Thursday, 26 July 2012
Willis makes top appointments in key regions, AIR expands suite of catastrophe models for Australia, Hiscox appoints new CRO and makes further senior appointments, Hiscox merges global media, entertainment and events operations to create new division, Political risk broker BPL Global opens branch in Singapore and Lockton makes appointment to Global Technology and Privacy Practice.
Willis makes top appointments in key regions
Willis International has created three regional business units under new and expanded leadership in the Asian Pacific, Middle Eastern and African regions.
Willis Asia will now be led by new CEO Adam Garrard. Roger Wilkinson has been appointed as Chairman of Willis Australasia.
Willis’ Middle East and Africa business will continue to be led by Regional CEO Scott Pickering, who is also CEO of Willis South Africa.
The three men will all report to Tim Wright, CEO, Willis International.
Mr Wilkinson, current Chairman & CEO, Willis Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, will relocate from Hong Kong to Sydney for his new role as chairman at Willis Australasia.
He will join Willis Australasia CEO Pieter Lindhout on October 1.
Mr Wilkinson joined Willis in 2005 after a 32-year career at Marsh, where he had a number of senior management roles in the Asia Pacific.
At Willis, he led the broker’s Asia operations for five years before being appointed CEO of the Asia Pacific unit.
Mr Garrard, currently CEO of Willis Continental Europe, will relocate from London to Singapore to take up his new role on September 1.
In Asia, he will oversee over 1,000 Associates in 42 offices across 11 countries. Willis’ European businesses will report directly to Mr Wright until a replacement is found.
He joined Willis in 1994 and was Managing Director of Willis Asia Pacific from 2002 to 2005, where he was instrumental in setting up Willis’ China business.
In his role as Regional CEO for Willis’ Middle East and Africa business, Mr Pickering is working closely with Willis’ Associate company Gras Savoye, to grow the Group’s joint African footprint which already covers 23 countries on the continent.
AIR expands suite of catastrophe models for Australia
Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) has expanded its suite of catastrophe models for Australia with the release of the industry’s first probabilistic bushfire model and updated tropical cyclone and earthquake models.
“AIR’s current suite of Australia models represents the results of a multi-year research effort aimed at serving the evolving risk management needs of the worldwide and Australian insurance industries,” said Dr Jayanta Guin, Senior Vice President of Research and Modeling at AIR Worldwide.
“The events of 2011–including the Queensland floods, Cyclone Yasi, and the bushfires near Perth–and the Victoria earthquake in May 2012 demonstrate Australia’s exposure to multiple perils. The AIR models for Australia provide a realistic and comprehensive view of catastrophe risk in this region,” he added.
The AIR Bushfire Model for Australia–the newest addition to the suite–captures the effects of bushfires on insured properties in the Australian mainland and Tasmania.
To determine the occurrence and severity of wildfires, the model considers fire ignition frequency and location, available fuels (vegetation), weather (seasonal conditions and wind characteristics), topography (the ground surface features that can affect winds) and fire suppression efforts. The model has also been through an extensive peer review.
“Bushfires in Australia are the natural product of the continent-wide aridity, frequent periods of drought, high temperatures, parched vegetation, and the recurrent strong, steady winds that are characteristic of the country,” said Dr Guin.
“Many populated areas in Australia have conditions that are ideal for feeding fires, and Australia has suffered significant losses from such events–including the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which caused insured losses of more than AUD$1.3 billion,” he continued.
The AIR Bushfire Model for Australia generates demonstrably realistic scenarios of loss. It filters the roughly 10,000 continent-wide ignitions that occur in Australia every year down to the dozen or so that are likely to cause property loss–in line with the historical average.
It includes a large and robust event set of simulated fires in the locations where they are most likely to occur and explicitly models the tendency of fires to occur in clusters.
In addition, the model accounts for the seasonality of bushfires in Australia by region. To provide accurate vulnerability assessment, the model supports a wide range of construction types commonly found in Australia.
AIR also made significant updates to all components of its tropical cyclone and earthquake models for Australia.
In addition to a wide range of enhancements to the hazard components, both models now account for regional differences in construction practices, as well as building code evolution and enforcement. Both models also support property and business interruption losses to complex industrial facilities.
The AIR Tropical Cyclone Model for Australia estimates losses separately for wind, storm surge, and precipitation-induced flooding.
Other highlights include:
-a new 10,000-year stochastic catalogue containing more than 116,000 simulated storms ranging from tropical low to Category 5 on Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology intensity scale
-a new, dynamic flood module for capturing precipitation-induced flooding
-a new storm surge module for capturing sea level rise along the coast caused by onshore winds of a cyclone
-new high resolution (1 km) land use/land cover data (near the coast) to estimate the local roughness of, and turbulence generated by, land and water surfaces
-updated damage functions that support a greatly expanded set of construction types, occupancy classes and lines of business, including pleasure boats and yachts (The damage functions have been validated based on loss experience data and findings from recent AIR post-disaster surveys.)
