Nephila Capital, the largest manager of catastrophe and weather insurance and reinsurance linked investment funds, has had its application to transition to operating its own managing agency at Lloyd’s approved by the market Board and has announced a number of hires.
Nephila Capital has been operating Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 2357 for some years now, having originally launched it back in late 2013.
The syndicate was managed by Asta Managing Agency Ltd. and all underwriting was backed by funds under the management of Nephila Capital, but as the syndicate has grown so has its importance to the overall Nephila business and now the ILS manager is taking greater control with the establishment of its own managing agency, Nephila Syndicate Management Ltd.
Now, the plans have been approved in principal, with the Lloyd’s Board saying yes to Nephila’s plan to form its own managing agency, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.
Nephila Syndicate Management Ltd. now has to submit an application to UK financial market regulators the PRA and FCA, following Lloyd’s approval to proceed with the project.
The company expects to assume the management of Syndicate 2357 around mid-2019, once the formal authorisation has been received.
Adam Beatty, who is currently the Active Underwriter for Nephila’s Syndicate 2357 at Lloyd’s, is set to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Nephila Syndicate Management, effective immediately.
Beatty was named Active Underwriter for Nephila’s Lloyd’s syndicate 2357 for the 2014 underwriting year and has been instrumental in driving its growth and cementing the important role it has played in the Nephila structure ever since.
Beatty commented on the news, “We are excited about this new phase in the development of Nephila’s business at Lloyd’s. Over the last five years the Syndicate has grown into a significant underwriting platform for Nephila’s funds. We are particularly delighted with the quality of the team we have been able to attract to Nephila to manage the new agency and all of us at Nephila look forward to working with them.”
Frank Majors, co-founder and co-CEO of Nephila Capital, also said, “We consider our Lloyd’s business an important strategic initiative for Nephila. We have been fortunate to work with Asta these last five years and benefitted enormously from their expertise and experience. We are now focused on supporting Adam’s efforts to create further opportunities for Nephila in this key market.”
The Lloyd’s vehicle has provided a useful way for Nephila to access new sources of risk business and also to leverage the financial security of the Lloyd’s market within its third-party capital backed reinsurance underwriting business.
This has added flexibility to some of the underwriting Nephila performs around the world, with risks often being routed via the Lloyd’s platform before being consumed by the Nephila ILS funds.
Along with the promotion of Beatty to lead the new Nephila Syndicate Management Ltd. business, the firm has announced numerous key hires to help in the building out of its Lloyd’s platform.
Gina Butterworth joined the firm in June as Director of Underwriting, Nephila said. Butterworth was previously the Director of Underwriting at Lloyd’s specialist underwriter ERS and previously held senior roles at Chaucer. Butterworth will also succeed Adam Beatty as Active Underwriter of Syndicate 2357, as from January 1st 2019.
Nephila has also hired Irfan Haq who will join the firms new Nephila Syndicate Management unit in October as Director of Finance and Operations. Haq previously worked at Occam Underwriting in the role of CFO and has previous senior Lloyd’s experience gained over seven years working at CNA Hardy.
Charity Bare also joined Nephila’s London operations in May as the Director of Risk and Compliance. Bare was previously Head of Risk at Talbot Underwriting and has also worked in a risk management role at Brit Insurance.
Sam Drysdale will join Nephila Syndicate Management in September as the firms Head of Claims. Drysdale had held the same role at specialty re/insurer Fidelis and previously worked in claims at RenaissanceRe Syndicate Management as well.
Finally, Nephila is transferring Salil Parkash from its technology team to take on a new role as Head of IT for Nephila Syndicate Management. He has worked at Nephila since August 2015, previously working for Commerzbank.
The establishment of its own managing agency makes a great deal of sense for Nephila Capital and fits with its ambitions to make the transaction process as streamlined as possible, retaining as much of the margin as it can for its investors returns.
With a managing general agent already well established in the United States, having a managing agency in London to look after its Lloyd’s syndicate activities could also signal that the syndicate is going to become an increasingly important piece of Nephila Capital’s global underwriting plumbing.
For 2018 the ILS manager had targeted forecast stamp capacity of $418.5 million for Syndicate 2357. A meaningful sum, but now set to be managed internally it will be interesting to see just how much more meaningful that figure could get in years to come.