14 February 2013News

Allied World ramps up in Europe as it hails Bermuda

Allied World is expanding its European operations with the appointment of Julian James as president of its European operations, but Bermuda continues to receive praise.

James, who was president of the Chartered Insurance Institute until last year, will work closely with Allied World’s board of directors in London to implement the company’s operating plans and strategy for the European insurance platform.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to be part of Allied World’s continuing global expansion and to join such a strong management and underwriting team. Allied World’s European platform is recognised as a leader in the excess market, and I look forward to helping them further diversify and develop their business,” James said.

Allied World redomiciled its company headquarters from Bermuda to Zug in Switzerland in 2010 and has increased its presence in Europe. Bermuda Re spoke with Frank D'Orazio, Allied World's president of Bermuda and international insurance about James’ appointment, its implications for the company’s European and global strategy, and Allied World’s departure from Bermuda.  

D'Orazio said that he was certain that James is the right leader to execute Allied World’s European strategy, and that the move to Zug had proved a good corporate decision.

“We’ve been steadily increasing our investment in Europe over the last few years – we launched our Lloyd’s Syndicate 2232; and added several new product lines in London, such as trade credit, health care and professional lines products for SME clients. We have also commenced writing direct insurance from our Swiss branch office, and will continue to expand further both in the London market and on the Continent as opportunities arise.

“We expect to continue to gain scale in Europe by diversifying our portfolio through new specialty products and complementing our excess capabilities with a more comprehensive suite of primary products making us more meaningful to our clients and distribution partners.”

While James’s appointment does suggest further investment in European, D’Orazio said that as a company, Allied World is still dedicated to its former domicile, Bermuda. “We continue to have a very strong presence on the Island as a respected market leader in both insurance and reinsurance.

“Our Bermuda platform is one of our most successful operations within Allied World by just about every operating metric that matters in our industry.”