Saturday, 30 August 2014


European business at threat from Icelandic ash cloud

The threat of disruption to aviation and wider business interests across Europe from the potential eruption of Icelandic volcano Bardarbunga remains high as seismic activity rumbles on, experts have warned this week.

Allied World acquisition of RSA’s Asian business marks changing of guard for corporate customers

Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG, the Zug, Switzerland-based insurer that was founded in Bermuda, has reached definitive agreements to acquire the Hong Kong and Singapore operations of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance (RSA) for around US$215m.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions names Kuno Linder as German country manager

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions has named Kuno Linder as country manager for Germany as the firm prioritises the country for growth.

Napa Valley quake to cost insurers US$1bn to US$2bn

Early estimates put the insured cost of Sunday's earthquake in California's Napa Valley at around US$1bn-US$2bn. However, business interruption losses for the region's famous winemaking industry could see this figure rise, catastrophe-modelling firms warn.

2014 nat cat and man-made disaster insured losses of US$21bn below ten-year average: Swiss Re

Global insured losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters totalled US$21bn in the first half of this year, US$6bn less than the 10-year average of US$27bn, according to figures from Swiss Re.

Corporate round-up

AGCS moves into Peruvian reinsurance market, ACE launches new PI solutions for media risks, Marsh makes key UK appointments to help product innovation and Price Forbes & Partners creates financial products team.

No cutbacks on health and safety urges AGERS and leading union

Spanish companies have been urged by a leading trade union to start seeing the prevention of workplace accidents as an investment rather than a cost. Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) made the call after data released by the Spanish government revealed an increase in workplace accidents during the first five months of this year.

World Health Organisation warns of the risks of e-cigarettes

Insurers are already concerned about the potential health risks of e-cigarettes and now a report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for tougher regulation of the devices, including a ban on their use indoors.

Ferma plans to bring Airmic's 'popular' compliance database to members next year

Airmic this week said that its new database of international insurance regulations, Insight Risk Manager, is proving popular, with the number of registered users exceeding expectations. Meanwhile, Ferma has revealed that it hopes to make the tool available to the wider European risk management community as early as 2015.

Captive owners 'surprisingly' reluctant to write cyber cover: Aon

Aon Global Risk Consulting has found that only 1% of captive owners currently cover cyber risk in their captives.

AM Best downgrades outlook for reinsurance sector to negative

AM Best has downgraded its ratings outlook on the global reinsurance sector to negative from stable citing 'ongoing market challenges'.

Panama Canal expansion will increase risk for all warns AGCS

Allianz has warned that plans to double the cargo-carrying capacity of ships transiting the Panama Canal will increase risks for ship owners, the businesses they serve and insurers.

Weighing up the risks of Arctic shipping

Arctic shipping routes offer potentially cheaper and faster transit between Europe and Asia, but they do come with additional and often unique risks, according to a report from Marsh.

Corporate round-up

ACE appoints Kyle Bryant as regional cyber manager for Europe, Lockton adds JLT trio to its international management liability team, Towers Watson names Eric Speer as global head of risk consulting and software and McMellin set to become CEO of Catlin's London hub.

Endurance halts bid to create new global powerhouse through Aspen bid

Endurance Specialty Holdings, the Bermuda-based insurance and reinsurance group, has announced that it has withdrawn its unsolicited offer to acquire rival Bermuda group Aspen.

Insurance market M&A

Brokers, analysts and the insurers and reinsurers themselves keep telling everyone that will listen that the international insurance and reinsurance industry is currently over-capitalised. But at the same time corporate risk and insurance managers complain that the industry is barely scratching the surface of its risk transfer needs and that its cost-laden, traditional line of business approach prevents it from meeting their real demands. John Charman, Chairman and CEO of Bermuda-based Endurance Specialty, believes that consolidation is the answer. He is literally prepared to put his money where his mouth is and bought a $30m stake in Endurance when he took the helm last May. He has reorganised and refocused Endurance for further growth and has now made an audacious and contested bid for rival Bermuda insurer Aspen to fast track the process. Commercial Risk Europe Editor Adrian Ladbury investigates what lies behind the proposed deal and what potential implications it has for the wider market.