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Aspen moves into ‘world class’ new home on Front Street

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Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd believes that its new offices at 141 Front Street are in keeping with the company’s world class brand.

The re/insurer relocated from the Maxwell Roberts Buildings on the corner of Church Street and Par-la-Ville Road into its new premises earlier this month.

And the staff are already well settled into their new space with only a few finishing touches needed before the offices, which occupy the ninth and part of the eighth floors, are complete.

“I think it is good for our brand to have a premises that is world class,” said James Few, CEO of Aspen Bermuda.

“It is in keeping with the standards that we aim for in all our locations.”

David Skinner, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Aspen Bermuda, said that the company had been looking for an opportunity to house all of its staff on one level in a modern eco-friendly environment.

He said that the lease on their former office space was up at the end of last month but the company had started looking at what was available a year ago when they came across 141 Front Street.

“When we found this space we thought it was too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said.

The company commenced the design and planning the fit-out in February/March and began the fit-out itself at the beginning of August with Commercial Interiors Group appointed as architects and Paterson Contracting Ltd as the general contractor.

It was a case of packing everything up on the Friday November 4 and moving in the following Monday after the telephone and Internet connections had been installed over the weekend.

The new offices accommodate the re/insurance underwriting department along with the actuaries and IT support on one side and the insurance underwriters, finance, claims, treasury and investment departments on the other, on the ninth floor.

A short walk down the stairs reveals a kitchen and social area alongside the boardroom and meeting rooms and a media scape believed to be one of the first of its kind in Bermuda where staff can video conference while sitting on a sofa and in generally more comfortable surrounds.

Among the key benefits of the new space are spectacular views, a bright and airy atmosphere and complete redundancy with two back-up power generators in the building from a business continuity perspective, according to Mr Skinner.

There is also an on-site gym, underground parking and a soon-to-be opened high class restaurant.

Aspen’s Bermuda operation was launched by Julian Cusack who came over from the UK. The company started out life at Victoria Hall in 2002 and then added temporary accommodations in Cedar House in 2004, with a property reinsurance team being brought out from London, and the Maxwell Roberts Building a year later, adding infrastructure and support from then on.

During that time the team has grown to a staff of 53, two-thirds to three-quarters of them Bermudian.

Mr Skinner views the concentration of re/insurers all under one roof at 141 Front Street and Renaissance Re just down the road as a positive with brokers and clients able to come in and do business with a number of companies in one visit.

Aspen like most other re/insurers in the same field has been negatively impacted by the unprecedented frequency and severity of natural catastrophes over the past year, including the Japanese and New Zealand earthquakes and storms in the US and elsewhere. Mr Skinner said the company had performed well in difficult times.

“We do see some signs of rate strengthening in some areas and we remain optimistic about the future,” he said.

The company primarily writes property re/insurance and casualty insurance lines as well as casualty re/insurance and despite not predicting big growth over the next one to two years, Mr Skinner is quietly confident about its future success.

Aspen’s approach to business is certainly reflected in the design of its offices too with an imaginative use of the space to create a collective working environment and state-of-the-art technology to connect with its clients all over the world.

The big bosses will get a taste of the new building when they come down for the company’s quarterly board meeting at the end of January next year and it is hoped they will enjoy the new space as much as staff who already work there.

Team interaction: Aspen Bermuda's Sharon Lightbourne, David Skinner, Salvatore Tucci and Flavia Doyle in the media scape room (Photo by Akil Simmons)
New offices: Aspen Bermuda's CEO James Few and chief financial officer and chief operating officer and David Skinner (Photo by Akil Simmons)
Aspen new office space. (Photo by Akil Simmons) November 21,2011

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Published November 22, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 22, 2011 at 8:26 am)

Aspen moves into ‘world class’ new home on Front Street

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