Canopius, a UK-based specialty lines (re)insurer, has revealed plan to open an office in Sydney, Australia to grow its business in the Asia Pacific region.

It will create a local entity, which the company says will open to underwrite business from 30 June this year.

The Sydney office will deal with operations in both Australia and New Zealand. It will target SME business through coverholders, wholesale direct and facultative, as well as reinsurance treaty business, the company said.

The company has hired Claudio Saita to lead the new office as country manager for Australia & Pacific.

He will report to Canopius CEO for APAC & MENA Mark Newman.

Earlier, Claudio was deputy CEO and executive director of Tokio Marine Management Australasia.

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Newman said: “I am delighted that Claudio has joined us. His significant experience and knowledge will help us as we pursue further growth in this priority market. Claudio has forged excellent distribution relationships, often built around modern technology, which will be a differentiator for Canopius as we target profitable business throughout the Pacific region.”

Saita said: “This region presents significant opportunities for committed and locally empowered carriers that embrace technology, and I look forward to working with Mark and our team on the next steps in the Canopius APAC journey.”

The launch of the Sydney office is subject to regulatory approval.