China Reinsurance (Group) Corporation has received approval from Lloyd’s to transform its existing special purpose syndicate into a stand-alone syndicate that will underwrite a diversified book of business, initially focusing on reinsurance, incepting from January 1, 2015.
The formation of the China Re syndicate, which is projected to underwrite premiums of approximately £120 million in 2015, marks the first time that a Chinese-owned company has established a Lloyd’s syndicate writing open market business, according to a statement issued by Catlin.
The new syndicate provides China Re with a platform to access additional business to complement its existing portfolio of Chinese-based risks and to provide a London market presence to provide better service to existing international clients. In addition, the new syndicate will provide substantial benefits to the Lloyd’s market, including the potential for an increased flow of Chinese business and a greater understanding of Chinese risks.
Syndicate 2088 continues the strategic partnership that China Re and Catlin established in November 2011. As part of that partnership, China Re established a special purpose syndicate at Lloyd’s which has written whole-account quota share reinsurance for Syndicate 2003.
Syndicate 2003 is the largest syndicate at Lloyd’s and is owned and managed by the Catlin Group, the largest syndicate manager at Lloyd’s for the past five years, based on gross premiums written. In addition, each partner over the past three years has helped the other learn more about their respective markets, and each company has seconded employees to the other.
China Re is the largest reinsurance company in China and is ranked by A.M Best as the world’s eighth-largest reinsurance group based on total 2013 gross reinsurance premiums written of US$7.9 billion.
Catlin, through its Asia-Pacific underwriting hub, established underwriting offices in Hong Kong in 2006 and Shanghai in 2007, as well as a representative office in Beijing in 2012. It is currently the largest participant in Lloyd’s China, which was also established in 2007, according to the statement from Catlin.
Stephen Catlin, chief executive of Catlin Group Limited, said:
“I am delighted that China Re has received permission to establish a Lloyd’s syndicate that will write open market business and that China Re has chosen Catlin to manage the syndicate from its outset. The syndicate further underscores Lloyd’s position as a leading market for international insurance and reinsurance business. We at Catlin look forward to continuing to work with China Re in the coming years to help build Syndicate 2088’s business portfolio.”
Source: Catlin Group