Wellington Launches U.S. Marine Reinsurance Business

Wellington Underwriting Inc. (WU Inc.), the wholly owned US underwriting agency of U.K.-based Lloyd’s and general insurer Wellington Underwriting plc (Wellington), has launched a new marine reinsurance business for the U.S. market.

The announcement noted that WU Inc., which is based in New Jersey, is “building on its well established distribution capabilities and underwriting expertise in North America.”

WU Inc. Marine Reinsurance will underwrite treaty reinsurance introduced through intermediaries on behalf of Wellington’s Lloyd’s Syndicate 2020. Underwriting is expected to commence in September 2006 and gross premiums written are estimated to reach $30 million in 2007.

Wellington established its U.S. subsidiary in 1999. It underwrites property and casualty reinsurance business to US clients and brokers on behalf of Syndicate 2020, and has seen its gross premiums grow from less than $11 million in 1999 to approximately $230 million in 2006 with over 80 employees across nine branch offices throughout the United States.

WU Inc. Marine Reinsurance will be led by Joseph Belardinelli who has over 17 years of experience in marine insurance and reinsurance, most recently as Senior VP of Quanta Capital Holdings. He has also held senior positions at Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation, Willcox Incorporated and Johnson & Higgins.

Stan Kott, CEO of WU Inc., commented: “We are very excited about the launch of the marine reinsurance team. While leveraging our existing expertise and client relationships within the Group, it will provide Wellington with a broader US product offering, increased capacity and a team possessing significant expertise. Joseph Belardinelli has an excellent reputation and is well known and respected by clients and brokers alike.”

“The US marine reinsurance market represents a great opportunity for Wellington and is a natural extension of our existing product offering in the US. We will benefit both from the future strong market outlook across all classes of business and the considerable demand from insurers seeking protection products from reinsurers with strong financial strength ratings. We are confident that Joseph’s wealth of experience, coupled with the Wellington brand, will provide a very attractive opportunity for further growth.”

“I am very pleased to be joining Wellington and the marine reinsurance team at WU Inc. Wellington has a first-rate track record and I look forward to contributing to its future profitable growth,” Belardinelli added: