Markel hires three for third-party capital managed cat & retro growth

by Artemis on September 12, 2014

Markel Global Reinsurance has hired three as it plans to build out its third-party capital property reinsurance business which it originally acquired through the purchase of Alterra in 2013. The new hires have ILS experience and will work in managed cat and retro.

Markel Re is the division of insurance and reinsurance holding company Markel which inherited the Alterra third-party reinsurance capital facilities of the New Point special purpose insurance vehicle. Markel has continued to use the sidecar facility, alongside underwriting on its own paper with third-party capital, but from the announcement it would appear that it sees an opportunity to grow the managed catastrophe and retrocession premiums side of its business.

Markel Re has hired Dr. Erik Manning (ex Guy Carpenter) and Jamie Welsby (ex Logic Reinsurance) have both been appointed as Managing Directors of Markel Global Reinsurance (Markel Re), while John Duda (also ex Logic Reinsurance) has been appointed Assistant Vice President, Reinsurance Underwriter for Markel Re.

Jed Rhoads, President and Chief Underwriting Officer of Property Reinsurance for Markel Re, commented on the hires and hinted at Markel’s growth ambitions in third-party reinsurance capital management; “We are very pleased to be adding Erik, Jamie and John to our Bermuda leadership team. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in the managed third party capital property reinsurance business that will be an asset to us as we seek to expand our presence in that marketplace.”

Markel has a large insurance and reinsurance platform, with operations in many lines of business. The resulting portfolios of business it could cede to third-party capital could be extremely attractive to investors, we would imagine. It is likely to focus on property catastrophe for now, where the New Point sidecars have always operated, but Markel would be in a position to broaden this into specialty or other lines in time.

Rhoads explained that the third-party capital activities may expand beyond New Point with the larger team; “They will enhance our analytical capabilities and help develop a broader product offering, as well as assist with fundraising and the servicing of our clients, brokers, and investors. Their activities will not be limited to the assumed retrocessional reinsurance we write on Markel paper and New Point, our eight year old special purpose insurance vehicle.”

Manning most recently served as Managing Director, Specialty Practice for reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter in Bermuda. Previously, Manning was Director, ICG/DCM at Deutsche Bank (based in London), prior to which he was Senior Structurer, Insurance Linked Securities at ABN, AMRO. Manning has also worked at RK Carvill and Company, Ltd.

Jamie Welsby was most recently Principal at Logic Reinsurance Underwriting Management, Ltd., which he co-founded. Prior to Logic, Welsby was Head of Property Reinsurance at RBC Reinsurance in Toronto and has 23 years of reinsurance underwriting and management experience. He also worked with GE Insurance/Frankona, where he held the positions of Global Property Portfolio Leader, Global Catastrophe Leader, and Pricing Actuarial Leader based in Munich, Germany.

John Duda most recently held the role of Portfolio Manager for Logic Reinsurance in Toronto. His experience also includes roles at Benfield (then Aon Benfield) and Guy Carpenter, working in the Canadian and Advisory teams. Duda has an analytics background and has focused on the placement of property catastrophe business. He has also worked for Zurich Financial Services in London.

“Erik, Jamie and John will bolster our existing Managed Cat and Retro team located in Bermuda that currently comprises Andrew ‘Barney’ Barnard, Crystal Doughty and Elena Marshall. We are committed to the retrocessional market and growing our managed third party capital business,” explained Rhoads.

With these hires and the platform of New Point that it acquired with Alterra, Markel now has a much larger team to focus on attracting third-party capital from investors and leveraging that capital within its underwriting. The fee income earned and share of premium income with alternative capital will be a growing piece of the Markel reinsurance and retrocession business it would seem. With ILS structuring skills also added to the team with these hires the product offering to cedents at Markel Re will also likely expand.

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