WBN names global network coordinator



WBN names global network coordinator

The Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), the world’s largest network of independent insurance brokers and employee benefits consultants, has announced the appointment of Alzbeta Gyulaffyova as global network coordinator.

Gyulaffyova has more than 12 years of industry experience. She joins WBN from member agency Renomia European Partners, where she served as director. Prior to that, she served as deputy sales director at INSIA a.s. Insurance Broker Network. She has also held roles at BKIS, TEAS, Canadian Bilingual Institute and EUROGRADE.

“We are committed to investing in continuous growth to deliver a strong culture of care for our members and clients around the world,” said Olga Collins, CEO of WBN. “The addition of a global network coordinator to our team, especially one with Alzbeta’s strong connections and experience, will be another invaluable resource that offers tremendous value to our members and their clients.”

“I am excited to be joining WBN, bringing my experience and passion for cultural diversity in international insurance programs to the network,” Gyulaffyova said. “I look forward to working with Olga and the team to help build on WBN’s success and achieve their goal of being the number-one choice of global broker network.”

Read next: WBN partners with Zurich for resilience

“Alzbeta has been an amazing asset to our European group for many years, delivering multiple standout incoming and outgoing programs including the Renomia Group activities across the CEE region,” said Pavel Nepala, managing partner at Renomia. “We will truly miss her but know that she will be a great addition to WBN and look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.”

The appointment comes as WBN continues to expand its footprint. Last month, the network announced the appointment of three new member agencies. In April, it announced the appointment of new board members.

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Be part of the Fast Brokerages 2023 report



Be part of the Fast Brokerages 2023 report

Insurance Business America’s Fast Brokerages 2023 list is entering its final stages.

To be considered, submit an entry through the online form that asks for details on headcount, revenue figures, and other milestones reached in the last 24 months. All figures must relate to the company’s operations across the US.

Insurance Business America is also looking for new brokerages making their mark on the insurance landscape. Brokerages that have been in business for less than three years are encouraged to send nominations to be profiled in a special section of the report highlighting the fastest-growing young companies.

Submit your entry before the deadline next Friday, December 9.

The final list of Fast Brokerages 2023 will be published in Insurance Business America in April.



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US P&C industry posts $24.3 billion net underwriting loss for 9M 2022 – report



US P&C industry posts $24.3 billion net underwriting loss for 9M 2022 – report

A new special report from AM Best has found that the US P&C industry recorded a $24.3 billion net underwriting loss in the first nine months of 2022.

The $24.3 billion net underwriting loss is down $17.9 billion from the prior year period, AM Best noted, as a 8.4% growth in net earned premiums and a 22.3% decline in policyholder dividends were offset by a 14.0% increase in incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses, as well as a 6.5% increase in other underwriting expenses.

It was also noted that the personal lines segment, specifically auto lines, was mainly responsible for the decline in underwriting results. In September, AM Best revised its market segment outlook on the US personal auto insurance market, from stable to negative. It cited a significant deterioration in carriers’ results as of the second quarter, which was driven by continuing inflationary pressures and issues with rate adequacy.

AM Best said that personal lines losses and Hurricane Ian’s impact during the nine-month period caused the P&C industry’s combined ratio to deteriorate to 102.8. The credit rating agency estimated that catastrophic losses comprised 7.0 points on the 9M 2022 combined ratio, down from an estimated 8.2 points in 9M 2021.

It was also found that the decline in pre-tax operating income was mitigated to 19.3%, as a $10.8 billion cash and Treasury distribution to Columbia Insurance Company earlier in the year boosted net investment income for the industry by 29.8%. Tax expense slid down 54.2% and realized capital gains dropped 67.5%, leaving the industry’s net income to drop 26.3% to $29.1 billion.

AM Best stated that the industry surplus declined 11.0% from the end of 2021 to 919.6 billion. This came as 37.9 billion of net income, contributed capital, and other surplus gains were reduced by $27.7 billion of stockholder dividends and a combined $113.3 billion change in unrealized losses at National Indemnity Company, Columbia Insurance Company and State Farm Mutual.



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BHSI promotes two in executive and professional lines team



BHSI promotes two in executive and professional lines team

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has announced two promotions in its US executive and professional lines team. The company has appointed Shelley Norman to the role of senior vice president of management liability, US, and Jason Preston to the role of senior vice president of management liability, central region.

Norman has more than 25 years of industry experience. She joined BHSI in 2021 as senior vice president of management liability, central region. In her new role, she will oversee the company’s regional teams underwriting commercial public and private nonprofit management liability insurance across the US. She is based in Chicago.

Preston has more than 22 years of insurance experience on both the underwriting and brokerage sides of the industry. He joined BHSI in 2021 as vice president of management liability. In his new role, Preston will oversee the commercial public and private nonprofit management liability underwriting team for the company’s central region. He is also based in Chicago.

Read next: BHSI places marine leader into global post

“I’m pleased to elevate these two leaders to oversee our growing executive and professional lines portfolio in the US,” said Anthony Tatulli, head of executive and professional lines, North America, at BHSI. “Shelley and Jason will help lead our team as we continue to bring underwriting solutions to our customers, together with BHSI’s financial strength and our ‘claims is our product’ philosophy – all of which are particularly vital to our broker and customer partners.”

The promotions come on the heels of BHSI appointing several claims officials in October.

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SAN Group taps regional VP



SAN Group taps regional VP

Satellite Agency Network (SAN) Group, an alliance of independent insurance agencies in the Northeast, has announced the appointment of James McGlauflin (pictured above) as regional vice president for eastern New York.

