Markel hires Chu from Guy Carpenter as new ceded reinsurance chief

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Global insurance and reinsurance group Markel Corporation has hired Julia Chu from broker Guy Carpenter to take responsibility for its reinsurance buying, as she takes on the newly created role of Chief Global Ceded Reinsurance Officer.

Markel, which is a diverse financial holding company and has operations in more than just insurance and reinsurance including ownership of retrocession focused ILS asset manager Markel CATCo Investment Management, is positioning itself to better manage its risk and leverage reinsurance for growth with this new hire.

Chu will take responsibility for Markel Corporation’s ceded reinsurance functions across all product lines and international insurance operations, which consist of 71 offices in 21 countries.

Chu will be tasked with working alongside executive management in order to “strategically deploy ceded reinsurance in support of Markel’s business objectives.”

Leveraging reinsurance capital to grow front-end re/insurance businesses is becoming increasingly vital, as re/insurers try to work out the best way to grow into a market where risks do not always meet their own cost-of-capital, pushing them to increasingly leverage other firms capacity to support their own underwriting.

The use of reinsurance as a capital tool for growth, as well as for protection, is an increasingly important trait of successful re/insurers, making ceded reinsurance operations an important piece of the overall strategy.

“Julia is a great addition to our team. She is a top-tier talent who will help us to manage risk strategically from the enterprise portfolio perspective. Her skills, insights, and industry contacts will be put to good use here at Markel,” explained Robin Russo, Chief Underwriting Officer.

Chu will report directly to Russo and will be based from Markel’s corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia.

Markel has had a number of departures of executives with control of reinsurance functions, so the hiring of Chu will give the firm renewed focus in this area.

In her time at reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter, Chu served as Managing Director, Strategic Advisory. Chu is a trained actuary and has also worked at Aon Re as a Vice President, Milliman USA as a Consulting Actuary, and also at Farmers Insurance Group.

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