Internet coverage, as well as back up for urban areas to ensure the sustainability of our service. We aim to use digital services and technologies that don’t even exist yet in western markets, such as medication delivery to homes, teleconsultations, the concept of health coaches, and more. In addition, we will provide educational programs for our staff, and harness the power of data to inform the public so they can better manage their own healthcare. ESA is showing us how its technologies could leverage much more reliable and affordable healthcare, at costs that would have been unimaginable just 10 or 20 years ago. So the benefits to millions of African customers are threefold: accessibility, affordability and quality.

On which countries will you initially focus?

Hassan El Shabrawishi: We started this project by looking at what we call out-of-pocket expenses, which is the amount people pay for healthcare directly from their own funds. In Africa this can reach up to 90% of total health care expenditure. Nigeria and Egypt were the obvious places to launch this program, as targeting these two countries alone would cover around 400 million people. We have assembled a dedicated AXA One Health team with a pan-African focus, but we can go beyond Africa as what we are doing here is relevant to Asia, Latin America, and some countries in Southern Europe.

Nick Appleyard: The partnership will start in Egypt, as our satellites extend around the world, so any service we develop for one market can be developed for anywhere else. Wherever the partnership allows us to open up new market access, we’ll go side-by-side with AXA into those areas.

Are you planning to work on other joint projects in future?

Nick Appleyard: I hope so! The insurance industry is a natural partner for us. We are active in areas like infrastructure monitoring and in all forms of mobility and transport – all sorts of markets where AXA also has activities. So there are many areas of possible synergy with an organization such as AXA.

Hassan El Shabrawishi: There are so many points of interest in common that the answer is almost certainly yes. We signed our memorandum of intent between AXA and ESA, which is our first step. This memorandum is intentionally very broad because there are so many projects and technologies that ESA is willing to share with us.

Source:

axa.com

Marking the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the Louvre Museum has completed major renovations of the Salle des États, where the Mona Lisa is displayed. The work was carried out with the support of AXA, which is also a sponsor of a retrospective of the Italian master’s career.

Read more

Insurance brokerage Hub bulking up Canadian benefits business with acquisition spree

The biggest insurance brokerage in Canada has been on a dealmaking blitz that may only be about halfway done, according to the company’s Ontario chairman.

Chicago-based Hub International Ltd. sells insurance, but it has also spent the past year expanding the Canadian side of its business, which advises companies on their employee benefits, such as health or retirement plans. It has been doing so in part by acquiring a number of boutique firms.

On Tuesday, Hub said it acquired for an undisclosed sum Toronto’s PDF Financial Group Inc., an independent brokerage that helps a company’s human-resources department manage employee programs. The acquisition was one of five such deals Hub has announced to date in October, involving three companies in Canada and two in the United States.

Hub is Canada’s biggest property and casualty insurance broker by a “healthy margin,” but it had heard back from some clients wanting advice about benefits and pensions as well, according to Gregory Belton, the executive chairman of Hub Ontario.

“We’re not only getting larger and filling out a geographic footprint, but we’re developing services for what we think is the under-served middle market of Canadian business,” Belton said in an interview with the Financial Post.

After announcing its Canadian benefit strategy in July 2018, Hub noted at the beginning of this year that it had already acquired 13 Canadian employee-benefit and pension brokerages since 2018, increased fee revenue to more than $50 million and opened seven new offices. Hub wants to earn more than $100 million in commission fees by 2021, and said it expected to open an additional 10 offices.

“I would say that we’re about halfway done in our acquisition strategy,” Belton said. “We have a fairly robust pipeline across the country, and you’ll see further acquisitions being closed in the coming months.”

Mike Berris, a partner at accounting firm Smythe LLP who specializes in valuations and M&A consulting in the Canadian P&C insurance industry, said he expects more activity in the benefits space — although not all brokers may be able to pull it off.

Even though it’s a risk-based product, you really have to have scale and expertise to do it properly.

Mike Berris, partner, Smythe LLP

“There’s a lot of desire, but there’s only so many people who are capable of doing that,” Berris said. “Even though it’s a risk-based product, you really have to have scale and expertise to do it properly.”

Hub has been scaling up since it formed in 1998 with the merger of 11 Canadian brokerages. It went public soon after, expanded into the U.S. and in 2007 was bought by private-equity firm Apax Partners and investment bank Morgan Stanley.

In 2013 Hub announced it was being acquired by funds advised by another private-equity firm, Hellman & Friedman LLC, in a deal that valued the brokerage at around US$4.4 billion.

Hub then said in October 2018 that it had agreed to a deal involving “a substantial minority investment” from funds managed by Toronto-based investment firm Altas Partners. The agreement implied a total enterprise value for Hub of more than $10 billion.

Since the deal, Hub’s website shows it has made more than 50 acquisition-related announcements. Currently, the brokerage has more than 11,000 employees, with more than 250 offices in the U.S. and about 200 in Canada, a spokesperson said.

“Like a lot of private-equity-owned brokerages, they have been very, very aggressive and they’re very, very effective in growing through acquisitions,” Berris said.

Belton said most Canadian businesses fit the mid-market mold, but that there is no “dominant player” in that section of the market right now for the sort of benefits business Hub is expanding. Even so, he said there has been “very robust competition” for the types of companies Hub is buying.

“Our aspiration is to become the dominant player, just as we are in the property-casualty side of the business,” Belton said.

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