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Swiss Re takes Axa XL cyber insurance chief Coletti for top cyber re post

Swiss Re logo Coletti cyber NYC.jpg

Swiss Re has hired Axa XL’s top US-based cyber insurance executive John Coletti to lead its cyber reinsurance business, replacing Anthony Cordonnier, who recently took up the post of global cyber co-head at Guy Carpenter.

Coletti last served as CUO for Axa XL’s cyber and technology business in the US. He had held the same title at XL Catlin since 2012 ahead of Axa’s acquisition, and before that he spent eight years at CNA Insurance.

Coletti’s departure comes more than a year after Axa XL brought in former Beazley and Gen Re underwriting executive Libby Benet to take on the new role of global CUO for cyber.

She was subsequently made global CUO of financial lines, with London-based executive Michael Colao promoted to global cyber CUO in January of this year.

The move also comes amid a flurry of departures from Axa XL in recent months. Last month, this publication revealed that Axa XL’s chief executive of ceded reinsurance and alternative capital had left the company to become CUO at newly private specialty carrier ProSight.

Late last month, start-up Bermuda (re)insurer Vantage hired Richard Wall away from Axa XL to head up US management liability.

In July, Axa XL’s global head of underwriting management, Carrie Brodzinski, became the new global CUO for specialty business at The Hartford.

Justin Gilmore left Axa XL in June to become AIG’s new head of financial institutions in North America.

The move comes amid a capacity crunch in both the cyber insurance and reinsurance markets, with sources telling this publication that a “truly hard market” has developed in response to a wave of ransomware attacks and a surge in claims.

Some in the market viewed Coletti’s departure as a possible sign of Axa XL pulling back in cyber even further than it had in recent months. Sources said Swiss Re maintains an appetite for cyber, but it is said to have taken a more cautious approach recently.

Swiss Re recently realigned its business structure for its cyber business, with the group no longer reporting into its casualty unit and now reporting into its specialties division under global specialty head Greg Schiffer.

Coletti will report to Schiffer in the new role and take up his post later this month.

Challenges in the cyber reinsurance market have extended downstream to MGAs in need of capacity, having reached premium caps and aggregate exposure limits on existing deals, while struggling to secure sufficient reinsurance backing to line up additional insurance paper.

A spokesperson for Swiss Re confirmed the move but declined to comment.

In a statement to this publication shortly after this story was published, Nancy Bewlay, Axa XL’s global CUO, said: “Axa XL’s cyber strategy and commitment to the market remain unchanged.”

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