Volante launches Multi-class International MGA

  • Volante is a specialist global underwriting and distribution MGA platform
  • Talbir Bains is the Founder and CEO of Volante
  • Nephila Capital is the principal equity investor with the Volante Management team participating as minority shareholders
  • A+ and AA+ capital capacity secured
  • Edison Motor is to offer ‘AA+’ rated capacity to the UK commercial motor market
  • Eric Gutierrez is to lead P&C reinsurer Horizon, headquartered in Zurich

London, 20th December 2017 – Volante Global Limited (Volante), a new multi-class and multi-territory international managing general agent (MGA) platform, will launch and commence trading during Q1 2018, subject to Lloyd’s Coverholder approvals where appropriate.

Volante is a UK-headquartered global underwriting MGA which under the stewardship of a top tier executive team spanning all key disciplines, will underwrite specialist portfolios of insurance and reinsurance business, including: property and casualty, professional and financial lines, motor, space & aviation and marine & energy. The group is establishing an international network of underwriting teams located in key territories to deliver local market service with a global perspective, culture and ethos.

Led by Talbir Bains, founder and CEO of Volante, the group benefits from the robust security of ‘A+’[1] and AA+ rated capacity, and has secured equity investment from Nephila Capital as its principal equity investor. Mr. Bains was formerly Group CEO and CUO of DUAL International Limited, and prior to this held a number of managerial positions across underwriting, reinsurance, pricing and business performance at QBE European Operations during a 14-year chapter with the QBE Group.

Other members of the Volante executive committee are: Jim Donnet, Chief Financial Officer (formerly MD in the FIG investment banking teams of KBW, FPK and ABN AMRO, having previously qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG); Damian McNamara, Chief Distribution Officer (formerly Head of International Business Development at Artex and Kane) and Adrian Williams, Chief Legal Officer (formerly General Counsel (EMEA) at Swiss Re and Head of Legal for QBE European Operations). A Chief Actuarial Officer and an Underwriting & Franchise Director are to be announced in due course.

Mr. Bains said: “We are delighted to be launching a new and unique underwriting business, following investment from Nephila Capital and capacity support from our panel of A+ and AA+ rated Carriers, intermediated by Aon Benfield. Volante will deploy upper quartile underwriting capabilities dovetailed with local and specialist distribution strength, supported by an optimised operational platform. All of this will be highly enabled by a leading-edge, in-house Technology Centre which resides at the origin of our business, driving an innovative and disruptive research & development approach to deliver fully bespoke, cost-effective product and distribution solutions.

“Our mission is to create sustainable, balanced portfolios of business, each developed by empowered underwriting teams composed of leading practitioners in their particular market specialties – they share the same entrepreunerial spirit that pervades our Volante culture. Our objective is to achieve superior underwriting and financial margin with zero compromise on delivering target returns to our sponsoring Carriers and Investor, driven by a philosophy of Group culture predicated on transparency, empowerment and accountability.”

Edison Motor will be the first underwriting team to launch from the Volante platform. The MGA, which will begin writing business in February 2018 with ‘AA+’ rated1 Company paper – secured on a 5-year binder agreement – will offer a range of niche motor insurance products, and be led by some of the most experienced underwriters in the UK commercial motor sector.

A diverse portfolio of commercial business will span: the public sector, including police and fire services, and district/borough councils; hazardous goods; haulage and ancillary. The company will provide both conventional and non-conventional insurance products.

Edison Motor will capitalise on an agile infrastructure provided by Volante. This includes an end-to-end operating system providing real-time connectivity across underwriting, claims and risk management that promotes superior efficiency in analytics and business processing. In addition, Volante will provide a full-service motor claims function, including pre- and post-litigation support, and access to a comprehensive repairer network; as well as extensive risk management services.

In early 2018, Volante will also launch Horizon Managing Agency AG (Horizon), a property and casualty reinsurance MGA focusing exclusively on the Continental European market. Lead by Eric Gutierrez (formally CEO of European Reinsurance at Sompo Canopius and ACE Tempest Re), Horizon will offer extensive capacity across property catastrophe XL, property catastrophe aggregate XL and property per risk XL.

Volante’s UK MGA business will be incubated by Vibe MGA Management, which will provide turnkey compliance and appointed representative services. Volante’s international business will launch during 2018.

Nephila Capital, the principal equity investor to Volante, is the world’s largest insurance-linked securities and reinsurance-linked investments manager, majority owned by its founders and employees with leading global investment firms KKR & Co and Man Group PLC as minority shareholders.

Mr Bains commented: “We are honoured to be partnering with Nephila as our principal investor, and it is an absolute privilege to be working with them on this very exciting new venture.”

Aon Benfield teams, led by Terry Masters, included Aon Securities which, managed by Nick Triggs, acted as equity advisor to Volante. Meanwhile, Aon Benfield’s capacity team, led by Vijay Mavani, Mark Flower and Rob Sharp conducted discussions with Volante’s supporting Carriers. Macfarlanes, led by Stephen Drewitt, provided legal advice to Volante with Willkie Farr advising Nephila Capital on legal matters.

Mr Bains added “Volante is immensely grateful to Dominic Christian and his teams at Aon Benfield for the privilege of the truly outstanding client focus and intermediary support provided by the firm. Stephen Drewitt and the team at Macfarlanes were equally tremendous and exemplary in providing legal support to secure the agreement between Volante and Nephila.”

[1] Standard & Poor’s

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