27 January 2014ILS

Speed to market and burgeoning ILS attracts Phoenix CRe

The strengths of the Bermuda market attracted Phoenix CRetro to the Island, with speed to market and its fast-growing ILS market proving decisive factors.

That is the view of Nick Frost, president at R&Q Quest who is responsible for the day-to-day management of Phoenix CRetro. He says that Phoenix CRetro is another success story for the Island and has been well-received by both cedant syndicates at Lloyd’s and Central and East European insurers.

Phoenix CRetro aims to provide Lloyd’s syndicates and global players with access to alternative catastrophe reinsurance capacity from Central and Eastern Europe, which traditionally has had little involvement in the catastrophe retrocession market, while for investors it allows them to access the Lloyd’s market through a bundled approach.

The offering has been “very well received” says Frost, who credits the knowledge of Phoenix CRetro’s senior vice president and chief underwriting officer, Kirill Savrassov as being key to the building of relationships in Lloyd’s and Eastern Europe.

“Kirill has 17 years experience in the market. And frankly, there is no one else doing what he is doing”, says Frost.

Brad Adderley, partner in the corporate and commercial department at Appleby—who represents Phoenix CRetro in Bermuda—concurs that the new offering has been well-received on the Island. He adds that the company and Bermuda are a natural fit.

“Bermuda is the place for ILS funds and Kirill recognises that”, says Adderley.

Frost says that speed to market had been one of the leading factors behind opting for Bermuda as home to Phoenix CRetro. He adds that connections with Lloyd’s, the reputation of the jurisdiction and its rising star within the ILS space all helped to determine the company’s home.

With Bermuda ILS issuance representing around 41 percent of the global total, Phoenix CRetro is well positioned to ride the rising ILS wave.

A test of vigorous oversight

Not that it was all plain sailing for the new company. The formation of Phoenix CRetro in Bermuda resulted in a rigorous test of its credentials in a jurisdiction that is consistent in its desire to maintain an impeccable global reputation, says Adderley

With a responsibility for the legal filings of the company, Adderley says that every Eastern European investor has been through a vigorous approval process, vetted by Appleby, R&Q and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

This is set to continue with Phoenix CRetro only working with insurers and financial institutions with the appropriate pedigree, says Adderely, but such an approach will help to instil confidence in an offering that is showing considerable potential.

Commenting on the company’s first renewals, Savrassov says: “We are very pleased with our first renewals season, during which we not only secured some high-profile clients from within the Lloyd's market, but also a number of new market capital providers including insurers and banks from Russia and the Ukraine.”