ANV Opens Cyber/Media MGU for U.S. Small Business with James River

By Susanne Sclafane | June 20, 2014

ANV Holdings BV, a Dutch specialty insurance business, has opened a U.S. managing general underwriter focused on communications and data security risks for “Main Street” U.S. businesses.

Leib Dodell, a veteran of the media and cyber insurance space, will lead the new firm that has been named ANV Cyber.Media and be based in Kansas City, Mo.

Through the new MGU, Dodell and his team are looking to address gaps in standard commercial insurance programs and to develop new insurance products for Main Street businesses relating to breaches of data security, advertising and communications risks, and other similar 21st century exposures.

Unlike traditional offerings in these lines, the ANV products are not targeted at media and technology companies, financial institutions, hospitals or other specialty industries. The MGU’s products are designed and priced for Main Street standard commercial businesses, and will be distributed through agents and brokers on an individual risk basis, as well as through associations and other affinity groups.

“As ‘cyber’ and media insurance continues to mature, the challenge now is to get these critical coverages and loss control services in front of small and middle-market buyers,” R. Matthew Fairfield, founder and chief executive officer of ANV, said in the launch announcement. “At ANV, we will be singularly focused on building the distribution necessary to reach these buyers, many of whom will be buying the coverage for the first time over the coming years.”

ANV is a global specialty insurance group that provides underwriting for specialty risk solutions for global organizations both as a MGU as well as a risk-bearing insurer. In this case, ANV will not be the risk-bearer, however. Instead, the cyber/media MGU will be backed by Richmond, Va.-based James River Insurance Co., an excess and surplus lines insurer.

Richard Schmitzer, president and chief executive officer of James River, described this as “the right product at the right time with the right partner.”

Prior to working with ANV, Dodell was co-founder and chief executive officer of ThinkRisk Underwriting Agency. Before that, he served as president and chief executive officer of AXIS Pro (formerly Media/Professional Insurance), an underwriter of media and technology-related errors and omissions.

He will be joined at ANV by senior underwriter Jason Bucher, who also brings years of experience underwriting cyber coverages, most recently at the Insurance Services Office where he helped ISO refine its cyber-related product offerings for commercial buyers.

This is the second MGU for ANV in the United States this week. On Tuesday, ANV announced a financial lines/management liability facility being led by Peter McKeegan from New Jersey.

“The U.S. market is a strategic priority and a natural evolution of ANV’s business, because of its size and its unique underwriting opportunities,” Fairfield said.

McKeegan’s MGU will be backed by the capital and services support of ANV Syndicate 1861 at Lloyd’s.

ANV said a key area of focus for the financial lines team is primary and follow-form excess liability directors and officers (D&O) for private, non-profit and select public entities. In addition to D&O liability, the MGU will also underwrite standalone and combined form employment practices liability and fiduciary liability.

Before joining ANV, McKeegan led the professional lines business at American Safety Insurance. With 30 years of professional lines experience, he was also involved in the start-up of the D&O operations at Arch, IronPro and Rockhill Insurance, in addition to his more than 15 years at AIG, where he led underwriting divisions for both commercial and financial lines.

He is joined by fellow underwriters Joseph Costello and Stephanie Rubio.

Focused on specialty risks on a global basis, ANV also has offices in Hong Kong, Barcelona, London, and Rio de Janeiro.

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