XL shows capital market ambitions with hire of Craig Wenzel from Deutsche Bank

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Bermuda headquartered global insurer and reinsurer XL Group has announced a new senior hire into their reinsurance operations today. Craig Wenzel will join XL in a newly created Senior Vice President, Capital Markets role. In this role Wenzel will be responsible for growing XL’s relationships with third-party capital providers in support of XL’s global underwriting activities which, as a new role, shows the firms appetite to become active in the capital market side of reinsurance.

Most recently Wenzel was at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, where he was most a director in the Capital Markets and Treasury Solutions division. In that role he was responsible for originating catastrophe product globally and worked on many catastrophe bonds, sidecars and alternative capital and risk transfer solutions. XL themselves sponsored one of the first post-Katrina sidecars in the form of Cyrus Re and Wenzel worked on the financing of these vehicles between 2005 and 2007. Prior to Deutsche Bank Wenzel was with J.P. Morgan Securities in debt capital markets.

Wenzel will report to Charles Cooper, President & Chief Underwriting Officer of XL Re Ltd, their Bermuda based reinsurance arm.

Cooper commented on the hiring of Wenzel; “Capital market investors continue to show interest in the Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) market and are searching for innovative ways to access attractive non-correlated yields. Craig’s background in finance and the ILS market makes him the ideal person to lead XL’s continued advancement in the reinsurance/capital markets convergence space.”

Clearly this is another major global reinsurer who has seen the opportunity to attract third-party institutional capital into their underwriting operations as a new source of capital from which they can profit in premium income. It will be interesting to see how they approach this, whether they will look to launch a fund based reinsurance operation, tap the catastrophe bond market or launch a new sidecar.

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