Loeb’s Third Point Re Pushes into U.S. With Hires after Stock Fall

By | December 5, 2014

Third Point Reinsurance Ltd., the Bermuda-based company co-founded by hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb, is expanding in the U.S. after underwriting losses fueled a stock slump.

The reinsurer hired Tom Wafer and Jonathan Norton, formerly of Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd., to establish U.S. operations. Third Point Re plans to form a subsidiary with a U.S. office, the reinsurer said today in a statement.

Third Point Re declined 20 percent this year in New York trading as investors including hedge funds crowd into the business of providing backup coverage for primary insurers. That’s forced reinsurers to reduce prices to maintain accounts, or lose clients.

“We don’t do that many deals,” Chief Executive Officer John Berger said in a conference call last month, a day after the company posted a $1.8 million underwriting loss in the property and casualty reinsurance segment. “A small deal takes as much time as a big deal, so let’s put the effort into big deals. We have a small staff here.”

Third Point Re had 20 employees as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing, with 18 of them in Bermuda. The company joins David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. in bolstering its staff. Cayman Islands-based Greenlight Re in September hired Tim Adair and Cliff Dunigan to build the longer-duration casualty business.

Together Again
Third Point Re’s latest hires were executives at Alterra until the company was acquired last year by Markel Corp. They worked with Berger for more than a decade, including at Harbor Point Ltd., which merged in 2010 with Max Capital Group Ltd. to form Alterra. Third Point Re hasn’t reached a final decision on where the U.S. office will be located, a company representative said in an e-mail.

Wafer has a bachelor’s degree from Manhattanville College and an MBA from Fordham University. Norton got his undergraduate degree from Duke University and MBA from Emory University.

Third Point Re slipped 8 cents to $14.83 at 10:55 a.m. in New York. The reinsurer’s decline this year compares with the 12 percent gain on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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