In preparing for its acquisition by French insurance giant AXA, Bermudian insurance and reinsurance firm XL Group has laid out some of the managerial changes to expect during the transition, but has highlighted that responsibility for ceded reinsurance and alternative capital will remain with Mark van Zanden.
Mark van Zanden is currently the Chief Executive of XL Catlin’s P&C Underwriting Capital Management, which gives him overall responsibility for the re/insurers ceded reinsurance activities and work with alternative capital providers.
In a letter to employees, XL Group CEO Mike McGavick and President of Property & Casualty Greg Hendrick, who is expected to lead the combined AXA global P&C insurance and reinsurance division after the acquisition, said that, “We are well under way in planning for the numerous opportunities ahead of us in anticipation of the AXA-XL deal.”
The pair said that all workstreams related to the combination of AXA’s P&C re/insurance operations with XL and its XL Catlin branded units, as well as the resulting new units integration within AXA, are well underway.
While the pair said they could not announce the full leadership team at this time, due to the complexity of the combining of AXA and XL, they can provide some steering on certain members of the XL Catlin and XL Group leadership team.
Of most relevance to the ILS market and alternative reinsurance capital is the announcement that Mark van Zanden would be retaining responsibility for Underwriting Capital Management, including ceded reinsurance and alternative capital activities at the combined firm.
With XL already a heavy user of alternative capital, through the re/insurers stake in established ILS fund manager New Ocean Capital Management and also through its growing use of the capital markets and catastrophe bonds in its retrocession program, continuity in this area will be welcomed by the investor base.
Additionally, with the enlarged AXA-XL P&C re/insurance firm a significantly larger entity, there are likely to be opportunities to put greater amounts of capital market capacity to work within its underwriting and for its reinsurance or retrocession.
Also of note is the fact Charles Cooper is to retain responsibility for the reinsurance underwriting division of the combined AXA-XL entity, providing further continuity for ILS investors working with or taking risks from XL.
McGavick and Hendrick closed their letter saying, “Since announcing this transaction, as we have worked with counterparts and leaders at AXA, we are only more convinced that this is the right next step for XL Catlin.”
Continuity in the areas where XL accesses the capital markets is vital, to provide ILS investors and alternative capital providers with continuity and certainty going forwards.
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