Highlights of the updated AIR Earthquake Model for Australia include:
-a new, optimized 10,000-year catalogue that incorporates the latest science and research on the earthquake hazard in Australia, including a novel approach for utilising information on neotectonic faulting to estimate earthquake risk in this seismically stable region.
-a new liquefaction module covering major urban areas that have high liquefaction potential
-a new nationwide high-resolution (1 km) soil classification map (0.5 km in regions of higher exposure) to better account for the potential amplification and attenuation of seismic waves caused by soil type
-Australia-specific ground motion prediction equations that assess the regional differences in seismic risk
The AIR Bushfire, Tropical Cyclone, and Earthquake models for Australia are currently available in Version 14.0 of the CLASIC/2™ and CATRADER® catastrophe risk management systems.
Hiscox appoints new CRO and makes further senior appointments
Hiscox has appointed Penny Shaw as Chief Risk Officer as well as making new additions to its UK claims and underwriting teams.
Bob Thaker has been appointed as Head of UK Claims and Joanne Musselle as Chief Underwriting Officer for Hiscox UK and Ireland.
Ms Shaw will join the Company from ACE, and will succeed Mr Thaker as Chief Risk Officer in early August. At ACE she was the European Group Head of Risk Management & Capital and Solvency II.
Ms Shaw established and led ACE's European Solvency II programme, delivering on strategic objectives to embed risk assessment and enhanced risk-based decision-making, said Hiscox.
Mr Thaker will become Head of UK Claims at the end of July and succeeds Joanne Musselle following her promotion to Chief Underwriting Officer for Hiscox UK.
He joined Hiscox two years ago as Head of Central Analysis, a team integral to the development of the insurer's business divisions through insight and analysis.
In 2010, Mr Thaker took on the mantle of Chief Risk Officer and steered the business through a period of change brought about by the implementation of Solvency II.
Ms Musselle joined Hiscox in April 2002 as a Technical Underwriting Manager, before moving into claims in 2006. Since then she has led the award-winning claims division at a time of rapid growth and operational change.
Hiscox merges global media, entertainment and events operations to create new division
Hiscox has merged its global media, entertainment and events operations to form a new division to take advantage of UK and international opportunities in the sector.
Suzanne Kemble will head the new Global Media, Entertainment and Events division. It will serve as a single, one-stop-shop for a wide range of risks including media errors and omissions (professional indemnity), property, production insurance, advertisers’ contingency and event cancellation, explained the insurer.
It will insure a wide portfolio of clients including advertising agencies, publishers, broadcasters, production companies, film studios, event organisers and individual exhibitors, it continued.
With the ability to underwrite risks using Hiscox UK’s company licences and its Lloyd’s licenses, the division will target international risks as well as UK-based opportunities of all sizes.
With Ms Kemble heading up the division, Angela Weaver will take lead responsibility for media risks while Robin Walsh and Martin Linfield will be the underwriting managers for entertainment risks and events risks respectively.
Commenting on the formation of the new division, Ms Kemble said: “The worlds of media, entertainment and events never stand still and it is vital that we continue to adapt our business to offer our brokers the best products and service. By combining our expertise across these three sectors, brokers will have easier access to a division that better reflects the market.
“Our access to both Hiscox UK company and Lloyd’s licences also means we can offer capacity for both UK and international risks and will be looking to grow our book both here in the UK as well as overseas across all three areas. We can also partner with the Media and Entertainment teams we have in our US offices to offer a global solution,” she added.
Elizabeth Seeger will continue to head up Contingency for Hiscox’s London Market division writing subscription business to Lloyd’s brokers.
Political risk broker BPL Global opens branch in Singapore
Berry Palmer & Lyle Ltd (BPL Global), the political risk insurance broker, has opened a new office in Singapore following the launch of its Hong Kong branch in early 2011.
Its second Asian office will be led by CEO Anthony Palmer, one of the founding directors of the BPL Global back in 1983. Harry McIndoe will be his deputy.
Both have relocated from London to set up the new office. Additional team members are being recruited locally.
“Our immediate focus will be local financial institutions including the banks, where we see the biggest gap in the market for our services,” said Mr Palmer, “although we will also be working with the Singapore subsidiaries of our multinational clients. These include commodity traders and exporters–a specialist area for BPL Global and a good fit with Singapore’s position as the regional hub for trade and finance.”
BPL Global is an employee-owned specialist credit and political risk insurance broker established in 1983 with existing offices in London, Paris and Hong Kong. It has over 50 staff and an annual premium volume of $250m.
Lockton makes appointment to Global Technology and Privacy Practice
Lockton has appointed Phil Mayes as Senior Vice President of its Global Technology and Privacy Practice, based in London. He will report to Ben Beeson, Partner.
Mr Beeson said: “Technology-driven risks from changing business models such as cloud computing mean a broker must have an in depth knowledge of the impact this is having on organisations. This is why we are very excited that Phil has agreed to join us to reinforce our commitment at Lockton to invest in top talent to support our clients."
Mr Mayes joins from Zurich Global Corporate where he was Head of Technology Professional Indemnity in London.