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Chaucer launches Bermuda branch with U.S. reinsurance focus


International specialty insurance and reinsurance group Chaucer plc has launched a U.S. reinsurance focused underwriting operation in Bermuda, from where it expects to write quota share and excess of loss business across property, casualty and specialty lines.

chaucer-logoChaucer’s new reinsurance branch in Bermuda has been launched following the receipt of regulatory approvals from the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Bermuda branch of Chaucer will provide U.S. clients with greater access to its specialty underwriting expertise and capacity, operating as a Class 4 (re)insurer in Bermuda.

Chaucer will underwrite a range of U.S. property, casualty and specialty reinsurance business for the firm’s Chaucer Insurance Company subsidiary in Dublin, Ireland from its new Bermuda branch.

James Holliss, Chaucer’s Head of US Property Treaty, has transferred to Bermuda to lead the new reinsurance underwriting branch.

He has 20 years of reinsurance underwriting experience gained at Chaucer, after beginning his insurance career with CNA London.

Chaucer has also added underwriter Zak Mallen to the team in Bermuda, who will be tasked with building a portfolio of US casualty reinsurance business to complement Chaucer’s market position in London.

“Bermuda is a key market and we are excited to be here,” John Fowle, Chief Executive Officer of Chaucer commented. “This move builds on our existing infrastructure as we aim to provide brokers and clients with smart underwriting solutions.”

James Holliss, Head of Bermuda added, “I’m delighted to lead Chaucer’s new branch in Bermuda. I believe that our expertise and service commitment, combined with our financial strength and growth ambitions, means that we will be able to offer a compelling and relevant proposition to this strategically important market.”

Michelle Moore, General Manager of Chaucer Insurance Company also said, “Opening our Bermuda branch is a strong statement of our intent to expand Chaucer Insurance Company’s international presence and to grow our business. In James and Zak, we have a very highly regarded team with strong relationships in Bermuda and the US. We have bold ambitions to grow our Bermudian operation, and anticipate adding both personnel and product lines in the near future.”

The move could see Chaucer making increasing use of third-party capital as well, given it already has the Thopas Re Ltd., Bermuda domiciled fully collateralized reinsurance sidecar available to it.

Chaucer launched its Thopas Re sidecar for the 2018 underwriting year with $95 million of third-party reinsurance capital to back Syndicate 1084’s global reinsurance portfolio.

The Thopas Re sidecar was renewed for the 2020 underwriting year at an undisclosed size.

With this heightened focus on U.S. reinsurance through the new Bermuda branch, it would not be surprising to see Chaucer looking to add additional third-party capital to support that.

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