People Moves: Lockton’s Reese Joins Cowbell Cyber; Optio Expands Political Violence Unit with Kirby; AXIS Names 3 to U.S. Renewables

September 14, 2021

Lockton’s Reese Joins Cowbell Cyber

A former Lockton executive has joined Cowbell Cyber as its new head of Insurance. Chris Reese will focus on the company’s business .

Reese brings more than 35 years of experience in cyber insurance. Before joining Cowbell, Reese served as senior vice president and Cyber & Technology Insurance Practice lead at global insurance broker Lockton, where she consulted on cyber enterprise risk transfer products for non-profit, private and public corporations. Reese has also held leadership positions at NAS Insurance Services, Chivaroli and Associates and G.J. Sullivan Co.

She will report to Trent Cooksley, Cowbell Cyber chief operations officer.

Optio Group Expands U.S. Political Violence and Terrorism with Kirby

London-based specialty insurance managing general agency Optio Group, is expanding its U.S. operations with the promotion of Chris Kirby to global head of political violence and terrorism (PVT) insurance, and his relocation to establish Optio’s PVT underwriting capabilities in the U.S.

Optio said the move follows growth in Optio’s U.S. PVT portfolio due to a “significant increase in civil disturbance, riots and active shooter events” which have caused “considerable damage and disruption for many U.S. businesses,” particularly small and medium businesses.

Kirby will provide a point of access for U.S. retail and wholesale brokers, in addition to Optio’s online trading portal Optio Connect. He will also lead the development of new and existing products, while continuing to oversee the strategic growth of Optio’s PVT division.

Kirby joined Optio early in 2020 as head of political violence and terrorism, following the acquisition of specialist political-violence and terrorism MGA Newbridge Risk Partners, which he founded.

“This year has been the most active on record for civil disturbances, with many widely-reported incidents occurring in the US. SMEs are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances and the persistent underlying volatility propelling these events is challenging the PVT insurance market,” Kirby said.

AXIS Appoints 3 to U.S. Renewable Energy Team

AXIS Insurance, the specialty insurance business segment of AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd., made three appointments within its U.S. Renewables team.

Becky Nace-Grover joins AXIS as a senior underwriter, Kamran Hameed as a cross-class underwriter, and German Torres as an underwriter. Their responsibilities will include strengthening new and existing broker and partner relationships, as well as developing new business opportunities.

Nace-Grover was president of Niche Underwriting at ProSight Specialty Insurance where she oversaw various specialty portfolios, including the solar contractor program. Prior to that, she spent six years at GCube Insurance Services as an underwriter focusing on wind and solar accounts. She will be based in New York and report to Sam Walsh, head of U.S. Renewable Energy.

Hameed was most recently a senior underwriter at Alta Risk LLC, where he worked with renewable energy contractors. Before that, he was an underwriter at AIG for six years. In his new role, Hameed will be based in Kansas City and report to Walsh.

Torres is transferring internally from the AXIS Property and Energy team, where he has underwritten property, political risk and renewable energy business based in Latin America. Before joining AXIS in 2019, Torres was a property underwriter at Hannover Re for five years. He is based in San Francisco and also reports to Walsh.

Sources: Cowbell Cyber, Optio Group, AXIS Insurance

Topics USA Cyber Lockton

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