Brit launches Sussex Capital collateralised vehicle, Jay Nichols joins board


Specialty insurance and reinsurance player and part of the Fairfax group Brit Ltd. has launched a new collateralised reinsurance vehicle, named Sussex Capital, which will write third-party business on a fully-collateralised basis and also assume risk from Brit’s syndicate at Lloyd’s.

Brit has also named reinsurance industry veteran Jay Nichols to the boards of its new collateralised venture Sussex Capital and also to its new Bermudian captive reinsurer, Brit Re which was recently redomiciled from Gibraltar.

The new collateralised reinsurance platform, Sussex Capital, is a Bermuda domiciled vehicle which Brit has established for the January renewals, as it looks to increase the capital markets participation in its underwriting activities.

Sussex Capital will access reinsurance business through Sussex Re, a newly set up Bermuda-domiciled special purpose insurer (SPI).

The platform will underwrite direct collateralised reinsurance for third-parties and also providing collateralised reinsurance to Brit’s reinsurance portfolio and Lloyd’s syndicate.

Brit is targeting a January 1st 2018 launch for Sussex Capital and expects to have initial capacity of $100 million from instirutional investors to deploy.

Brit CEO Matthew Wilson, commented, “We are excited to launch Sussex Capital and further enhance Brit’s client and broker proposition with Sussex Re writing direct collateralised reinsurance, as we continue to share access to Brit’s strong underwriting capabilities and diversified global distribution with our capital partners.”

Mark Allan, CFO, added, “Sussex Capital is the next step in Brit’s strategy to build long term relationships with the capital markets. It will complement Versutus, our existing Bermuda- domiciled special purpose insurer, further strengthening Brit’s reinsurance capability and access to a diversified source of capital to support property catastrophe risk.”

Jay Nichols provides a well-known figure-head for the Sussex Capital venture and for Brit’s internal reinsurer, Brit Re. He was most recently the CEO of reinsurance at Axis Capital.

Nichols previously spent 15 years at RenaissanceRe, including as President of RenaissanceRe Ventures where he worked on the formation of DaVinci Reinsurance and Top Layer Reinsurance, as well as numerous collateralized reinsurance sidecars and other third-party capital backed joint ventures and strategic investments. Before RenaissanceRe, Nichols held roles at Hartford Steam Boiler, Monarch Capital and the accounting firm of Matson, Driscoll and D’Amico.

Mark Cloutier, Brit, Executive Chairman, commented, “The launch of Sussex Capital and establishment of Brit Re are both important milestones in the development of our platform in Bermuda and the appointment of someone of Jay’s calibre to their respective Boards is a strong statement of intention. Jay brings to Brit an impressive track-record within the reinsurance arena, and his experience of working across the capital markets will prove extremely valuable as we continue to build on our Bermuda presence and capabilities. We look forward to welcoming Jay and his contribution as an important Board member for these businesses.”

Sussex Capital and Sussex Re are just the latest collateralised ventures to target the 1/1 renewals, further augmenting the availability of alternative capital for reinsurance buyers and also providing Brit itself with an efficient form of protection.

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