Clear Blue Financial Holdings LLC, the newly formed commercial insurance fronting carrier has officially launched today and will begin servicing clients immediately as a pure fronting services provider through its two fully licensed and rated insurance carriers.
“We are excited to provide both traditional and alternative capital backed reinsurers access to the on-shore U.S. insurance market,” commented President and CEO Jerome Breslin. “The commercial insurance market is in need of A- rated and licensed fronting capacity and we strongly believe that our underwriting expertise and operational capabilities, coupled with our longstanding industry relationships, will enable Clear Blue play an important role in meeting growing demand.”
Clear Blue is hoping to jump on the wave of demand that providers of both traditional and alternative reinsurance capacity have for accessing sources of insurance risk. By helping this capacity to access primary programs more directly, through the rated paper provided by its fronting carriers, Clear Blue assists the capacity in driving further towards the source of the risk.
Private equity firm Pine Brook is backing the Clear Blue carriers with capital, helping them to achieve the necessary credit worthiness for the ‘A-‘ A.M. Best ratings that both insurers achieved.
Clear Blue describes itself as “A non-risk bearing insurance business that enables traditional and alternative reinsurers to access the on-shore U.S. market through use of Clear Blue’s program management expertise, licenses and A.M. Best rating.”
As we wrote before, Clear Blue acquired two clean shell insurance vehicles to serve as the companies fronting carriers. RLI Indemnity Company has been renamed as Clear Blue Insurance Company and will serve as the business’ multi-line insurance fronting outfit with admittance to 49 U.S. states. The other acquisition, Maiden Specialty Insurance Company, has been renamed Clear Blue Specialty Insurance Company and will serve as Clear Blue’s licensed non-admitted or Excess & Surplus carrier.
Founded by Breslin, who built Bank of America’s commercial insurance division, the firm has also hired a Chief Risk Officer in Jim Mann and Chief Operating Officer in Peter Klope, also both previously at Bank of America with Breslin. Joining the management team are Jeff Downey, Manuel Lebron and Scott Palladino, all bringing significant experience in the P&C industry to Clear Blue.
“We are confident that the Clear Blue team has found a very interesting segment of the insurance market,” said William Spiegel, founding partner and managing director of Pine Brook’s financial services investment team. “We’re pleased to partner with Jerome and his team, as their strong industry experience and proven track record will provide them with a tremendous market advantage.”
Clear Blue, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, will now be out speaking to potential capacity providers in both the traditional and alternative reinsurance markets. As this fronting sector grows, companies like Clear Blue could become key conduits to risk for some of the alternative or ILS capacity providers, enabling further disruption to the more traditional syndicated reinsurance market model.