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February 6, 2009updated 13 Apr 2017 8:57am

Beazley goes for growth in the US

There is always opportunity, even in a time of recession, believes UK personal accident and life underwriting management agency Beazley Group, which is embarking on a drive to expand significantly in the US

By LII editorial

There is always opportunity, even in a time of recession, believes UK personal accident and life underwriting management agency Beazley Group, which is embarking on a drive to expand significantly in the US. Beazley’s is one of 51 managing agents running Lloyd’s syndicates.

Spearheading Beazley’s growth ambitions in the US is Momentum Underwriting Management (MUM), a UK competitor acquired by Beazley in September 2008 for £20.6 million ($31 million). Momentum’s book of business included provision of reinsurance for a number of US clients.

Though Beazley’s believes it can expand MUM’s US underwriting book “substantially,” its approach to business opportunities in the US will be focused.

“We are not a volume insurer of accident and life business – we are a specialist insurer and reinsurer,” explained Chris Branch, head of Beazley’s Accident & Life division.

“I am confident we will be able to offer US brokers and clients a distinctive and valuable service in a number of niche areas.”

Beazley, which established a presence in the US in 2004, is an admitted carrier in all 50 states and has built a business among smaller firms that would not traditionally have insured at Lloyd’s.

In 2007, Beazley’s local US underwriters wrote $175 million in gross premiums, principally for smaller clients.

Heading Beazley’s growth-drive in the US is Peter Slot, a veteran of 20 years in personal accident insurance and reinsurance markets, especially in the UK, US and Canada. Prior to joining Beazley, Slot served for five years as profit centre manager and subsequently regional underwriting manager for American International Group’s UK accident and health unit.

Established in 1986, Beazley has in addition to the UK and US, operations in France, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Beazley manages four Lloyd’s syndicates, the two newest of which were formed by Beazley in 2008 to support the acquisition of MUM. One of the new syndicates is dedicated to life insurance and the other to health and accident insurance.

Beazley believes MUM will underwrite about $100 million of gross premium in 2009. In total Beazley’s syndicates have an aggregate underwriting capacity of £810 million in 2009.

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