1347 Property Insurance Holdings, Inc. has appointed Larry Swets as its interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to lead the company through its transition towards a strategy focused on reinsurance and investment management.
Swets has worked in a number of financial services, insurance and reinsurance organisations at key times in their history, helping to drive strategic shifts and turnarounds, with experience gained in insurance-linked securities (ILS) through the establishment of Insurance Income Strategies Ltd., a vehicle that had backing from 1347 Advisors and Kinsgway Financial, a former employer of Swets.
1347 Property Insurance Holdings (1347 PIH) sold its homeowners insurance underwriting operations to Florida and region focused primary insurance group FedNat Holding Company towards the end of 2019.
At that time, 1347 PIH said it was planning to transition into a holding company offering reinsurance and investment management services, while also announcing that it had secured a lucrative five-year first-refusal arrangement for up to 7% of any layer of FedNat’s reinsurance program renewals.
Swets will now take on responsibility for leading 1347 PIH throughout the formation, launch, and initial execution of these new strategies.
The company intends to rename itself to “Fundamental Global Financial Corporation” (FGFC) to align with future business plans and this is also an alignment with the company Kyle Cerminara, Chairman, had previously founded, registered investment advisor Fundamental Global Investors.
Kyle Cerminara, Chairman of 1347 PIH, commented on the appointment of Swets, “We believe that Larry is the ideal person to lead the Company as we create the foundation for a financial holding company and are delighted he decided to expand his role as a Director. Larry has direct experience in leading an insurance business as it transitioned into other areas of opportunity, which is specifically what we are trying to accomplish at FGFC. At the Board level, we are working diligently to identify opportunities to maximize the return of our capital position for all shareholders. We believe it is important to have leadership in place immediately while we position the business to take advantage, and Larry has the skillset to execute on these plans.”
Swets added, “I am pleased to expand my role as a Director at the Company and to help guide initial asset allocation and management decisions, as well as explore future opportunities to maximize shareholders’ capital. The Company is in a strong financial position, and we expect to be thoughtful in our approach to how we utilize our balance sheet in the coming months and years ahead. We believe that there are excellent opportunities to deliver a high return on capital through strategic investments in the asset management and real estate markets, along with leveraging our collective insurance expertise to identify dislocations in reinsurance markets where we can immediately take advantage. I look forward to maintaining an active dialogue with our investors and team, while guiding the Company through these initial stages of its development.”
Swets had already been on the 1347 PIH Board of Directors since November 21st 2013 and had also previously served as Chairman from March 2017 to May 2018.
Before that, Swets was Chief Executive Officer of Kingsway Financial Services, Inc. from 2010 to 2018, and led the firm as it transitioned from a multi-line insurance company to a diversified holding business.
Given those involved in 1347 PIH, as well as its newly stated reinsurance and investment management strategy, it will be interesting to watch how this develops and how the company looks to leverage the returns that are possible in reinsurance and investing in the most complementary manner to deliver shareholder returns.
The company will have the option to pull in third-party investor capital to help its reinsurance arm underwrite more business, while also having an ability to be more active on the investment side of the business as well.