Berkshire Hathaway Speciality Insurance (BHSI) has entered the surety market in Australia as part of its global expansion strategy.

Now, the American insurer will offer contract surety products for large and mid-sized contractors across Australia.

Jonathan Griffiths has been named as the head of surety in Australia.  With over a decade of insurance industry experience, Griffiths will oversee the surety from the BHSI office in Sydney.

Prior to joining Berkshire, Griffiths worked with Liberty Specialty Markets, a division of Liberty Mutual, where he was most recently served as head of surety for Asia-Pacific.

Prior to that, he held various management positions for Liberty in Australia, along with North America, the UK and Europe.

Griffiths has also served as the vice president of the Australian Surety Association since 2015.

BHSI Australasia president Mark Lingafelter said: “We are pleased to expand our surety footprint and our team into Australia. With his extensive experience, Jonathan is exceptionally qualified to bring to market surety solutions with BHSI’s agility, underwriting expertise and financial strength.”

BHSI offers a range of surety products in the Canada, the UK, the US, Europe as well as in Asia.

Recently, Berkshire Hathaway offloaded Applied Underwriters to its founder and president Steve Menzies and an investment firm in deal valued at $920m.

Last month, BHSI opened a new office in Madrid, Spain to underwrite property, casualty, financial lines, construction and engineering insurance.

In March this year, BHSI introduced professional liability cover for asset managers and funds in the UK and Ireland.

In January, the company expanded its North American transactional liability insurance business into the UK and Europe.

It also unveiled plans to expand into the property construction insurance market in the UK and Ireland. This venture will be led by Simeon Seamer, who previously served at SCOR Global P&C.