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Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Nephila: Rebranded, 200+ people, almost 22 in age, but still the same


Nephila Capital has undergone its first full rebrand in its near 22 year history, as the largest manager of catastrophe, weather and climate insurance and reinsurance assets sets itself up for the future.

nephila-capital-article-logoNephila Capital was launched in 1998 by its founders Frank Majors and Greg Hagood.

Initially a part of insurance and reinsurance broking group Willis, who the founding pair had joined to help with a capital market strategy, Majors and Hagood soon after chose Bermuda as a base for Nephila in 1999 and a few years later took Nephila Capital private in a management buyout.

It’s likely the pair and Willis quickly realised the potential of insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund management, as well as the fact this strategy would not sit particularly well within a broking house that served the insurance and reinsurance counterparties that a growing Nephila Capital would be providing capacity to with advice and brokerage services.

The buyout was effected at a time when Nephila Capital had just a few hundred million dollars of capital from its expanding third-party investor base in 2003.

After that Nephila Capital began to grow its investor base, as the institutional investors and pension funds of the world increasingly gained an appreciation for alternative asset classes exhibiting a low correlation to financial markets, such as catastrophe or weather insurance and reinsurance risks.

That, as well as the teams impressive track records of performance and growth, attracted significant attention, resulting in both KKR & Co. LP and Man Group buying minority equity stakes in the ILS investment manager, giving Nephila enhanced access to the investor markets at a time when it was also seeing increasing access to risk.

There followed steady and sometimes rapid expansion of the Nephila Capital asset base and risk portfolios, as it expanded out beyond pure reinsurance and retrocession, into primary insurance risks, weather risks and more recently an increasing focus on climate linked exposures.

Reaching more than $12 billion of assets under management at its peak, Nephila Capital eventually opted for a transaction with Markel Corporation in 2018 that saw the company buying 100% of the ILS fund manager, providing an exit for its other investors and creating a platform to drive further growth.

That deal positions Nephila as part of a much larger insurance and reinsurance platform, with enhanced access to risk and fronting, as well as all the back-office and technology resource the company could need.

The ongoing evolution of Nephila Capital continues though and the company has now opted for a full rebrand, the first in its history.

A new logo, website and brand identity has been created by agency Coley Porter Bell, all based on work undertaken with senior management, employees, stakeholders, investors, brokers and counterparties, to come up with something that presents Nephila Capital as ready for the future.

Almost 22 years after its pioneering launch and now with more than 200 employees around the world, Nephila Capital’s new brand is designed to show off its range of offerings, from reinsurance, through insurance, its Lloyd’s syndicate operations and its climate and weather linked investment strategies.

But at its core the company hasn’t changed and the original mission of its founders of finding more fluid ways to leverage the capital markets as a source of underwriting capacity remain, connecting risk with the most efficient and robust forms of capital able to bear it, in the most direct and effective manner.

Greg Hagood, co-CEO, Nephila Capital, explained, “We are delighted to share our new brand identity with our clients. Our original logo and brand served us well for many years, but we needed to undertake this initiative because the firm has evolved significantly over the last ten years. While we have refreshed our look, we are still the same Nephila – eager and inspired – but visually and functionally closer to our identity and values as we look toward the future.”

We look forward to seeing how influential Nephila Capital and the rest of the ILS fund management space that it helped to create can become after another 22 years.

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