20 October 2014News

Ironshore breaks into agriculture sector with key hire

Ironshore International has entered into the agriculture market sector, with the appointment of Catherine Besselman as divisional director, global head of agriculture.

Besselman will be responsible for business development, underwriting specialty coverages, and exploring sector diversification opportunities within Ironshore’s global group platform. Based in the Los Angeles regional office, she will report to Tim Glover, chief underwriting officer of Ironshore.

Besselman’s professional tenure spans more than fifteen years as a specialised underwriter with leading insurance companies in agricultural risk management.

Most recently, she oversaw development of the agriculture unit of Novae. Prior to joining Novae in 2012, she served as SVP of agriculture for Endurance, where she and colleagues established and grew portfolio premiums over an eight year period.

Besselman’s dedicated expertise in the agriculture risk sector also includes executive positions with Zurich Re/Converium and Reliance Re, where she expanded the companies’ global agriculture businesses, respectively.

“Agriculture risk management is facing escalating climate, weather and commodity price challenges that heighten the need for industry entities to minimise volatility in managing event outcomes,” said Glover. “Agriculture insurance coverages are a complementary extension of Ironshore’s existing property lines, and Catherine’s leadership in launching this specialty sector will be invaluable.”

Ironshore’s agriculture programme will be comprised primarily of subsidised products that correlate to standard property lines. Its product coverages initially will focus on a diversified balance of temporal, spatial and peril-specific elements within North America, such as drought, hail and excess moisture exposure.

Capacity limits of up to $10 million will be available for Ironshore’s scope of multi-peril livestock and crop risk exposures. Given the variables present in underwriting structural agriculture and farm-related risks, Ironshore’s agricultural portfolio will be modelled and monitored through quantitative and systematic technical analysis.