Reinsurance broker JLT Towers Re is strengthening its capabilities in the reinsurance and capital markets advisory space with the appointment of Bart Zanelli as head of Advisory North America.
With the continued blurring of lines between sources of capital in reinsurance, whether for risk transfer or raising capital, having a strong capital markets focused offering is a key aim for all the major reinsurance brokers.
This isn’t just relevant to structuring catastrophe bonds or broking collateralized reinsurance business, it is increasingly important to have a strong team across the capital markets function to bring clients advice on how best to hedge, raise capital or offload risk with an agnostic view on the source of capital.
The reinsurance broker capital market teams are increasingly becoming one of the first points of contact for insurer, or reinsurer, clients looking to raise capital, optimise their capital base or grow. Therefore the team needs to be able to advise on risk transfer, raising new capital from the markets, issuing debt, mergers and acquisitions or hedging and the brokerage needs to be open to looking at all capital sources.
Zanelli joins JLT Towers Re after spending several years with Guy Carpenter’s GC Securities capital markets unit, where he held the role of Managing Director of Corporate Finance and Advisory. His role at GC Securities included the execution and closing of transactions relating to financing, M&A and securitizations of insurance funding assets.
Ed Hochberg, Global Head of Analytics, Banking, and Advisory at JLT Towers Re, said; “We are very excited to welcome Bart to the JLT Towers Re team. His experience in M&A and capital raising will, no doubt, be well-received by our clients and prospects. With Bart joining us, it provides us with this important advisory capability in North America, working in conjunction with our successful established team in London.”
Alastair Rodger, Global Head of Advisory, added; “Bart brings with him a wealth of experience and an impressive track record of successful transactions. These range from start-ups to large deals for very established insurance companies. He adds an important element to our capabilities and significantly broadening of our reach.”
Zanelli will be tasked with developing the North American business by assisting clients and prospects with investment banking services including raising capital, M&A, and the evaluation of strategic alternatives. Zanelli will work closely with Craig Darling, Managing Director and Aaron Cubbison, Director of Strategic Capital on this type of activity, said JLT Towers Re. We’d expect him to work closely with the insurance-linked securities team at JLT Capital Markets as well.
Zanelli commented on his new role; “Joining JLT Towers Re is an exciting next step in my career. I believe that I have acquired a number of key skills during my time at Guy Carpenter and Fox-Pitt, Kelton, and am eager to further develop these with the great opportunities that JLT Towers Re is seeing in the market.”
Also joining the North America team will be Tom Deane as an additional investment advisor executive. Deane has more than eight years of experience in insurance advisory gained at Benfield Advisory and Aon Benfield Securities. He currently works in the advisory practice in London and will relocate to New York this summer.
The way the reinsurance market is headed in its use of the capital markets suggests that these teams in capital markets advisory, investment advisory, capital raising, ILS structuring and M&A are likely to grow and become one of the key interface points between brokers and clients.
It’s no longer a given that a client can best achieve its goals through simply traditional reinsurance. In some cases a similar goal can be achieved through raising capital, or offloading risk to the capital markets, or hedging or other ways of seeking capital relief. Brokers are going to have to continue to build specialist units to assist their clients, as the use and management of capital becomes increasingly sophisticated.
Reinsurance companies are becoming much more active managers of capital and now have many more options available to them to help them meet capital management and optimisation goals. The capital markets advisory teams at reinsurance brokers appear destined to gain in importance in years to come.
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