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Aon Benfield appoints convergence focused exec to President of U.S. business


Reinsurance broker Aon Benfield continues to place importance on the convergence of the reinsurance and capital markets in its hiring, as it announced the appointment of Kelly Smith as President of its U.S. business.

Smith has been with Aon since 1989 and has assisted with the brokers growth into a leading risk, reinsurance and capital advisor and intermediary. Smith has a strong background in catastrophe risk broking and also in convergence with the capital markets and alternative forms of reinsurance capital, skills Aon Benfield no doubt places as high on its list of requirements for its senior team.

Most recently Kelly Smith served as Executive Managing Director of Aon Benfield U.S. and also managed the brokers Chicago office.

In property catastrophe reinsurance, Smith has been responsible for leading client teams which managed more U.S. property catastrophe reinsurance limits than any other broking team in the market, according to the press release. At the same time, Smith also managed some of the industry’s most significant casualty and professional liability reinsurance programs.

The teams Smith has been in charge of have consistently managed to lower the cost of underwriting capital for Aon Benfield clients. At the same time, and contributing to the reduction in cost of capital, Smith has led teams which have integrated new capital flows into traditional reinsurance placements, bringing further client benefits.

Smith will report to Bryon Ehrhart, Chief Executive Officer of Aon Benfield Americas in her new role which is effective today.

Bryon Ehrhart, CEO of Aon Benfield Americas, stated; “Kelly Smith has built and led teams that have driven highly differentiated results for our clients. Kelly is a proven leader in our business and I look forward to the benefits our clients will experience through her new role.”

Kelly Smith added; “I am looking forward to working with all of our Aon Benfield colleagues across the U.S. and continuing to seek ways to help them assist our clients maximize their performance and help them grow.”

It’s more important than ever that reinsurance brokers have a convergence focus, as clients are now asking what their options for leveraging new types of capital may be. We can expect to see senior brokers with a strong understanding of how to leverage the right mix of traditional and alternative, balance sheet and third-party capital, for their clients, move up the ranks within their organisations in years to come.

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