16 April 2014News

‘White label-plus’ approach unlocking the potential of SME risk

PartnerRe Wholesale is pursuing a ‘white label-plus’ approach to its binding authority offering, as it looks to unlock professional indemnity and D&O risk within the global SME market.

That is the word from Marc van der Veer, general manager at PartnerRe Wholesale, who tells Bermuda:Re that partnerships such as that it recently established with Chedid Re in the MENA region, are helping to unlock professional lines opportunities in the largely underserved and untapped SME market.

“SMEs are hard to grasp. You need local partners on the ground who can reach out to those clients”, says van der Veer. This is where is binding authority-plus offering comes in.

Van der Veer admits that “a binder approach is nothing new”, but adds that binding authority-plus aims to add value and create lasting partnerships with local insurers and managing general agents.

“We are offering customised partner services, helping them with product development, claims and marketing services and even IT. In this way, we are helping our partners to build growth”.

PartnerRe provides its partners with a framework within which they can underwrite professional lines business, while enabling them to leverage PartnerRe’s balance sheet and knowledge.

“Our offering is a good fit for an A- or BBB rated carrier that wants to develop long-tail casualty business, but doesn’t want to jeopardise their balance sheet or PMLs. We provide them with the products and pricing tools, while the binding authority means that they don’t need to maintain reserves on their balance sheet.”

The scope of the binding authority extended to each partner depends on the market, their knowledge and PartnerRe’s risk appetite, but it is apparent from talking with van der Veer that PartnerRe intends to build a globally diversified Wholesale portfolio.

PartnerRe already has seven partners in place globally and intends to establish 10 by the end of the year, says van der Veer. Much of the work is replicable across markets, he says, with PartnerRe Wholesale looking to establish new partnerships across Europe.

Professional lines will remain the focus of its activities, says van der Veer, with the market showing considerable potential in terms of the size of the opportunity and the pace of growth.

PartnerRe’s focus will be on non-traditional professional indemnity clients, says van der Veer, specifically those within the IT, digital and welfare sectors, and it is apparent that PartnerRe Wholesale sees great potential in the area.

As van der Veer explains, the company has established a dedicated division that will help set it apart from the competition and it is evident that he is bullish about PartnerRe Wholesale’s prospects.