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Aviva CEO leaves; BlackRock to manage £30B of Lloyds' asset portfolio

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

Earnings and guidance

* Danish insurer Tryg A/S reported third-quarter profit of 627 million kroner, down from 671 million kroner in the year-ago period.

* Dutch insurer ASR Nederland NV said it aims to maintain an operational return on equity of above 12% as part of a new strategy for the 2019-2021 period. The firm is eyeing minimum organic capital creation of €430 million by 2021, while maintaining its Solvency II ratio above 160%.

* London-listed insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd. disclosed estimated net losses of about $30 million in its marine portfolio and forecast between $25 million and $45 million of so-called attritional losses — or accumulated smaller claims — related to Hurricane Florence in the U.S. and typhoons Jebi, Mangkhut and Trami in Asia-Pacific.

Executive appointments and exits

* Aviva PLC CEO Mark Wilson stepped down, effective Oct. 9, having served in the post since 2013. In the interim, he will be replaced by Nonexecutive Chairman Adrian Montague, who will revert to his nonexecutive role once a new CEO is named, which should be within four months.

* The U.K.-based insurer's head of digital, Andrew Brem, has also left the company, Insurance Post reported. Aviva reportedly does not intend to replace Brem.

* Allianz Group unit Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE said it will split its alternative risk transfer business Nov. 1, with alternative risk transfer chief underwriting officer Richard Boyd leading the capital solutions business comprising the insurance-linked markets team. Global head of liability Michael Hohmann will lead the remaining alternative transfer business, with Ciara Brady succeeding him in the former role, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Brady is currently head of casualty treaty global and international at Swiss Re AG.

* Barry Stowe is retiring as chairman and CEO of Prudential PLC's North American business unit, effective Dec. 31. Stowe is also retiring as an executive director of the company. He will be replaced by Michael Falcon with effect from Jan. 7, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. Falcon currently leads JP Morgan Asset Management's Asian asset management operations.

* Bermuda-based, London-listed Hiscox Ltd. appointed Liz Breeze CFO of Hiscox Re & ILS. Based in Bermuda, Breeze has been interim CFO since June. Prior to this, Breeze spent four years as head of finance for Hiscox's U.K. retail operations.

* MS Amlin PLC's interim chief information officer and former COO, Piyush Patel, is set to depart from the company at the end of the first quarter of 2019, Re-Insurance reported.

* Standard Life Aberdeen PLC is poised to announce the appointment of former HSBC Holdings PLC Chair Douglas Flint as its new chairman in the coming weeks, the Financial Times reported, citing two people close to the process.


* Legal & General Group PLC unit Legal & General Assurance Society Ltd. completed a £2.4 billion buyout for the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan. This allows the pension plan, which covers around 15,500 pensioner members and about 7,200 deferred members, to exit the pension protection fund, Legal & General said.

* Vivat NV confirmed that its China-based parent, Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd., is reviewing its strategic options regarding its ownership of the Netherlands-based insurance company. Companies that have shown interest in Vivat include ASR Nederland, Aegon NV, Allianz Group and Apollo Global Management LLC unit Athora Holding Ltd. Anbang is also reportedly considering selling Belgian insurer FIDEA NV.

* NN Group NV received regulatory approval from the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition to take sole control of Czech insurance company Aegon Pojištovna a.s., currently owned by Aegon NV.

Products & strategy

* Lloyds Banking Group PLC and unit Scottish Widows Group Ltd. have picked U.S.-based BlackRock Inc. to manage £30 billion of assets in index strategies. The assets are part of the £109 billion investment portfolio put up for grabs after Lloyds decided to terminate the contract of its current manager, Standard Life Aberdeen PLC.

* Prudential PLC is eyeing acquisitions and distribution partnerships with lenders in Asia, Nic Nicandrou, CEO of the company's Asia operations, told Reuters. The company is dividing its operations in two, with the U.K. and Europe business to become part of a new London-listed M&G Prudential entity and Prudential PLC to focus on the U.S. and Asia.

* Generali launched GeneraliCyberSecurTech, a technology startup that will deploy cyberrisk assessment methodologies for the Italian insurance group's customers.

* U.K.-based Beazley PLC has decided to stop underwriting new construction and engineering business globally, The Insurance Insider reported, citing a company spokesperson. Beazley will seek to transfer members of the construction team to other units.

In other news

* Lloyd's of London wants to move all of its European Economic Area business to its Brussels subsidiary before the end of 2020. It has given assurances that underwriters will meet their contractual obligations — including payment of valid claims — even if the U.K. departs the EU without a transition period before the transfer is complete. The Brussels subsidiary can begin writing all of Lloyd's EEA business starting Jan. 1, 2019.

* Standard Life Aberdeen received regulatory approval for the return of £1.0 billion to shareholders by way of a B share scheme, accompanied by a share capital consolidation. Shareholders are set to receive a minimum of 33.4 pence per share, with the record time for the B share scheme set at 5 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Cyber insurance-linked securities have arrived, but market still in infancy: A few small cyber ILS deals have already been done, but some remain unconvinced that the capital markets are yet ready to take on the growing, ever-changing risk.

Losses at UK insurer Lancashire threaten dividend payments, analysts suggest: Marine and natural catastrophe claims at Lancashire put a special dividend in doubt and could mean a lower dividend yield for investors.

German life insurers may save up to €18B in 2018 thanks to rule change: A recent government proposal to change the way German life insurers calculate their additional reserve needs could save the industry up to €18 billion in 2018 and will likely boost their solvency ratios in the long run, S&P Global Ratings said.