StarStone U.S. hires Oliphant from Nephila’s Velocity MGA

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Starstone U.S. continued its plans for excess & surplus lines market expansion with the key hire of Alison Oliphant, previously of Nephila Capital’s MGA Velocity Risk Underwriters, who joins the firm to become as President of Starstone U.S.’ newly-formed E&S property division.

alison-oliphant-starstone-usOliphant was Chief Underwriting Office, Commercial Lines for Velocity Risk Underwriters LLC, the managing general agency (MGA) operation of reinsurance, catastrophe, climate and weather risk-linked investment manager Nephila Capital, from late 2015.

Prior to that, Oliphant spent almost 8 years working at risk distribution specialist AmWINS, holding the roles of President, Special Risk Underwriters and EVP of AmWINS Brokerage of Alabama.

In her time with Nephila’s Velocity, Oliphant helped to set the overall strategy for the commercial property insurance underwriting division of the MGA, playing a key role to source risk to connect with Nephila’s third-party reinsurance capital.

Starstone U.S. has just undergone a $610 million recapitalisation thanks to private equity giants including Dragoneer, SkyKnight and Aquiline.

Previously an Enstar Group subsidiary and still a major holding for the legacy and capital focused specialist, Starstone U.S. wants to become a market leader in the specialty property & casualty insurance markets, so key hires such as Oliphant’s are vital to achieving this goal.

In the new role, Oliphant manage the E&S property business unit at Starstone U.S., including having direct oversight of the underwriting teams focused on this segment. StarStone U.S. plans to launch the E&S property underwriting division ahead of the start of the 2021 renewal cycle, seeking to capitalise on the firming of rates.

Starstone U.S.’ incoming CEO Jeff Consolino commented on the important hire, “I am looking forward to working with Alison as we build a market-leading specialty insurance company. Alison is an accomplished insurance executive with a proven track record of building successful property insurance businesses from the ground up. She has spent her career in property and brings extensive experience across underwriting, distribution, and capital management. There is a clear market need for expansion in commercial property as we observe premium pricing increasing and capacity contracting. Alison will lead a team that will continue to build on our strategic and dynamic vision for StarStone U.S.”

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