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New insurer Paraline sets up on Island

A new player has joined the Bermuda international insurance market with the launch yesterday of Paraline Group Ltd.

The new company has been established by the executive team of US insurer ICAT Holdings, led by chairman and chief executive officer Jack Graham and backed by private investors, including Wand Partners, Inc. and Elliott Management Corporation.

ICAT, which is based in Boulder, Colorado and underwrites through the Lloyd's of London market, has been acquired by Paraline from private investor Vulcan, Inc.

The insurer and reinsurer stated that it wants to grow through its Lloyd's business and made no mention of any plans for a physical presence in Bermuda. Mr. Graham, who has been appointed CEO of Paraline, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Bruce Schnitzer of Wand Partners, Inc., a former senior executive of Marsh & McLennan Companies and an experienced private equity investor in the insurance industry, has been named chairman of the new company's board.

The Group has received the relevant approvals from Lloyd's and the Bermuda Monetary Authority and as its first major step has acquired ICAT from Vulcan, Inc., a private investor.

"Paraline is an exciting new venture that brings together an established team that is known for its innovation and technical risk capabilities with expert investors and insurance industry veterans," Mr. Graham said.

"We plan to grow Paraline through our Lloyd's presence in a disciplined manner: our experienced private investor group gives us the investment expertise and capital support to expand our position in the market under appropriate market conditions and with the right teams of people."

ICAT specialises in insuring commercial properties located in hurricane and earthquake-exposed regions of the United States and residential properties in Hawaii.

In addition to underwriting on behalf of ICAT's Lloyd's Syndicate 4242, ICAT Managers underwrites on behalf of other Lloyd's syndicates and other insurance and reinsurance companies.

The ICAT brand will be maintained under Paraline ownership. ICAT adopts a "technical and analytical approach to underwriting catastrophe insurance risks for small and medium sized businesses in the United States", Paraline said.

Mr. Schnitzer, chairman of Paraline and managing director of Wand Partners, Inc., said: "Paraline's strategy is to use Lloyd's-centric underwriting capabilities to build a quality portfolio of diversified international insurance and reinsurance operations.

"We were attracted to ICAT as an outstanding underwriter of property catastrophe insurance with a strong and deep management team and an ingrained underwriting and risk management discipline that is consistent with our investor group's orientation to risk.

"Paraline is well positioned to diversify and grow in a profitable and disciplined manner. We intend to be a committed and meaningful investor, building on the strong relationships that ICAT has developed and working closely with other like-minded teams when market conditions are appropriate."

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Published October 22, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 09, 2010 at 2:33 pm)

New insurer Paraline sets up on Island

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