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News digest

Starr cyber expansion

Starr Companies has said it will start to offer cyber coverage on a primary basis, expanding on its previous involvement in the line as an excess underwriter.

The primary cover, Security & Privacy Risk Response, will address first and third party costs for network security and privacy liability, data breach notification and credit monitoring, Starr said.

Hamilton Re Ace hire

Bermuda-based hedge fund reinsurer Hamilton Re has hired Susan Steinhoff as its senior vice president of property.

She joins from Ace Tempest Re's international property catastrophe department, where she was senior vice president and underwriter.

Summers Sequel

Insurance software specialist Sequel has hired former Aon chief information officer Ian Summers to take the new role of business development director.

Partner solar investment

PartnerRe has said it will provide up to $100mn of financing to California-based peer-to-peer finance company Mosaic. The investment relates to home solar power.

Marsh buys Torrent

Marsh has struck a deal to acquire Torrent Technologies, a service provider that works with write-your-own insurers participating in the US National Flood Insurance Program. The Montana-headquartered company employs around 100 people.

White Mountains transacts deal

White Mountains has agreed to buy 63 percent of Tranzact for $178mn. Tranzact works on the distribution of insurance products direct to consumers.

Towergate's Hodges leaves

Towergate Insurance CEO Mark Hodges has left the broker aggregator with immediate effect, the firm has said.

Sources said that the board had relieved Hodges of his position, but chairman Alastair Lyons denied that his employment had been terminated.

Hodges' sudden departure follows a challenging period for the company, with Lyons set to become interim executive chairman until a successor can be found.

XL hires Dougherty

XL Group has named Chris Dougherty as executive vice president of underwriting and ceded reinsurance.

Michael Garceau has taken up Dougherty's former position of CFO in the insurance division. Both executives will continue to report to Greg Hendrick, chief executive of XL's global insurance operations.

Allstate hires Mayerfield

Allstate has hired Russ Mayerfield to oversee the management of $10bn of its investment portfolio.

The former UBS managing director has been appointed senior managing director at the US insurance giant, which said it expects to leverage the executive's expertise and experience "to capture additional higher-returning investment opportunities".

Mayerfield will oversee private equity, infrastructure, real estate and commercial mortgage loans in the company's investment portfolio.

JLT hacks into Aon

JLT Specialty has hired Sarah Stephens to head its cyber, technology and media errors and omissions (E&O) team in London.

Stephens will join JLT from broking giant Aon, where she served as head of cyber and commercial E&O for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to this, she spent seven years with Aon's US cyber and E&O practice group.

Ironshore Canada names chair

After more than four decades in the industry, Paul Primiani has joined Ironshore's Canadian team as chairman, the firm announced on 14 October.

He replaces CEO Mark Wheeler, who will continue in that role.

Primiani was most recently executive vice president and chief risk officer of GCAN Insurance Company, which was acquired by RSA. Following the acquisition he continued to lead the large commercial/specialty portfolio for RSA Canada.

AJG appoints Deakin

Janice Deakin is to take the reins at AJ Gallagher's UK retail division, the international broker announced.

She will take over from outgoing CEO Peter Blanc with immediate effect, the firm said. Blanc was formerly the CEO of Oval Group, which AJ Gallagher acquired in April this year.

Deakin originally joined AJ Gallagher as UK commercial director in July 2013 after spending 13 years at Aviva. She was promoted to chief operating officer earlier this year.

RFIB hires German mariners

Independent broker RFIB has hired Colin Pinder and Gary Blakesley to head up a new northern European team that will focus on German marine business.

Pinder was previously a divisional director at Willis and has four decades of experience in the sector. Blakesley also joins from Willis.

Allstate Q3 cat toll

Analysts have trimmed earnings forecasts for Allstate after the US insurance giant announced higher-than-expected September and Q3 catastrophe losses that included the impact of the Colorado hailstorm event at the end of last month.

The insurer said its catastrophe loss bill for September 2014 came to $250mn before tax, or $163mn after tax, taking the totals for the quarter to $517mn and $336mn respectively.

US Risk deal

Specialty underwriting manager and wholesale broker US Risk Insurance Group has agreed a deal to take an ownership stake in financial institutions intermediary JB Lloyd & Associates (JBL).

The Dallas-headquartered firm said JBL CEO Jim Lloyd will co-manage its existing financial institutions business, taking combined premium volume in the class to more than $50mn.

The combined entities will service more than 400 community banks, mortgage bankers and brokers, insurance companies, broker-dealers, hedge funds, mutual funds, private equity firms, financial planners, finance companies and collection agencies.

Lloyd's subordinated bond

The Corporation of Lloyd's has organised a roadshow as it prepares to issue a 10-year callable sterling subordinated bond.

Barclays, Citigroup and RBS are working on the bond.

Leimkuhler named Marsh CFO

Courtney Leimkuhler is set to become chief financial officer at Marsh after Paul Malvasio announced that he would stand down after five years in the job.

Leimkuhler is expected to step into the role on 1 March next year - the same month in which Malvasio will retire.

Before joining Marsh, Leimkuhler spent nine years at securities exchange firm NYSE Euronext, where she was responsible for all mergers and acquisitions, investments, joint ventures and divestitures.

ANV hires Bland

ANV Syndicate 1861 at Lloyd's has hired Paul Bland to head up its non-marine general liability division.

Bland will write non-marine general liability business on an excess basis and report directly to the syndicate's active underwriter Chris Jarvis.

He joins ANV from Markel, where he was vice president of excess liability.

Hailstorm loss

Insurers are set to pick up $213.3mn in insured losses from a late September hailstorm that hit parts of Colorado, according to recent estimates from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA).

The 29 September event ranks as the state's eighth-costliest storm. The RMIIA said that 43,584 insurance claims had been filed as of 13 October totalling $213.3mn.

Hiscox Re appointments

Hiscox Re, the global reinsurance arm of Lloyd's and international (re)insurance group Hiscox, has appointed two senior chairmen to head up its international and North American divisions, it revealed on 16 October.

Bevis Tetlow is to take up the role of chair of North America and Caribbean and Philip Vandoninck will be chair of international.

Hiscox said both roles would cover strategy across Hiscox Re's offices in Bermuda, London and Paris.

United gets Citizens take-out

United Insurance Holdings Corporation has been given the green light by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to remove 37,000 personal and commercial residential policies from Citizens in the upcoming November depopulation.

If all policyholders opt to go with the Florida private insurer it would add around $74mn of in force premiums to its book, although Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts estimated that only around 60 percent of the policies will remain with United.

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