London May 14th to 17th 2012
|To :||Members of Insuralex|
|From :||David Brackenbury|
|Date :||1st June 2012|
|Subject:||London meetings with Ralf-Thomas Wittmann (Grooterhorst) and Alessandro Giorgetti (Studio Legale Giorgetti)|
After successful meetings in London in April and further meetings with Market colleagues in Dublin, the following week, we were visited by Ralf-Thomas and Alex from Germany and Milan.
Again, these meetings were successful and it was a pleasure to walk the Market with Ralf-Thomas (as you all know, Alex is an old hand and regular visitor to the Lloyd’s and London Market).
Also, I did not accompany Alex in all his meetings, as he was involved in a major Market Meeting for the majority of his visit.
14 th May 2012
Chubb Europe – Stephen Walters – First Party Claims Manager
Attendance: David Brackenbury (DB) Ralf-Thomas Wittmann (RTW)
I had already met Steve during the recent London Networking meetings and it was a very good opportunity to meet up with him again. It will be remembered that Chubb have offices in many parts of Europe and RTW was very interested to be informed that they had a large office in Düsseldorf. With the Chubb set up, it is usual for their local offices to make decisions on matters where they need representation. However some facilities and solid lead business is handled from London.
RTW explained Grooterhorst’s practice (Architects, Engineers Products Liability and D&O) He also gave an account of the Düsseldorf Airport fire in 1996 and the work that his firm did on this major case.
Steve explained that the European Claims Manager at Chubb is Lynne George and that the overall International Claims Manager (Worldwide, excluding the USA) is Jalil Rehmann. I am familiar with Jalil, having broked to him some years ago.
Steve also spoke of Arag, which is a German Insurance Company, who may work with Chubb in legal matters and recommended that Ralf-Thomas might like to meet up with. RTW agreed, and said that he already knew of them.
Steve is developing to be a useful contact. He thinks highly of the Group and its Members and was very pleased to meet with RTW and know of the services that he can offer in Germany.
Aon PLC – Rob Dobson – Cargo Claims Director
Attendance: DB, RTW
It is always worth meeting with Rob. He is a good contact at Aon and a supporter of Insuralex and has a wealth of contacts in the Market and also with Aon. During our conversation, we were talking of the “Costa Concordia” incident, with which Aon were heavily involved. Apparently Aon act as Brokers for 4 out of 5 of the major Cruise lines.
We spoke of RTW’s areas of business and Rob suggested the name of Leonora Sicardi, who is their D&O Claims Manager. This will be a useful contact for us to follow up with.
As always with Rob, it was a short, but productive discussion.
Lonmar Global Risks – Richard Nemeth, David Cobb
Attendance: DB, RTW
This was an extremely interesting meeting. Richard and David are both very much involved in producing and placing business throughout Eastern Europe and FSU States. There was clearly a strong synergy between Grooterhorst’s activities and those of the clients that Lonmar are working with. RTW and I both explained the Group and our international coverage and we also made the point that Insuralex was intending to expand with new Members in Eastern Europe, as well as other countries in the world. David Cobb is also active in Turkey and I suggested that he meets with Vahit Kaya on a future visit to Istanbul
Richard and David are both interested in getting more German business placed, or reinsured in the London Insurance Market. As you probably know, the German domestic Insurance and Reinsurance Market is strong and historically, little business has been placed in the London Market. This situation is changing, however and the opportunities that this presents may be of advantage to Brokers and Underwriters in London and, in time, it could be useful for Insuralex.
RTW and I explained some of the work that the Group can offer, including assistance with Wordings and advice on jurisdictional issues. This was received with interest and will be passed on their Underwriting contacts.
This was another very satisfactory meeting with two extremely experienced Brokers, who are competent in many of the areas that the Group is interested in.
Zurich Global Corporate – Phil Norwood – Claims Manager
Attendance: DB, RTW
Zurich are an interesting firm with an extremely varied portfolio of corporate business that is written in most places in the world. Phil had met with some of our US Members a couple of years ago and is aware of the diversity of International locations in which our Members are active. Philip has been involved in claims management for many years, having been at Gerling, before moving to Zurich. With their extensive European operations, including Germany and many other countries in Western Europe, Zurich fit our Group very well.
