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Ascot Re launches with $1bn of pension backing, Berger as CEO


Ascot Reinsurance Company Limited (Ascot Re) is being launched in Bermuda as a Class 3B reinsurance company by Ascot Group Limited, with a $1 billion injection of capital from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and ex-Third Point Re CEO John Berger lined up to lead the company.

Ascot Group said today that it has received approval from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) to launch Ascot Re, adding that the new reinsurer demonstrates its, “Strong capital position and long-term commitment to providing (re)insurance solutions to its clients across market cycles.”

Ascot Re benefits from a $1 billion injection of capital, which has helped the reinsurer to gain an “A” rating from A.M. Best reflecting the strength this backing provides. The company said the rating is also a reflection of Ascot Group’s performance over time and its access to long-term capital through the Group’s owner the CPPIB and the management.

Andrew Brooks, CEO of Ascot Group CEO, commented on the launch, “Ascot Re is an important development in the growth of the Ascot Group and the culmination of a long held strategy to strengthen Ascot’s global footprint by building a (re)insurance company in a key marketplace”.

Neill Currie, Executive Chairman, added, “Through Ascot Re, we look forward to becoming a leading reinsurer in the Bermuda market, which will enhance our ability to build meaningful long term relationships with brokers and their clients, and positions us well to service any demand for new cover.”

Ascot Re will launch with a high-profile CEO having secured John Berger, previously of hedge fund backed reinsurance firm Third Point Re, to lead the start-up.

Berger is expected to start at Asoct Re in January 2018, pending immigration approval and brings experience from leading a range of reinsurance firms, including F&G Re, Chubb Re, Harbour Point and most recently, Third Point Re.

Brooks and Currie commented on Berger’s appointment, “We are delighted that John has accepted the leadership role at Ascot Re, an appointment that will add significantly to the strength of the existing Ascot Group team in Bermuda. His exceptional market knowledge, experience and reputation within our industry will play a huge role in building out the platform we aspire to.”

John Berger added, “I have known and admired the Ascot team for a long time. I am very excited about joining the Group and building out the Bermuda operation.”

For core investor CPPIB, which invests the funds of the Canada Pension Plan that amounted to around C$317 billion at the end of March 2017, Ascot Group represents a key global property & casualty platform that enables the pension fund to access insurance and reinsurance linked returns.

The launch of Ascot Re will expand the ability of the CPPIB to access reinsurance linked returns, which in the current market environment could be a well-timed play to capitalise on any increase in rates following the recent catastrophe losses. The launch also helps Ascot Group to expand its usefulness for clients and position itself to play a more influential role in reinsurance markets.

Also read: Ascot Re to start with Syndicate 1414 quota share reinsurance.

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