Industry Veterans Catlin and Brand Launch Specialty Bermuda Re/Insurer Convex Group

April 30, 2019

Insurance industry veterans Stephen Catlin and Paul Brand announced they have launched an international specialty insurer and reinsurer, Convex Group Ltd.

Convex launches with $1.8 billion of initial committed capital and will draw down $1.6 billion to commence business; it will have access to further capital as the business expands. The company has received an A.M. Best rating of A- (Excellent) and regulatory approval to operate in London and Bermuda.

The management team includes well-respected insurance industry experts – all of whom once worked for Catlin Group and XL Catlin, the product of the 2015 purchase of Catlin Group by XL.

Convex’s senior leaders are:

  • Stephen Catlin – chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder. Catlin has 45 years of insurance industry experience. He was the founder and CEO of Catlin Group (1984-2015). He became executive deputy chairman of XL Catlin (2015-2017), after XL’s purchase of Catlin Group.
  • Paul Brand – deputy chief executive officer and co-founder. With 36 years of industry experience, Brand spent 31 years with Catlin or XL Catlin (which he joined in 1987). He was chief underwriting offers of Catlin between 2003 and 2015 and chief underwriting officer (insurance) of XL Group between 2015 and 2017. He became chairman of Accelerate, XL Catlin’s in-house innovation team in 2016, a position he held until 2018.
  • Benjamin Meuli – chief financial officer. With 40 years of insurance and finance experience, Meuli spent seven years at Catlin/XL Catlin, which he joined in 2009. He was chief investment officer of Swiss Re between 2004 and 2008 and held various senior roles at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan between 1984 and 2004. He has been vice chairman of GAM Investments since 2016.
  • Robina Malik – general counsel. With more than 25 years of insurance and legal experience, Malik was general counsel, head of Compliance, Risk and Regulatory Affairs for XL Catlin Asia Pacific (2012-2017). She began her career at Lloyd’s in underwriting and claims on energy, marine and liability accounts.
  • Adrian Spieler – chief operating officer. With 25 years of insurance and asset management experience, Spieler was chief platform officer for insurance and a member of the XL Catlin leadership team (2015-2018). He was group chief administrative officer and member of the group executive committee at Catlin (2012–2015), when he led an ambitious transformation program. Previously, he had spent 17 years at Swiss Re, where he was chief operating officer, Swiss Re Asset Management.
  • Doug Howat – chief underwriting officer insurance. With 33 years of insurance industry experience, Howat was chief executive of Global Lines (including Specialty) at XL Catlin (2017). Prior to that, he was chief executive of the Energy, Property and Construction division (2015). He joined Catlin in 1989 as an assistant underwriter and was subsequently appointed class underwriter for the energy and energy/marine liabilities accounts and head of the Energy Research team. In 2006, he was appointed to Catlin Group’s underwriting board, responsible for short-tail direct business. He started in the industry in 1985 when he worked in the marine claims departments of Eagle Star.
  • Matt Paskin – chief underwriting officer reinsurance. With more than 35 years of insurance industry experience, Paskin became chief underwriting officer of XL Catlin Re in 2015. At the time of the acquisition by XL in 2015, he was chairman of Catlin REXCo. He was appointed underwriting director at Catlin in 2002. Paskin joined Catlin in 1993 as a class underwriter for the reinsurance account. Before working at Catlin, he joined EF Williams Syndicate in 1985 and was appointed treaty underwriter in 1989. Paskin joined the insurance industry in 1982 at Pan Atlantic/Republic UK.
  • Mark van Zanden – head of portfolio optimisation. With more than 30 years of re/insurance industry experience, van Zanden joined Catlin in 2005 and was most recent chief executive of Underwriting Capital Management for AXA XL (2018). During his career, he spent time at a reinsurance broker as a consulting actuary, as an underwriter and within the ceded reinsurance and alternative capital areas. He is an actuary and a charterholder of the financial analyst designation.

Convex will underwrite insurance and reinsurance for complex specialty risks across a diversified range of business lines in London and Bermuda, the company said in a statement. “The business brings together an exceptional group of talented underwriters who will focus on areas where they have a competitive advantage and aim to deliver top quartile, risk adjusted returns,” the statement continued.

Convex said it will adopt a conservative investment strategy with a predominantly high-grade fixed income portfolio, and duration matched to the profile of the liabilities.

The invested capital comes from the Convex management team, Onex Partners V, Onex Corp.’s (TSX: ONEX) large-cap private equity fund, PSP Investments and a consortium of co-investors.

Stephen Catlin (L) and Paul Brand (R)

“The launch of Convex distills vast industry experience and client focus to create the insurance company of the future. We begin unencumbered by legacy but rich with expertise and the strength of independence,” said Stephen Catlin, Convex’s chairman and CEO. “There is evidence of pricing momentum in many classes and we are well equipped to prosper in a challenging market.”

Catlin noted that he and Brand have worked together since the early days of Catlin Group. “[T]he team we have assembled all bring exceptional skills to the table. Together we have a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I look forward to the journey that lies ahead.”

“Convex is designed for the evolving insurance industry, and combines years of experience, knowledge and history in this market,” said Paul Brand, deputy CEO.

“Stephen and I see a great opportunity; there is demand for an insurer to bring a refreshed and enhanced offering to market, one that puts fairness and honesty at the center of its singularly client focused proposition,” Brand continued.

“Convex will challenge the status quo to create value across the chain and provide a differentiated service in a personal way. We are very excited to be launching Convex today and look forward to working with our team to create an innovative partner that drives results for our clients,” Brand said.

Bobby Le Blanc, a senior managing director of Onex, said: “We believe Convex is well-positioned to become a leading specialty insurer. It has a well-respected and experienced management team with an exceptional track record in building value. We are delighted to partner with Stephen, Paul and the entire Convex team and look forward to the years ahead.”

“We are thrilled to have the support of Onex and our co-investors and believe they will be valuable partners to us as we build our business,” added Catlin.

Convex was advised by Evercore, JP Morgan and Slaughter and May.

Source: Convex Group Ltd.

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