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D&F start-up plans to tap ILS market for capacity support


A newly established start-up that will specialise in underwriting direct & facultative (D&F) property risks for the world’s top two thousand global companies is aiming to bring ILS investors along for the ride as supporting capacity.

Agile Risk Partners Limited has been founded by ex-broker James Poole (previously at Price Forbes and Arthur J Gallagher & Co.), alongside well-known D&F market underwriter Richard Foster (most recently the Head of Global Property at Brit Insurance), Artemis can reveal.

Foster has significant underwriting expertise in the international property and energy space, particularly in direct & facultative risks, so will provide the underwriting expertise for the venture.

Poole meanwhile has expertise in complex insurance and reinsurance deal structuring, broking and technology gained through his years at London market brokerages, as well as time working at a big data specialist.

The pair have a vision of underwriting large, risk-managed property risks for the world’s largest companies. Focusing on developing a book that is neither attritional or critical nat cat centric and as a result creating a pool of risk that should be attractive to both traditional re/insurers as well as ILS funds and their investors.

The start-up is aiming to draw ILS investors into the D&F space where the potential risk adjusted returns present significant deltas to other areas of ILS such as the cat bond market.

Agile Risk Partners will leverage big data and technology platforms to manage their book, creating value for customers.

The business plan is still evolving, but the pair hope to partner with a traditional carrier that can provide a certain size of guaranteed line, while using ILS capital to augment the offering to meet the needs of the world’s largest D&F property insureds.

ILS capacity, from existing ILS funds or direct from major institutions, will be welcomed into the structure the firm utilises, with a protected cell type entity set to enable the collateralisation and reinsurance of either individual or portfolios of D&F risks.

The start-up is expected to be structured as an MGA, or be hosted inside one of the existing MGA incubators, with inwards and outwards insurance and reinsurance expertise for launch and is aiming to be underwriting in time for 1/1 2019.

As many as 200 D&F property risks per year could be underwritten and the ILS markets that work with the start-up will stand to access a diversifying source of global property risks, should the venture be successful.

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