Argo names Partington Howarth of Ariel Re as ceded reinsurance chief


Argo Group, the international specialty insurance and reinsurance underwriter, has appointed a new global leader for its ceded reinsurance operations, promoting Ariel Re head of underwriting Katie Partington Howarth to the role of Group Head of Ceded Reinsurance.

Argo Group acquired dedicated reinsurance firm Ariel Re in 2016 and Partington Howarth has been with Ariel since its launch in 2005.

Now in charge of the entire Argo Group operations reinsurance buying, Partington Howarth will be expected to lead the firms protection strategy and implement its reinsurance buying across all business lines worldwide.

Argo notes the wealth of reinsurance options now available to a firm of its size, with the capital markets and insurance-linked securities (ILS) a key area already for Argo reinsurance program, not least through the Loma catastrophe bonds.

“We continue to see a steady stream of capital flowing into the reinsurance market and the options for how to protect risks are growing at a rapid pace,” commented Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III. “Centralizing this analysis, evaluating a variety of innovative and traditional options, and deciding on the proper strategy is more complex than ever. There is, however, a significant advantage to be had by insurers who do this well.

“Katie is a rare talent and has proven her abilities by leading several initiatives that have been integral to the success of our reinsurance operation at Ariel Re. Her skills, experience and enthusiasm are highly regarded. And, I’m confident the company, customers and shareholders will benefit from having her in this role.”

Partington has more than 15 years of experience working in reinsurance, across underwriting, broking and analytics. She became the head of underwriting risk at Ariel Re in 2016, having been with the firm since its launch in 2005.

Prior to her time at Ariel Re, she worked at reinsurance broker Benfield Ltd. for four years as a risk analyst and broker.

Ceded reinsurance is becoming about more than just protection alone, now being a capital lever that is vital to global re/insurers, especially as a way to bring more efficient alternative capital within their own capital structures.

Hence choosing the right people to run ceded reinsurance is an important decision for companies like Argo.

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