10 January 2014News

Hamilton Insurance names Weill as chairman

Hamilton Insurance named Sandy Weill as its new chairman as the company takes a new heading under the leadership of insurance heavyweight Brian Duperreault.

Duperreault, who acquired troubled Class 4 reinsurer SAC Re in December renaming it Hamilton Insurance, describes Weill as an “icon in the financial services sector, someone who has been at the forefront of change throughout his career”.

Duperreault says that Weill will play a key role in establishing Hamilton Insurance as a leading insurance and reinsurance business.

Weill has a reputation in company M&A, having been instrumental in the merger of Travelers Group and Citicorp in 1998 and there are suggestions that Hamilton Insurance may consider acquisitions in the coming months in a market that continues to value scale.

Hamilton Insurance, much like SAC Re, looks set to pursue an aggressive investment strategy that leverages the investment capabilities of its hedge fund and private equity investors, Two Sigma Investments, Capital Z Partners Management and Performance Equity Management.

Duperreault has indicated that Two Sigma, which describes itself as ‘a technology company that applies a rigorous, scientific method-based approach to investment management’ will be able to deliver a data-driven approach to investing, while bringing additional analytical capabilities to Hamilton’s underwriting team for the assessment and pricing of risk.

Hamilton Insurance forms part of a hedge fund-backed class of reinsurers that includes Third Point Re and Greenlight Re, which draw upon best of breed investment expertise to strengthen their offering.

Speaking with David Cash, vice-chairman of the Bermuda Business Development Agency about the rise of such entities, he says that he expects new hedge-fund backed reinsurers to place “greater emphasis on asset management and take more risk on the asset side of the balance sheet than before”.

Duperreault’s take-over and subsequent renaming of SAC Re follows an admission of insider trading in November by Steven Cohen, CEO of SAC Capital, and a major shareholder in SAC Re.

Criminal proceedings against Cohen have since obliged him to withdraw from SAC Re as under the settlement he is precluded from investing premiums generated by the reinsurer.