22 October 2013

Patria Re to enter European market

Latin American reinsurer, Patria Re will enter the European Market in the next two to three years.

Manuel Escobedo, the reinsurer's president and group chief executive officer, told Intelligent Insurer that the company's strategic plans to enter the market are in full swing.

“We are in the process of opening a market services company in London, but because the amount of work we can do from this is rather limited, we are also evaluating opening a carrier in Europe,” said Escobedo.

“That will then truly become a hedging structure and will allow us to expand our operations in terms of insurance activities in the European community and the UK.”

Focusing on lines that it currently operates in, the proposed London-based carrier should be in place within two or three years.

“Our international portfolio already has exposure in most countries in the world and we'll stick to what we know,” he said.

Patria has been operating as a Latin American specialist since its inception, however, as Escobedo explained, the company needed to consider its global position.

“Over the last few years with all the changes in the market, it has become evident that, as a group, we needed an international strategy,” he said. “We're placing ourselves as a first tier reinsurance company, with a specialty in Latin America. The European presence would allow us to diversify certain risk which is an issue in developing and emerging markets in which we are based.

“We don't intend to take large shares from the major players – in a sense, we would like to be an alternative to medium and smaller players around the world,” Escobedo said.

Often called 'the land of tomorrow', Latin America receives a great deal of capacity from Europeans, but as Escobedo explained, the rates in the region aren't likely to increase.

“Over the last few years we started to think that 'tomorrow' may be coming around – however, due to various reasons, it's not yet the dawn and I'm concerned that it might not actually come.”