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Berger to lead new $1bn Bermuda reinsurer

Ascot Group has launched a new reinsurance company in Bermuda and hired industry veteran John Berger as chief executive officer.

Ascot Reinsurance Company Ltd, which received its Class 3B insurance licence from the Bermuda Monetary Authority earlier this month, will start life with $1 billion of capital and an A rating from AM Best.

Mr Berger is a well-known executive in the Bermuda marketplace, having previously led Harbour Point and, most recently, Third Point Re, where he remains chairman until December 22, having stepped down as CEO nine months ago.

Ascot Group is a Bermudian-based company, which owns Ascot Underwriting and related businesses. It is owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, who acquired the company from AIG in a $1.1 billion deal announced last year.

“Ascot Re is an important development in the growth of the Ascot Group and the culmination of a long held strategy to strengthen Ascot's global footprint by building a reinsurance company in a key marketplace,” said Andre Brooks, chief executive officer of Ascot Group.

Neill Currie, the former RenaissanceRe CEO who is Ascot Group's executive chairman, said: “Through Ascot Re, we look forward to becoming a leading reinsurer in the Bermuda market, which will enhance our ability to build meaningful, long-term relationships with brokers and their clients, and positions us well to service any demand for new cover.”

Mr Berger will start as Ascot Re's CEO in January 2018, pending approval by the Bermuda Immigration Department, and will work with the existing Ascot Group team on the island.

“I have known and admired the Ascot team for a long time,” Mr Berger said. “I am very excited about joining the group and building out the Bermuda operation.”

Mr Brooks added that Mr Berger's “exceptional market knowledge, experience and reputation within our industry will play a huge role in building out the platform we aspire to”.

Ascot Group added that the reinsurance capacity provided by Ascot Re would “enhance the leadership and servicing of business already established within the Ascot Group”.

AM Best assigned a financial strength rating of A (excellent) and a long-term issuer credit rating of “a” to Ascot Re, with a stable outlook.

Best said its ratings reflected Ascot Re's “very strong” balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management, as well as backing from its parent, Ascot Group, and ultimate owner, CPPIB.

According to Ascot Re's business plan, it will start writing quota-share reinsurance for Lloyd's Syndicate 1414, which is managed by Ascot Underwriting, next year. The rating agency expects the firm to to also write some non-affiliated business.

New challenge: John Berger has been hired as CEO of new Bermuda reinsurer, Ascot Re

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Published November 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm (Updated November 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm)

Berger to lead new $1bn Bermuda reinsurer

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