Friday, 1 June 2012
XL to accept collateral trusts in lieu of letters of credit for corporate programmes and captives, QBE appoints new country manager for Belgium to front new office, Nils Arne Fagerli named new CEO of Willis Norway, Solvency II Benchmark Curves launched to help insurers and their risk managers better manage capital requirements and Deloitte strengthens insurance practice with appointment of new partner.
XL to accept collateral trusts in lieu of letters of credit for corporate programmes and captives
XL Group is now accepting collateral trusts for corporate and captive insurance programmes in lieu of letters of credit (LOC) in the UK.
Letters of Credit, the traditional method of providing collateral for corporate deductible and captive insurance programmes, are often expensive to maintain, cumbersome to administer and are treated as contingent liabilities on the customer’s balance sheet, said the insurance group.
As a result XL sought alternative structures. Placing cash in a bankruptcy-proof Trust is now a fully acceptable form of collateral to XL Group and can be used in place of an LOC for its existing clients.
Wells Fargo Bank has been chosen as XL Group’s preferred provider of this service.
The Trust is quick to establish and relatively inexpensive to maintain, said XL. Furthermore, it does not need to be renewed each year and it may be possible for the assets in the Trust to remain on the balance sheet of the depositor. “By replacing LOCs in this way, use of the Trust may be able to help free up otherwise encumbered credit lines,” said the insurer.
James Martin, Client and Distribution Leader, XL Group said, “We are delighted to be working with Wells Fargo to offer this additional service to our customers. In today’s economic climate, LOCs are proving more costly to businesses both in management fees and as they tie up otherwise useful capital. Offering the Collateral Trust solution to our clients provides a valuable alternative."
QBE appoints new country manager for Belgium to front new office
QBE has appointed Erik de Smedt as Country Manager of Belgium following hot on the heels of the insurer’s decision to open an underwriting office in Brussels.
Mr De Smedt will report to Patrick Coene, Managing Director of European Markets at QBE.
The new country manager will be responsible for setting up QBE’s Belgian operations including securing the necessary licenses, recruiting a team of underwriters and adapting QBE’s products to the local market.
Focusing on commercial property and casualty insurance, the new branch will commence underwriting towards the end of 2012. It will offer local underwriting and local services to companies in Belgium and Luxembourg.
Mr Coene commented: “We are delighted that Erik has decided to join QBE and lead our new venture in Belgium. It is a pivotal European market where we see opportunities to develop our portfolio. With over 30 years’ experience in commercial insurance, Erik will ensure that we offer brokers and clients excellent local service based on local knowledge and backed by specialist underwriting talent in both Brussels and London.”
Nils Arne Fagerli named new CEO of Willis Norway
Willis has announced the appointment of a new CEO of Willis Norway with Nils Arne Fagerli taking up the role with immediate effect.
Based in Oslo, Mr Fagerli will report to Adam Garrard, CEO of Europe at Willis International.
He joins Willis from GIEK Credit Insurance Ltd, the largest credit insurer in the Norwegian market, where he was CEO.
He has over 18 years experience in the insurance industry, having held a number of top senior management positions in broking, underwriting and sales units.
On the appointment, Mr Garrard said: “With a wealth of experience in the insurance industry and excellent knowledge of the local marketplace, Nils’s appointment will further strengthen our position in the European market, and help us drive growth in one of the region’s more resilient economies.”
Solvency II Benchmark Curves launched to help insurers and their risk managers better manage capital requirements
Tullett Prebon Information, a global supplier of over the counter financial data, in association with IDS GmbH – Analysis and Reporting Services, an Allianz company, has launched Solvency II Benchmark Curves to help the risk transfer industry and its risk managers to better manage capital requirements under the new regulatory regime.
The new service uses a comprehensive series of benchmark Solvency II curves specifically designed to address the regulatory demands of insurance companies.
It will enable risk managers to perform more accurate risk calculations and to better manage capital requirements through accurate valuation. The service will also assist firms to meet the reporting challenges they will face following the implementation of Solvency II, said Tullett Prebon Information.
Commenting on the product launch, Frank Desmond, Managing Director of Tullett Prebon Information, said: “Solvency II presents a huge challenge for the insurance and asset management sectors. Solvency II Benchmark Curves offer clients a compelling solution to meeting the challenges posed by Solvency II through the unique combination of Tullett Prebon Information’s independent, high quality OTC data coupled with IDS Allianz’s in-depth insurance and risk management expertise.”
Thomas Vogg, Head of Market Data Services at IDS GmbH - Analysis and Reporting Services, added at the launch: “The service was developed by IDS to assist Allianz in meeting its own risk management and valuation requirements for Solvency II. We had a vast amount of market data, but lacked the OTC data as, like most insurance companies, we do not have direct access to the OTC markets. We selected Tullett Prebon because of the quality of their data and identified a tremendous opportunity to develop the Solvency II Benchmark Curves service.”
The service provides tailored and quality assured data curves enabling the calibration of risk models required in the calculation of minimum solvency requirements.
Importantly, the service offers insurance designed liquidity-adjusted and credit-adjusted curves with an emphasis on forward-looking risk management and governance through the extrapolation of data out to 120 years.
The Solvency II Directive, which is expected to demand more capital to be held to cover written business, will impact an estimated 3,600 companies in 27 countries across the EU.
Deloitte strengthens insurance practice with appointment of new partner
Alex Poracchia has been appointed as a new partner in Deloitte’s general insurance actuarial team. He will provide underwriting, pricing and broader actuarial services to clients, with a focus on the commercial lines insurers and reinsurers.
He joins from Zurich Insurance Group where he was most recently the chief financial officer of the company’s global corporate division. Before that he held several general insurance actuarial roles and pioneered Zurich's risk-based capital framework for general insurance. Mr Poracchia also spent five years in the London Market where he was the chief pricing actuary at Swiss Re UK.