McGill hires Corbett, Garland and Cross to Thunderbolt exec team

Steve McGill’s new transatlantic boutique (re)insurance broker has hired Oliver Corbett, Denise Garland and Stephen Cross to join its executive committee.

The three executives are already actively working for the transatlantic boutique insurance broker, McGill told this publication.

The trio of hires is an early indication that McGill will be able to attract heavyweight talent to the entrepreneurial start-up, which is targeting a second-quarter launch.

Former Hyperion executive Oliver Corbett is CFO of the new venture, known at this stage as Project Thunderbolt.

He departed Hyperion at the end of last year, having seen the intermediary through a $400mn investment from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and debt refinancings in late 2017 and early 2018.

The CFO also spent nine years as group finance director at Novae, and has a string of non-executive directorships to his name, including a current one at Close Brothers.

Garland, former COO at Tokio Marine Kiln (TMK), is now Project Thunderbolt’s COO. She stepped down from TMK in January 2018 after more than five years in post.

Prior to her work at TMK, she spent five years at Man Group, including a 10-month stint as COO.

Garland also spent time in broking, working as financial controller for the marine division of Willis for two years, and then as executive director of integrations for the UK and Ireland for a year and a half at the intermediary.

Garland was also a member of the London Market Target Operating Model steering board at its inception in January 2016, a position she no longer holds.

Cross has been hired as head of strategy and innovation at the new broker. He joins from Everest Insurance Ireland, where he was CEO and CUO.

Prior to joining Everest in October 2017, he spent 17 years at Aon, in roles including chief innovation officer and chair of both Aon’s centre for global innovation and analytics and of its global risk consulting unit.

Cross, along with McGill, was one of the architects of Aon’s data and analytics drive.

Former JLT executive John Lloyd, a former colleague of McGill, is widely rumoured to be joining the venture after his covenants expire in October.

However, the move is unconfirmed at this stage.

It is understood that the business will be UK-based, with a major footprint in New York and further international expansion on the horizon.

Project Thunderbolt will not look to establish itself as a full-service retail insurance broker or a traditional London wholesale broker.

Instead, it will focus on meeting the structuring and placement needs of a complex client base without the need for wholesale intermediation – shortening the value chain.

It will, however, also be accessible to independent retail brokers, as well as acting as a reinsurance broker.

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