25 February 2015News

Brit to capitalise on Bermuda investment

Re/insurer Brit has revealed plans to capitalise on its investments in the US and Bermuda in 2015, in its latest set of financial results.

Richard Ward, chairman of Brit, said: “We also plan to build out our global distribution capability selectively, with significant opportunities to grow in mature markets such as the US and Bermuda, where we have achieved critical mass and expect to capitalise further on our investments in 2015. We also see opportunities in key growth markets over the longer-term such as building on the capability of our Latin America team in Miami and growing our presence in China.”

Brit posted a strong set of results for 2014, as it benefitted from strong growth in its specialty insurance business despite a reduction in its reinsurance segment.

Its profits hiked nearly 40 percent to £139 million in the year ended December 31, 2014, compared with £99.5 million in 2013.

Brit also benefited from growth in its gross written premiums (GWP), posting an increase of 9.8 percent to £1.3 billion in 2014, compared with £1.2 million in 2013. The increase at constant exchange rates was 15 percent.

The re/insurer said this was driven by its specialty insurance business which grew by 22.4 percent at constant exchange rates to £1.1 billion in 2014, compared with £903.1 million in 2013.

Brit’s underwriting initiatives, launched in both 2013 and 2014, resulted in a £93.4 million increase in GWP. The main contributors were aviation, Bermuda, high value homeowners, BGSU and political and credit.

Partially offsetting this was Brit’s choice to shrink its reinsurance portfolio by 8.1 percent, at constant exchange rates, to £245.3 million in 2014, compared with £281 million in 2013, in response to difficult market conditions.

Mark Cloutier, group chief executive officer of Brit, explained that Brit’s acquisition by Fairfax represents an exciting opportunity to continue Brit’s story on an even stronger footing.

“Our position as a market-leading global specialty insurer and reinsurer and our major presence in Lloyd's make us an attractive addition to Fairfax’s global footprint,” he said.“There is very little crossover in our respective international operations, thus allowing Fairfax to further diversify its portfolio while enabling Brit to leverage Fairfax’s existing relationships and expertise in the international insurance and reinsurance markets.

“The combination will enable us to enhance our global product offering and provide us with expanded underwriting opportunities and distribution channels. We believe this is a great fit for both companies, our employees, customers and trading partners as well as representing an attractive financial return for shareholders following our successful IPO in April 2014.”