RTW and I explained some of the work that Grooterhorst have done and the areas that they are currently practicing in. He said that it was clear that Grooterhorst should consider branching out into transportation risks, as there seems to be much demand in this sector.
I know many people at Zurich and as one of the biggest Insurers and Reinsurers in the world, it is a good firm for us to promote Insuralex.
Contego Underwriting – Duncan McGill – Claims Manager
Attendance: DB, RTW
A good meeting with Duncan, whose firm specialize in Construction risks, both on the liability and property sides. They cover technical risks in this field and have a coverage which extends to machinery in situ, such as hospitals, banks and the telecommunications industry and other standing plant, as well as the more orthodox risks on heavy plant and machinery in the construction industry.
Their areas of business extend from Europe to Latin America and Africa. RTW explained his involvement in the Dusseldorf Airport loss and I explained some of the activities of the Group worldwide. Duncan mentioned the name of Charles Parmentier who is their Underwriter and might be interested in pre contract and wording analysis. Equally, Duncan was genuinely interested in Insuralex and Contego might be a useful contact as they expand.
15 th May 2012
Carter Perry Bailey – Stephen Carter – Managing Partner
Attendance: DB, RTW
This meeting was a courtesy call for RTW to meet with Stephen Carter. It is very good for Members to meet each other as much as possible and Stephen was very interested in what Grooterhorst are doing and his view of the Market. RTW explained what we had been doing on this visit and also we discussed some areas where we can promote Insuralex and all the Members.
Swiss Re – Roy Coppins, Nigel Ayriss
Attendance DB, RTW
Roy is one of the Wise Men of the London insurance Market. He has served on many of the London Market Claims Committees and is one of the founding partners of the well regarded International Fine Art & Specie Insurance Conference, which attracts some 400 delegates (including several Insuralex Members) to Lisbon this year. Roy and Nigel were very interested in meeting RTW and were also very interested in the whole concept of the Group and where we are located.
We discussed the possibility of being named on Swiss Re Panels and Nigel gave me the details of the gentleman who is responsible for maintaining their lists of approved lawyers. He resides in a safe location from cold callers; Kansas City!! (I have subsequently reached out to him and will keep trying).
The Swiss Re write a good deal of Property and Casualty business in both the Marine and Non-Marine worlds and are a highly organised set up. It will be good to promote the Group to them and out meeting was very positive.
Munich Re – Pat Gleeson – Claims Manager
Attendance: DB, RTW
It was a short, but extremely useful meeting. As with many Market contacts, Pat and I have known each other for about 20 years and he has had experience being based in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, which gives him a much greater insight into the management of international business than some of his peers.
Pat explained that he did not see very many claims from Germany, as most of them would be handled by the German domestic market. He does see some, though, and they tend to be large and complex matters indeed, so he was interested in our Group and what we can do around the world.
As far as Grooterhorst are concerned, Pat suggested that we meet with Christian Bauer, who is the head of Europe and Latin America, based in Munich. We were extremely grateful for the contact and RTW would reach out to him in the first instance. While Munich Re will certainly be a difficult nut to crack, with Pat’s support and the contacts we are getting, it is quite encouraging.
Stephen Watters International Loss Adjusters – Stephen Watters
Attendance: DB, RTW
While there is little overlap between the activities of Stephen, who is based in Mexico and Latin America and Grooterhorst, I thought that it would be useful for them to meet. Stephen is extremely well connected in the London Market and has a 30 year career as a Loss Adjuster in Europe, the Middle East, the USA and Central and Latin America. He knows about the Insuralex Group and is interested in our activites, locations and what services we can offer. As Insuralex expands into the areas he is based in, Stephen could be a valuable source of information and knowledge in his own area of operations and in his knowledge of the Market.
For colleagues who are unaware, Stephen is a member of the David Brackenbury Associates group, who comprise loss Adjusters, forensic Accountants and investigative firms and therefore is quite a supporter of my activities!
MGA Capital Limited – Stuart McAlister – Chief Underwriting Officer Attendance: DB, RTW
As with our meeting with Enrique Stephen and Alex a few weeks previously, Stuart was extremely interesting. To recap, MGA are incubating new Underwriting concerns until they are viable and then is working with them to bring them to the Market as independent operators. Stuart suggested that an area Grooterhorst may like to consider might be a specialisation in reputational damage, where Companies suffer problems of a nature that their reputation is affected. Examples might include BP after the Deepwater Horizon case or Costa Cruise Lines after a recent incident to one of their vessels in Italy!
