Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Fund Management

Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Helios appoints Martin Reith as CEO


Helios Underwriting, the Lloyd’s of London focused investment and underwriting vehicle that counts among its capital backers a share from insurance-linked securities (ILS) market sources, has named well known insurance and reinsurance industry leader Martin Reith as its new CEO.

martin-reith-helios-ceoReith has already been contributing to the oversight of Helios’ strategy as a non-executive director and advisor to the Board on developing its capacity portfolio.

He now becomes Executive Director of Helios and Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect, while incumbent Nigel Hanbury is set to remain on the Board as Executive Deputy Chairman.

Martin Reith commented on his appointment, “Helios is an extraordinary business that has grown significantly in recent years and is seen as the benchmark for private capital in the Lloyd’s market. I see exciting opportunities for further shareholder value creation, specifically by repositioning the earnings stream into a combination of underwriting returns, fees and commissions to support further profitable growth. I look forward to setting out my strategy in detail in due course.”

Michael Cunningham, Non-Executive Chairman of Helios Underwriting, added, “We are delighted by Martin’s elevation to CEO. His proven experience in driving growth strategies and creating significant shareholder value means that he is perfectly positioned to lead Helios on to its next stage of evolution.

“We are also very pleased that we will continue to benefit from Nigel’s experience and expertise. In his decade as Chief Executive he has led Helios from strength to strength through strategically targeted acquisition activity and organic growth.

“With a plethora of opportunities open to us to take advantage of the current Lloyd’s market conditions to drive further growth, we look to the future with confidence.”

Reith has had a long career in the insurance and reinsurance market, including relatively early in his career becoming the CEO of XL Capital’s Insurance Operations in London.

He then founded Ascot Underwriting Limited in 2001, working with the support of AIG and growing that company into a leading Lloyd’s underwriting franchise. He held the CEO position at Ascot until 2009, when he became a Non-Executive Director on the firm’s Board from 2009 to 2011.

Following that, Reith served as an Advisory Director for insurance-linked securities (ILS) manager Securis Investment Partners LLP and also sat on the AMWINS board for a number of years.

He then worked at Neon Underwriting Limited, as CEO and board member from 2015 to 2019, then in a Non-Executive role until 2020.

After which he joined the Board of Prospero Re, the rated reinsurance vehicle of Bermuda headquartered ILS fund and investment manager Resolute Global Partners, (formerly ILS Capital Management).

Reith also commented on Helios’ performance this morning, saying, “Helios’ unique proposition, as the only listed consolidator of private capital at Lloyd’s, is well positioned to benefit from the Lloyd’s market’s recently announced mid point forecasts. Helios has built and curated an outstanding portfolio of the better performing syndicates and, as a consequence of underwriting discipline and judicious capital deployment, we are delighted to see improved underwriting profitability in the Lloyd’s market. We expect Helios’ portfolio to continue to outperform the market as we have since 2013 for closed years of accounts.

“Recognising stronger market conditions, we increased our retained capacity to £238m for the 2023 year of account, an increase of 34%. We remain confident that we shall deliver improved results and superior return on equity underpinned by our favourable Economic Capital Assessment (ECA), and look forward to creating further shareholder value as the benefits of the larger retained capacity flows to the income statement.”

Register today for ILS Asia 2023, our next insurance-linked securities (ILS) market conference. Held in Singapore, July 13th, 2023.

Artemis ILS Asia 2023 - Insurance-linked securities conference in Singapore

Get a ticket soon to ensure you can attend. Secure your place at the event here!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Artemis Newsletters and Email Alerts

Receive a regular weekly email newsletter update containing all the top news stories, deals and event information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Receive alert notifications by email for every article from Artemis as it gets published.