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ERS launches ILS offering, expands senior team

3rd February 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Specialist motor insurer ERS has announced the launch of an integrated insurance-linked securities (ILS) offering, while also continuing the build out of its commercial insurance and reinsurance team with a series of senior hires.

The firm’s ILS approach will include an open-ended mandate with a remit to invest across both public, private and non-life ILS, with semi-annual liquidity, as well as a closed-ended, higher risk and higher target return fund, and a liquid cat bond fund.

The offering will be set-up, developed and managed by the newly appointed Neil Strong as CEO ILS and Fergus Reynolds as CUO ILS, who were both previously Partners at Securis Investment Partners based in London.

They will be supported by Sandro Kriesch, who is a Founding Partner at Twelve Capital in Zurich.

“I am delighted that Neil, Fergus and Sandro have joined the team to set up our ILS offering,” said ERS Group CEO Peter Bilsby.

“A (re)insurer aligned ILS platform will give us the ability to offer cedents the full suite of risk transfer solutions and institutional ILS investors the best access to risk with the flexibility to invest across a range of ILS opportunities”.

Stron also commented: “Fergus, Sandro and I are excited to support the expansion and build out a compelling proposition. The current environment sees investor appetites returning for insurance linked returns. ILS investors are now focusing on quality as they move allegiances towards managers that can provide the access to business that they want, but with more liquidity.”

Alongside the new ILS team, ERS announced the appointments of Kevin Kelley as non-Exec Chairman, as well as David Morris and Steven Tebbutt as CUO and Head of Specialty, respectively, who will both join from Talbot towards the end of this year.

Also from Talbot, Dan Callow will join as Lead Underwriter for Political Violence and War in April, while David Message has joined from StarStone as Senior Underwriter, Marine.

Additionally, two hires from Hiscox, Gary Lill and Phil Furlong, are set to join as Head of Professional Lines and Head of Marine & Energy, respectively, and Chris Wilkinson has been recruited from Lancashire as Head of Specialty.

“I am delighted to welcome Kevin, Gary, Steven, Phil, Chris, Dan, David Message and David Morris, to the team,” said Bilsby. “We have an exciting agenda and their experience, knowledge and market relationships will be critical in helping us achieve it.”

ERS further explained that the new ILS proposition will be built on a single, legacy free platform that benefits from origination from the wider ERS proposition.

“The lack of legacy issues will give us significant opportunities to provide solutions to cedants and attractive portfolios to institutional clients,” said Fergus Reynolds.

“Our ability to leverage the ERS platforms will allow us to offer portfolios to investors that reduce the risk and the impact of trapped capital that causes such a negative drag on investors’ returns.  I’m thrilled to be joining the team and can’t wait to get started.”

Sandro Kriesch added: “There are relatively few (re)insurer aligned ILS platforms that offer much more than a simple sidecar strategy so this approach, which will have technology at its core, will enhance and streamline the interaction with investors and provide reporting transparency that is often missing in the market.”

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