Specialty insurance company Markel has strengthened its fine art business by hiring Kyle McGrath as the head of fine art – North America.  

McGrath takes on the new role immediately, with responsibility for enabling the “profitable expansion” of the business. 

She brings more than 12 years of insurance sector experience to the role with a background in underwriting, business strategy and broking.  

McGrath most recently worked as the vice-president – head of fine art and collections at Private Client Select, a role she held for three years.  

Earlier, she had a seven-year stint at AXA XL, where she held various senior positions within the North American fine art and specie team and global chief underwriting office.  

In her new capacity, she will help develop regional underwriting strategies, product offerings and regional presence, working in tandem with the US-based fine art underwriting team.  

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Based in New York, she will report to Markel director of marine in London Dan McCarthy.  

McCarthy said: “The global fine art insurance market is expanding, driven largely by an increase in the individual and institutional collector base in the US. Meanwhile, rising art valuations and a changing risk landscape for collectors make having the right risk and insurance partner more important than ever before.  

“I am therefore delighted to welcome Kyle to Markel. Her knowledge and experience of working in the fine art insurance market will be of enormous benefit to our existing clients as we support them in meeting their specific risk(s) and insurance needs.” 

This appointment follows the recent promotion of Chloe Gordge to head of terrorism in London. 

Markel, the insurance unit of the NYSE-listed Markel Group, encompasses a range of operations including Markel Specialty, Markel International and Markel Global Reinsurance. It also operates State National and Nephila, which focus on portfolio protection and insurance-linked securities, respectively.