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Vantage Risk launches, to build out ILS capabilities to drive growth


Vantage Risk, the new insurance and reinsurance start-up business from industry veterans Greg Hendrick and Dinos Iordanou, has now launched and revealed a strategy that includes building out insurance-linked securities (ILS) capabilities to drive growth of the company.

vantage-risk-logoAs we covered a few weeks ago, Vantage was setting itself up for launch with a few key hires that implied an insurance-linked securities (ILS) focus.

That’s now been confirmed and the holding company Vantage Group Holdings Ltd., which launched formally today with $1 billion of private equity backing from investors The Carlyle Group and Hellman & Friedman, will look to diverse sources of capital to help it expand.

Greg Hendrick, a thirty-year industry veteran and the former CEO of AXA XL, will lead Vantage Vantage Risk Ltd. as CEO.

Dinos Iordanou, retired President and CEO of Arch Capital Group Ltd. and a forty-year insurance and reinsurance industry veteran, becomes Non-Executive Chairman.

Vantage Risk launches with a mandate to provide property catastrophe reinsurance (mainly for North America, Europe, Japan and Australia) as well as specialty reinsurance across property and casualty classes including marine, energy, aviation, crop, workers’ compensation, property per-risk and mortgage.

In 2021, Vantage aims to launch insurance products in both the Bermuda and North American markets.

The company has detailed some senior leaders, including the ILS market executives we highlighted in our previous article:

  • Chris McKeown, Chief Executive of Reinsurance, Innovation and ILS.
  • Jack Kuhn, Chief Executive of Insurance.
  • Aurora Swithenbank, Chief Financial Officer.
  • Peter Hahn, Chief Data and Analytics Officer.
  • Gail McGiffin, Chief Information and Operations Officer effective in January 2021.
  • Bobbi Andersen, General Counsel.
  • Nikki Gonzalez, Chief Talent Officer.
  • Peta White, President of Vantage Risk effective in January 2021.
  • Nick Pritchard, Head of Property Catastrophe Underwriting.

Vantage plans to embrace technology to drive better insurance and reinsurance underwriting returns, improved efficiency and enhanced analytics on the underlying risks.

Launch will focus on property catastrophe reinsurance, focused on North America, Europe, Japan and Australia, as well as specialty reinsurance focused on lined including marine, energy, aviation, crop, workers’ compensation, risk and mortgage.

Growth plans include building out a U.S. insurance platform in 2021 and also creating capabilities in insurance-linked securities (ILS), to make use of diverse sources of risk capital.

The ILS plans mean Vantage will start work to engage alternative capital providers as it builds out a strategy around how the ILS market fits into its plans.

This is expected to start with ILS products that address peak catastrophic risk opportunities, which we expect means leveraging ILS capacity to support Vantage Risk’s own underwriting, while also enabling it to earn fee income and shares in profits as well.

Hence ILS fits under targeted growth opportunities for the company, which is clearly aware of the importance of making use of efficient capacity to support its own capital, as it builds out its property catastrophe underwriting platform.

Commenting on today’s launch, Greg Hendrick said, “2020 has reinforced the riskier nature of our world and the re/insurance markets. Risk changes constantly, and we in the insurance industry must demonstrate our ability to evolve with it, to offer clients coverage that meets their current challenges. To do that, we brought together some of the brightest, most experienced minds in re/insurance to approach the new world of risk in a fresh way — with curiosity at its core and creativity as its engine. At Vantage, we will address the risks others avoid with smart technology and robust analytics.”

“We knew it was time — time to offer the property & casualty market new insights into the evolving and increasingly complex and very demanding global risk environment,” Iordanou added. “Our team at Vantage has the talent, the knowledge, the expertise and the vision to apply all the tools at our disposal to move the insurance industry into the 21st century.”

Brian Schreiber, Head of Carlyle Insurance Solutions, also said, “Vantage is launching at an opportune time, when the market needs additional risk capacity and knowledgeable underwriters who understand the evolving nature of risk management.”

John Redett, Head of Carlyle’s Global Financial Services group, further explained, “Carlyle is thrilled to partner with an exceptional management team and experienced insurance investors, and we look forward to helping build Vantage into a market-leading franchise.”

David Tunnell, Partner at H&F, added, “For the first time since 2001, the global re/insurance markets are clearly demanding fresh capital and fresh thinking. We are excited to partner with Greg and Dinos – who we have known and admired for decades – and the team they have assembled at Vantage.”

Hunter Philbrick, Partner at H&F, stated, “As a new, built-for-purpose platform, Vantage will be uniquely positioned to capitalize on the enormous market opportunity and build a long-term competitive advantage by attracting world-class talent and deploying industry-leading technology, data and analytics.”

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