Patrick Roder, Synpulse
23 March 2020ILS

Synpulse unveils dedicated ILS practice, led by Patrick Roder

Synpulse has created a new ILS practice to provide consulting services to clients that are active in this industry.

Synpulse offers consulting services on issues ranging from strategy to execution, on operations and technology topics, with a focus on reinsurance operations and the interplay between reinsurance and fund management.

This involves advising clients on issues such as process engineering and automation, target operation models, enterprise architecture and core systems. It does not consult on the investment and structuring side of the business.

Synpulse had been thinking about launching its ILS practice for some time, and is not new to the ILS space, having already been advising clients in these transactions.

Launching the practice now is the company’s way of acknowledging the importance of ILS as a specific industry, and of communicating its public commitment to working with ILS players, explained Patrick Roder, who is leading the new business.

Having a dedicated ILS practice will make it possible to focus even more on the specific needs of the ILS market, added Roder, while also allowing Synpulse to develop more tailored solutions with its partners and clients.

Roder has more than 10 years of experience in the reinsurance and banking industries, including six years as an underwriter and structurer where he was involved in the ILS business. He has been with Synpulse for three years and is a member of the reinsurance practice management team.

Synpulse had previously been servicing its ILS clients out of the reinsurance practice, given its involvement with the reinsurance operations of ILS players. The new ILS practice will keep working closely with the reinsurance practice, which is led by managing partner Konrad Niggli. ILS platforms are looking to build increasingly sophisticated reinsurance operations, Roder explained.

“Together the two teams can leverage a global team of over 30 ILS and reinsurance experts based in key financial markets around the world,” said Roder.

Roder said Synpulse’s vision is to “create state-of-the-art digital ILS platforms” for its clients.

“ILS is an exciting space where the traditional and alternative reinsurance markets increasingly converge,” he said.

Roder acknowledged that Bermuda is one of its target markets, although it does not have operations on the island. “Synpulse has a number of clients in Bermuda, which we service out of our offices in Zurich, New York and London with regular on-site visits,” he said.

Roder said the traditional and alternative reinsurance markets have been increasingly converging, as ILS platforms build up increasingly sophisticated reinsurance operations.

“Given Synpulse’s 20-plus year-experience serving the reinsurance industry, we see the setup of the ILS practice as a natural evolution,” said Roder.

It is also a way for Synpulse to ensure it capitalises on a market that it believes is well positioned to grow in coming years. “We expect capital to increasingly concentrate among ILS platforms with positive track records, sophisticated operations and superior access to risks,” said Roder.

He added: “There are different ways an ILS platform can react to this, but one development we observe in this context is the setting up or upgrading of existing reinsurance vehicles.”

Roder also predicted the market will find ways to structure new kinds of risk into ILS transactions, although Synpulse will not be directly involved in these efforts. “Some of the more permanent structures that have recently been set up by some ILS platforms would theoretically allow insurers to write more longtail business, be it prospective or retrospective,” he said.