London-based Amlin plc, one of Lloyd’s and the UK’s best known insurers, has announced plans to establish a reinsurance company in Switzerland to serve European clients.
Amlin said it believes that the company “will provide the European insurance market with a meaningful alternative for high quality reinsurance capacity especially for small and mid-sized companies. Amlin aims to establish long-term partnerships with companies operating in this sector which will provide the group with access to European reinsurance business that does not typically flow into the London and Bermuda marketplaces.”
In addition Amlin’s plans call for its “legal carrier, Amlin Bermuda Limited,” to be redomiciled from Bermuda to Zurich. “It is proposed that the new Zurich-based Swiss company will be named Amlin AG and that the existing operations of Amlin Bermuda will become a Bermuda-based branch of Amlin AG,” the bulletin added.
Amlin stressed, however, that it “remains committed to Bermuda as a key operating platform. Amlin has 32 employees in Bermuda and expects that figure to grow over the years as the Bermuda business develops further. Amlin Bermuda will continue to serve its existing reinsurance clients and brokers in exactly the same manner as it does today. Amlin Bermuda policyholders will be unaffected by the redomicile. Amlin plc remains a UK domiciled company.”
Amlin AG’s Zurich-based underwriting unit, which will trade as “Amlin Re Europe,” will be staffed by a “core team recruited from Swiss Re, headed by Philippe Regazzoni who will become Chief Executive Officer of Amlin AG.”
Amlin’s CEO Charles Philipps described the initiative as “an exciting opportunity to establish another significant reinsurance business with a first-class underwriting team, led by Philippe Regazzoni, which possesses a wealth of experience in Continental European markets.”
Regazzoni added: “We are excited by the prospect of building a third significant reinsurance business within the Amlin group and helping to reinforce Amlin’s position and brand as a leading international reinsurer. We believe that a focused and well capitalized European reinsurer will provide a strong partner for European brokers and clients.”
The management team of Amlin Re Europe in Zurich will include Gregoire Mauchamp, who will become Amlin AG’s Chief Financial Officer, and senior underwriters Marc Dejardin (from June 2010), Carl Maeder and Andrea Manella. The Zurich-based team plans to build to 25 people by the end of 2010 and to cover the reinsurance markets in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Maghreb, Netherlands, Nordics, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Other European markets will be added in 2011.
The announcement also pointed out that “after a decade of consolidation in the European reinsurance market and recent turbulence in global financial markets, reinsurance buyers are increasingly looking to diversify their insurance risk and spread their counterparty risk. These events present an attractive opportunity for a new and strongly capitalized entrant to offer improved choice to existing European cedants.
“Amlin AG’s capitalization will be approximately US$1.4 billion placing the company amongst the leading players in terms of financial strength. The capital will be provided exclusively from Amlin’s existing group resources.”
In addition Amlin said the business written in Zurich will “diversify Amlin Bermuda’s existing reinsurance portfolio geographically and by class of business helping to reduce the overall volatility of the portfolio and making more efficient use of the group’s capital and financial strength. The Zurich-based business will focus mainly on non life treaty reinsurance for European insurance companies. Amlin believes that continuity and a clear and transparent underwriting approach offers an excellent value proposition for clients in this segment.
“Amlin AG’s incorporation in Zurich, a major financial centre and home to many global financial and (re)insurance companies, will provide an ideal location for the further growth and expansion of the group’s reinsurance activities. We believe that Switzerland provides Amlin with strategic flexibility, a strong professional workforce, a solid legal and regulatory environment and an improved ability to manage our capital.
“The redomicile of Amlin Bermuda remains subject to regulatory approvals. Amlin AG’s Zurich-based business unit plans to commence underwriting operations shortly after such approvals have been obtained. The Bermuda branch will continue to trade as Amlin Bermuda.
Source: Amlin plc
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