Sirius International Group, Ltd., the Bermuda based reinsurance arm of the White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd., is the latest reinsurer to announce the launch of an initiative seeking to capitalise on the convergence of reinsurance and capital markets. Sirius Group has formed a dedicated ILS team which will lead a strategic initiative in the insurance linked securities (ILS) and reinsurance capital markets convergence arena.
Sirius Group has hired Michael Halsband, ex-Deutsche Bank, to lead the initiative from New York, while Deanne Nixon will lead the initiative from the reinsurers Bermuda base. The two leaders of this initiative will both report directly to Allan Waters, President and CEO of Sirius Group.
Michael Halsband, a prominent executive in the ILS, catastrophe bond and collateralized reinsurance arena from his time on the investment banking side of the market, had left Deutsche Bank a few weeks ago we understand. In his time at Deutsche Bank Halsband led DB’s P&C Insurance Solutions practice, with his most recent role being as Director in the Capital Markets and Treasury Solutions Group. Prior to his time with Deutsche Bank, he held a Vice President role at Goldman Sachs in the Financing Group where he was responsible for origination, structuring and marketing of sidecars, cat bonds and other insurance securitizations. Halsband has more than 23 years experience in banking, law and (re)insurance.
Deanne Nixon has been with the Sirius Group since 2003 and has over 23 years of underwriting experience in the (re)insurance industry. Most recently she held the role of Senior Vice President for Sirius International Insurance Corporation’s Bermuda Branch where she was responsible for the company’s U.S. property catastrophe, retrocessional, ILW and Cat Bond assumptions.
Allan Waters commented on the appointments and launch of this initiative; “Capital markets participation in the property catastrophe risk arena is growing rapidly, changing the face of what has historically been one of the most profitable sectors in the traditional reinsurance business. This strategic initiative leverages White Mountains’ and Sirius Group’s extensive successes in both capital markets executions and property casualty underwriting. The Sirius ILS team will provide their deeply knowledgeable experience and wisdom to our current and new partners who wish to access this rapidly developing market.”
The launch of a dedicated Sirius ILS team is another example of a major insurance and reinsurance group positioning itself to be ready to capitalise on the expected continued growth of the ILS and third-party capital reinsurance convergence markets. The recent growth in the convergence reinsurance market, and the impact that collateralized and ILS capacity has had on reinsurance pricing, is beginning to make re/insurers sit up and take notice. This certainly won’t be the last ILS focused team launch announcement we see this year.