Dennis Ho, CEO, Martello Re
A new life and annuity reinsurer has launched in Bermuda with the backing of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual), Centerbridge Partners and Brown Brothers Harriman. Investors also include Bermuda ILS specialist Hudson Structured Capital Management.
Martello Re Limited is licensed as a Class E reinsurer and has initial equity of $1.65 billion.
“Through a commitment to long-term financial strength, creative solutions, and unique investment capabilities, Martello Re plans to offer a differentiated value proposition to its counterparties,” a statement from the company said.
CEO Dennis Ho will head up the new reinsurer. He has more than two decades’ experience, most recently as founder of the online insurtech platform Saturday Insurance. Previously, he held a range of other leadership roles, including CEO of Longitude Re, managing director at BlackRock Solutions, and head of US life insurance solutions at Deutsche Bank.
Martello Re will initially focus on providing MassMutual and its subsidiaries with reinsurance capacity on current product offerings: reinsuring approximately $14 billion of general account liabilities and entering into a flow arrangement to reinsure new business. Both transactions are expected to close in February 2022 and have received regulatory approval.
Once completed, it will offer its services selectively to other top insurers in the life and annuity space.
“This is an ideal time to build a new life reinsurer given the growing consumer demand for retirement products and challenging market environment for insurers,” said Ho. “Through Martello Re, we’ve combined the DNA and core values of MassMutual with the agility of a start-up to create a premier reinsurer that will provide the industry with access to a unique combination of product expertise, capital, and investment capabilities that is not currently available today.”
Investment manager Barings and alternative asset manager Centerbridge will manage Martello Re’s investment portfolio and provide access to public and private asset origination and underwriting capabilities across all asset classes.
“The launch of Martello Re represents a unique and strategic opportunity for MassMutual that supports our future growth,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual.
“By coming together with established, world-class partners to build a leading reinsurer, we will be able to more efficiently manage risk and deliver on our long-term commitments while providing ongoing value to our policy owners and customers.”
Centerbridge co-Founder and managing principal Jeff Aronson added: “The creation of Martello Re is ground-breaking for the reinsurance sector. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with MassMutual, Barings, and Brown Brothers Harriman, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support in including us in this innovative partnership. We also appreciate the support from our clients who participated in the capital raise for Martello Re.
“We look forward to serving them and Martello Re in helping to create a full-spectrum, industry-leading asset management solution for fixed income and private credit.”
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