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Blenheim adds more ex-Cathedral staff, confirms Nephila investment


Lloyd’s of London syndicate Blenheim Syndicate 5886, led by the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cathedral Capital Peter Scales, has added a number of ex-Cathedral property underwriting staff and also confirmed today the investment made by ILS manager Nephila Capital.

Blenheim aims to be substantially owned by its staff and has elected to be agnostic as to source of the third-party capital backing the syndicate. Hence the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance linked investment manager Nephila Capital is a key backer.

Today, Blenheim announced the appointment of new underwriters to its property treaty and direct & facultative (D&F) property teams, expanding its insurance and reinsurance underwriting capabilities with more of Scale’s old staff from Cathedral.

John Hamblin, Mark Wilson and Simon Dean all join the existing Blenheim treaty team of Nick Destro, Geraldine McMillan and Michael O Sullivan, when their existing contractual responsibilities are concluded. Dean will join in November with Hamblin and Wilson joining Blenheim in February 2017.

Simon King and Nick Adams, also ex-Cathedral, are set to join Blenheim to underwrite a D&F account when they are contractually allowed. Adams will join the syndicate in December and King will join in February 2017.

The firm said it will be announcing further management and underwriting appointments in the near future.

Blenheim also highlighted today that the strategic investment from Nephila Holdings is based on relationships between the two firms, with some of them going back as far as 25 years.

Peter Scales, Blenheim group CEO, commented; “We are very grateful for the support of such a diverse capital base ranging from traditional Lloyd’s members to Nephila, one of the foremost and most innovative presences in the ILS market. The range of our backing gives us the maximum flexibility to expand our business in the future. We can now start to build a business that creates a trading environment that empowers traditional underwriting skills using the most modern risk management and technology platforms.”

Scales told Artemis last week that Nephila is set to be the largest single contributor to Blenheim’s syndicate stamp and that the relationship, along with other third-party capital providers such as Names, will give the syndicate a “high degree of flexibility to source capital if and when required in the future.”

Scales has not just lined up impressive backing but is building a team of experienced underwriters. For Nephila, backing such a venture is another way for the firm to expand its footprint in the Lloyd’s market while backing a team with a long track record of successful property insurance and reinsurance underwriting.

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