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Willis launches catastrophe bond issuance platform Resilience Re


Willis Capital Markets & Advisory (WCMA), the catastrophe bond, insurance-linked securities (ILS), M&A and investment banking unit of global insurance and reinsurance broker Willis, has launched a platform to simplify client access to catastrophe bond capacity.

The new catastrophe bond platform is called Resilience Re and has been created to offer Willis’ clients efficient and lower cost access to reinsurance capacity sourced from the capital markets and ILS investors.

WCMA says that its clients will benefit from cost efficiencies and quicker time to market to secure cat bond capacity by using the platform. As with other private cat bond platforms, Resilience Re aims to achieve this in part from simplified processes and documentation for qualifying risks.

Willis’ platform will provide access to dedicated reinsurance transformers along with standardised reinsurance and securitization processes, according to the broker.

Bill Dubinsky, Head of ILS at WCMA, commented on the launch of Resilience Re; “We believe that Resilience Re’s seamless integration with the reinsurance placement process will make it inherently more scalable than previous ILS private placement efforts.”

John Cavanagh, Global CEO of Willis Re, added; “By adding another source of capacity, Resilience Re will make our clients’ reinsurance programs themselves more resilient. The simplified process can integrate with the standard reinsurance placement or operate on a standalone basis.”

As the ILS market continues to grow and the amount of capital allocated to ILS, cat bond and collateralized reinsurance transactions looks set to increase, Willis is joining other brokers who provide dedicated platforms for efficient cat bond issuance.

Willis said that Resilience Re will offer ILS investors access to additional opportunities through a syndicated deal marketing process. ILS Investors may also benefit from meaningful secondary liquidity in the issues as well, which suggests they will be 144A, or at least in a format that can be transferred between investors over secondary market ILS trading desks.

Tony Ursano, CEO of WCMA, explained the importance of efficient means to transform and transfer risks to investors; “Efficiently transforming reinsurance risk to the capital markets expands the universe of risk transfer capacity for our clients and at the same time broadens the universe of available risks for investors. WCMA has developed a leading ILS platform and Resilience Re will further our involvement in underwriting, arranging, and trading insurance and reinsurance risk. Resilience Re reflects Willis’s commitment to innovate and capitalize on opportunities in the growing ILS market.”

Willis joins brokers Aon Benfield Securities, JLT Capital Markets and GC Securities, who all have private or efficient cat bond issuance platforms. As more of these platforms for issuance emerge we can expect more of the market’s deal-flow to become increasingly efficient and privately transacted.

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