Stuart was also good enough to recommend Kinetic, an Australian Broker who are based in London and work in both the German and Swiss markets. John Mitchell is the point of contact. RTW made a great presentation of Grooterhorst’s activities in the Market and Stuart responded by saying that he will recommend them to some German Reinsurance Companies and connections that he knows. It was a useful meeting with a contact who has real influence in the Market, as well as experience as an Underwriting Officer at the well known Underwriters Axa and Liberty.
This was Ralf-Thomas’s last meeting on his visit and I think it was very successful. He made a very good impression and it was very pleasant to see another Member of Insuralex making good use of our visit to the Market. We saw old friends and new and we worked very well together.
16 th May 2012
For the next couple of meetings, I was working with Alessandro Giorgetti. Alex was much more independent as he has visited the Market frequently over many years. He has a terrific reputation in Lloyd’s and the London Market. Also, Alex had visited London during the London Marketing Meetings the previous month. Alex had several meetings during his visit, including a lengthy Market Meeting that I was not present at, but we did have two meetings together, which were of real interest.
Ace Group – Nick Barron
Attendance: DB, AG
We are both very familiar with Nick, who is a Senior Claims Adjuster very much from the old school. Nick is by no means the most forthcoming of individuals, even though we have both known him for years. Nick used to be the Claims Manager at RG Brotherton Syndicate in the 1980s and 1990s and he was very much involved in Italian CIT and Jewellers Block claims, instructing AG on a number of occasions. He has been at Ace for a number of years and has considerable influence in the Non-Marine Property class of business. AG asked Nick about how the Group could get named on the Ace’s Panels. Nick had no solution to offer from his position, but there are a number of contacts at Ace we know who would be pleased that we have met with Nick and it will certainly do the Group good.
AG and I were fairly brief about Insuralex, but we did inform Nick of the Group, some of the Members and our areas of coverage, which interested him.
This was a useful discussion and it was good for the three of us to catch up after some years. Nick is certainly not the easiest person in the Market, but both AG and I thought the visit was well worthwhile.
17 th May 2012
Swiss Re – Oliver Thompson, Roy Coppins, Nigel Ayriss
Attendance: DB, AG
While we had visited the Swiss Re with Ralf-Thomas just a few days ago, it was important for AG to meet with them. We discussed a number of points of general interest. Again, AG has been involved with Roy Coppins for many years and as I observed above, Roy is an important person in the Marine and Specie world. He is also extremely well connected in the Market and is very interested in our Group and what we can offer. Roy was good enough to introduce us to his Claims Manager, Oliver Thompson, who didn’t know AG well.
Swiss Re are in the process of setting up an office in Genoa and this will be run by Andrea Cupido. In terms of claims management, AG suggested that Swiss Re might like to speak to Marco Marcello, who is ex Generali and a Director of Ras Italia (part of the Allianz Group). He is currently based in Trieste and was handling Property, Casualty PA risks, as well as Marine.
Oliver said that the Swiss Re was building teams in Genoa and Zurich.
Roy next discussed the International Fine Art and Specie Conference (IFASIC), which is to be held in Lisbon on 18th and 19th October this year. AG and DB both said they will attend and DB said that Bill Perry would probably attend as well. It was suggested that Enrique Belzuz might be extremely happy to assist the Conference Committee if there be any need, as a locally based contact and friend. We will also suggest that he attends the conference as well. This was extremely well received. Roy is the CEO of the Managing Committee and it would be an excellent opportunity for Belzuz Abogados to meet with several hundred London Market professionals.
This useful meeting finished my involvement with AG’s visit to the Market on this occasion. He then went off to an all day Market Meeting, which was the major purpose of his visit. However, the two meetings that he attended above were both extremely useful in their own way.
Once again, the meetings that Ralf-Thomas Alex and I attended were all very positive and constructive. They enabled us to showcase Insuralex, as well as the individual firms and everyone thought that their visits were successful and well worth while. I am very grateful for Ralf-Thomas and Alex’s involvement and look forward to welcoming other friends to the Market.
With best regards,