XL Group plc announced the creation of XL Innovate, an XL-sponsored venture capital initiative. The new fund will be led by Tom Hutton, a past director of XL who has a history of creating successful insurance and financial technology ventures, XL said in a statement.
XL Innovate will be financially backed by XL and will invest in companies that have a strategic focus on developing new capabilities in the insurance sector. The fund will take equity positions in companies that provide new market opportunities for XL throughout the world.
XL Innovate will strive to create partnerships outside of the traditional underwriting space to find ways to underwrite currently uninsured risks, XL said.
“We are very excited to launch this new initiative, which will extend XL’s capabilities in existing markets and give us new opportunities to address some of the most pressing and complex risk problems in the global economy,” said XL CEO Mike McGavick.
“XL Innovate is an important step as we continue to drive our focus on innovation forward and secure the relevance of XL and the industry well into the future. We are particularly pleased to have Tom Hutton, and his strong track record of insurance innovation, partnering with the XL team.”
Tom Hutton, a past director of XL, brings extensive insurance-specific knowledge to XL Innovate, both as an executive with experience in risk analytics, as CEO of Risk Management Solutions Inc., White Mountains Re, and as a director of private and public insurance and reinsurance companies including Montpelier Re and Safeco.
Most recently, Hutton served as the CEO and founder of New Energy Risk Inc., a provider of innovative data analytics, strategic consulting and financial risk transfer solutions to the renewable energy industry worldwide, which partnered with XL last year to launch an innovative fuel cell insurance product, XL said.
“I am thrilled to be partnering with the XL team at a time of both industry transition and great momentum at the company,” said Hutton.
“Mike McGavick has led the creation of a forward looking and creative culture at XL that makes it an ideal sponsor for this initiative, which will be further enhanced by XL’s proposed offer to acquire Catlin Group Limited, and to form an even stronger company. We look forward to being a unique partner to entrepreneurs with the vision and ambition to address new risks with new solutions, unconstrained by geography, scale, or traditional thinking,” Hutton added.
In addition to Hutton, the fund will be led by an investment team with successful experience in identifying, funding, and growing innovative ventures in financial technology and insurance. XL Innovate will be overseen by a board of directors including Sarah Street, currently XL’s chief investment officer.
Street will be stepping into a new role at XL, focusing on innovation efforts and strategy initiatives following the close of XL’s proposed acquisition of Catlin Group Limited. She will play an active role as a member of the XL Innovate investment team.
Greg Hendrick, currently chief executive of Insurance Operations at XL, who after the close of the proposed Catlin transaction will become chief executive of XL’s Reinsurance Operations, will be the XL leadership team member with responsibility for XL’s involvement in the XL Innovate activities – helping connect XL Innovate’s portfolio companies to the company’s clients, brokers and insurance and reinsurance underwriting.
XL’s proposed acquisition of Catlin of remains subject to approval of Catlin shareholders and sanction by the Supreme Court of Bermuda, customary regulatory approvals and anti-trust clearances, and other customary closing conditions.
Source: XL Innovate
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