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Gallagher announces new CEOs of UK Specialty business & Pen Underwriting

11th February 2020 - Author: Luke Gallin

Global re/insurance brokerage Gallagher has announced that Jonathan Turner will become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its UK domiciled Specialty operation, subject to regulatory approval.

GallagherTurner’s appointment comes as current CEO of the business, John Thompson, takes on a new role as Head of Business Development for the UK-based operation.

As part of the leadership changes, Tom Downey, Chief Underwriting Officer (CUO) of MGA Pen Underwriting, which is owned by Gallagher, has been appointed CEO of Pen, succeeding Turner.

Gallagher notes that the new Business Development role within its UK Specialty segment is a result of its significant growth in recent times, which includes the acquisition of the 250-strong JLT Global Aerospace team. This role will have a focus on talent acquisition, M&A opportunities, product development, and relationships with carriers and wholesale third party partners.

CEO of Gallagher’s broking and underwriting business in the UK, Simon Matson, commented: “Our Specialty division has undergone considerable growth in the past 12 months and is now almost unrecognisable having doubled in size over the last five years and firmly establishing itself as a leading London Specialty Broker.

“Having a dedicated head of business development, particularly one with John’s broking experience, wholesale expertise and passion for growth, will ensure we take full advantage of the many opportunities our enlarged presence and portfolio gives us. Jonathan is an exceptional leader, as he has demonstrated during his three years as CEO of Pen, making him the natural choice to become the new CEO of our Specialty division and to lead the 950-strong team through the next phase of our growth strategy.”

Commenting on the change in leadership at Pen, Matson added: “Our underwriting footprint has also undergone incredible change in the last decade. Five years ago we brought together 12 specialist MGAs to create a virtual insurer in Pen Underwriting, a business that we are incredibly proud of.

“As Chief Underwriting Officer, Tom has been at the centre of that transformation and is well deserving of this promotion to the top job as Chief Executive for Pen Underwriting. It speaks volumes about the quality of our senior leadership that we are making these senior team changes from within our own internal talent pool.”

As CEO of Pen, Downey takes on full day-to-day management of the MGA and its team of over 350 insurance professional across its 12 offices in the UK.

As a result of Downey’s promotion, Jennifer Martin, Managing Director of International & Financial Lines, will succeed Downey as CUO, subject to regulatory approval. She joined the firm in 2015 and was promoted to lead its International & Financial Lines unit. Martin is also set to join the board of Pen.

At the same time, Adrian Scott, Head of Cyber Liability, will replace Martin as Managing Director of International & Financial Lines, and will also become a member of the firm’s executive team.

Downey commented: “From my very first day six years ago, I’ve been passionate about Pen as a specialist underwriting business and am incredibly proud of the virtual insurer we have shaped and built as a team. Pen now brings together all the robust capabilities of an insurance company with the entrepreneurial mind-set and flexibility of an MGA that continues to deliver for our customers and capacity providers alike.

“It’s both exciting and an honour to be taking over the CEO baton from Jon who has been an inspirational leader for the business. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with him.

“I’m also delighted to promote Jen and Adrian to their new roles. Being able to appoint members of our existing team into such pivotal positions is testament to our talent within Pen and our commitment to developing that talent, and I know both will excel with their new responsibilities.”

Turner added: “Five years ago, Pen Underwriting was essentially a disparate group of 12 specialist underwriting businesses and Tom has been integral to their effective integration and our transformational change. There’s no pair of hands more skilled and secure to which to pass Pen’s leadership reins.”

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