In his new role, McGlauflin will be responsible for business development, membership service and insurance company relations for agencies in the region. He will work closely with Stephanie Lynch, agency growth coach for SAN Group.

Prior to joining SAN Group, McGlauflin served as a marketing manager for New York state at Central Mutual. During his tenure in the role, his territory consistently reached or exceeded its goals for profitability, growth and production. McGlauflin has also held leadership roles at National General Insurance and Hagerty Insurance.

Read more: SAN Group adds N.Y. agency

“Jim is a well-respected sales leader in the insurance industry and is an outstanding addition to SAN,” said Tom Lizotte, chief operating officer at SAN Group. “His proven leadership qualities and track record of developing territories and implementing new sales channels will accelerate SAN’s growth. We are thrilled to have him on board.”

McGlauflin is the latest hire for the agency alliance. In April, SAN Group appointed Andrew Fornari as regional vice president for Massachusetts.

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Higher ESG ratings lead to better underwriting performance – new report



Higher ESG ratings lead to better underwriting performance – new report

Higher environmental, social and governance ratings lead to better underwriting performance, according to a new study from international insurance broker Howden and specialty insurer Fidelis.

The report scrutinised loss ratios across 30,000 policies, accounting for a premium value of about $9 billion, matching them to third-party ESG ratings. It is the largest study ever conducted to establish a link between these factors, Howden said.

The analysis found that environmental ratings have the strongest correlation with loss ratios. However, the study found that there is variation across lines of business and industries. Of the lines of business examined in the report, property insurance showed the strongest correlation between higher ESG scores and better loss experience.

“It’s great to see the proactive approach that Fidelis and other insurers are taking to better understand the link between ESG profiles and risk,” said David Howden, CEO of Howden Group Holdings. “The data backs up our long-held belief that clients should be rewarded for high ESG credentials. This is an obvious way in which the insurance industry can support the transition. I hope to see, in the near future, ESG built into underwriting processes and pricing decisions to a much greater degree.”

“This is a great example of the right thing to do also being the most profitable thing to do,” said Richard Brindle, chairman, group CEO and chief underwriting officer at Fidelis. “Being able to articulate this link will become increasingly important to our interactions with key stakeholders, not least the investment community.”

How does your business deal with ESG concerns? Let us know in the comments below.



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Higher ESG ratings lead to better underwriting performance – study



Higher ESG ratings lead to better underwriting performance – study

Higher environmental, social and governance ratings lead to better underwriting performance, according to a new study from international insurance broker Howden and specialty insurer Fidelis.

The report scrutinized loss ratios across 30,000 policies, accounting for a premium value of about $9 billion, matching them to third-party ESG ratings. It is the largest study ever conducted to establish a link between these factors, Howden said.

The analysis found that environmental ratings have the strongest correlation with loss ratios. However, the study found that there is variation across lines of business and industries. Of the lines of business examined in the report, property insurance showed the strongest correlation between higher ESG scores and better loss experience.

“It’s great to see the proactive approach that Fidelis and other insurers are taking to better understand the link between ESG profiles and risk,” said David Howden, CEO of Howden Group Holdings. “The data backs up our long-held belief that clients should be rewarded for high ESG credentials. This is an obvious way in which the insurance industry can support the transition. I hope to see, in the near future, ESG built into underwriting processes and pricing decisions to a much greater degree.”

Read next: Why should insurance brokers care about ESG?

“This is a great example of the right thing to do also being the most profitable thing to do,” said Richard Brindle, chairman, group CEO and chief underwriting officer at Fidelis. “Being able to articulate this link will become increasingly important to our interactions with key stakeholders, not least the investment community.”

How does your business deal with ESG concerns? Let us know in the comments below.



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Global (re)insurers' performance for 9M 2022 – report



Global (re)insurers' performance for 9M 2022 - report

Despite increased loss activity in the third quarter, global (re)insurers’ combined ratios remained strong in the first nine months of 2022, according to a new report from Gallagher Re.

While loss activity increased in the third quarter, underwriting performance remained strong through the first nine months of the year with an average combined ratio of 96.9%, the report found. This was supported by double-digit premium growth, lower natural catastrophe loss activity and a reduced expense ratio.

Year-on-year premium growth averaged 13% at 9M 2022, driven by improved pricing for commercial lines and reinsurance business, Gallagher Re said.

However, realized and unrealized losses on equity/alternative investment assets drove a lagging return on investment 0f 7.5% in 9M 2022, compared to 12.4% in 9M 2021. Shareholders’ equity fell by 28% during 9M 2022, spurred largely by a rise in interest rates, which drove down market values of bonds and equities held by global reinsurers.

“The most impacted companies are those with long-duration bond portfolios and high allocation to equities,” the report said. “Capital return through dividends and buybacks also contributed, albeit less significantly, to lowering shareholders’ equity.”

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BMS Group faces possible sale – report



BMS Group faces possible sale – report

London-based global insurance broker BMS Group might be sold, according to Bloomberg sources.

It was reported that people familiar with the currently “private” matter have revealed the involvement of Evercore – an investment banking advisory firm that is said to have been brought in to help BMS owners British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and Preservation Capital Partners (PCP) evaluate their options, including a potential £600 million sale.

It was in 2019 when BMS secured long-term investment from BCI and PCP. At the time, the broker was valued at around £500 million.

Meanwhile, neither of the firms have confirmed the possible divestment, but the people cited by Bloomberg said deliberations are underway.

Set up in 1980, BMS provides specialist insurance, reinsurance, and capital markets advisory services. Its operations span offices in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.



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