Sompo Canopius Launches U.S. Ocean Marine Unit; Hires XL Catlin’s Ellis to Head

August 31, 2016

Sompo Canopius AG is diving into the U.S. ocean marine business. The global specialty insurer and reinsurer, which is wholly-owned by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc., calls this a “significant expansion” of its U.S. business that will complement its marine business written in London.

The firm’s current U.S. operations include facultative property reinsurance and financial and professional lines business written from its New York office.

The insurer has named John Ellis, previously with XL Catlin, as head of U.S. Ocean Marine. Ellis will be based in New York and report to Mike Southgate, global head of Marine, Energy and Engineering.

Sompo Canopius has also hired Angela Nolan, also from XL Catlin, as underwriting assistant and vice president.

Ellis will lead the development and strategy of the business, as well as a further build out of the team.

“It has become increasingly clear that to be competitive in this market, we need a presence in New York, closer to the business and our clients,” said Southgate said.

Ellis began his underwriting career at International Marine Underwriters (IMU). He moved to Global Special Risk, and then to RSA where he was product line manager for hull and liabilities lines. In 2003 he rejoined IMU as regional president, managing its ocean and inland marine book for the northeast U.S. for nearly 10 years. He then moved to XL Catlin in 2013 where he was regional vice president, managing its marine and inland book for the northeast U.S.

Nolan graduated from St. John’s University and began her career at XL Catlin where she underwrote all marine lines while building a book of business.

Southgate, who was previously joint active underwriter at Montpelier Syndicate 5151, joined Sompo Canopius in March as part of the company’s plan to increase its marine, energy and engineering business.

Sompo Canopius has underwriting operations in the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bermuda, U.S. and Singapore. It underwrites through Lloyd’s Syndicate 4444 (managed by Canopius Managing Agents limited); a US surplus lines insurer, Canopius US Insurance, Inc.; and a Zurich-based reinsurance company, Sompo Japan Canopius Reinsurance AG.

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