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Thomas Hickey

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The second of April 2012 has been outlined as a major milestone date in the regulatory reform programme for the Financial Services Authority (FSA). It is the day the authority will implement it’s ‘twin peaks’ model in preparation of the handover to the FCA and the PRA towards the end of the year.

The date was announced by Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, in a speech to the British Bankerss Association.

The new model will mean that as of April 2 building societies, insurers and major investment firms will have two groups of supervisors – one focusing on prudential and one focusing on conduct. All other firms (i.e. those not ‘dual regulated’) will be solely supervised by the conduct supervisors.

Sants explained that the FSA could not completely replicate the approach proposed by the Government in the Financial Services Bill published on 26 January, but he emphasised that the changes would go as far as possible to ensure that the cutover to the new regulatory structure in early 2013 will be seamless.

The key characteristics of the model include:

 – Two independent groups of supervisors for banks, building societies, insurers and major investment firms, covering prudential and conduct;
– Supervisors making their own, separate, set of regulatory judgements against different objectives;
– ‘Independent but coordinated regulation’ designed to allow internal coordination between both conduct and prudential supervisors to maximise the exchange of information relevant to their individual objectives, but with supervisors still acting separately when engaging with firms; and
– Retaining the principle of seeking to ensure that regulatory data is only collected once.

“The move to twin peaks is an opportunity to drive home and further embed the move to forward-looking, proactive, judgement-based supervision,” Sants commented.

“It is an opportunity that must not be missed. We must crystallise the change from the old style reactive approach to the new style proactive approach.

“The most important change that will occur at twin peaks, in my judgement, is not the introduction of a new operational framework, but the opportunity to accelerate the process of behavioural change that the FSA embarked on when we began the reform of the supervisory process in the spring of 2008.”

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Independent private medical insurance intermediary, The Private Health Partnership (PHP) has appointed Judith Warr to the position of Financial Controller with immediate effect.

Warr joins PHP having spent 8 months as Financial Director of a Leeds based subsidiary of TUI Travel plc. As part of PHP’s senior management team, she will be responsible for financial modelling and overseeing Statutory and management accounts of the group’s three companies, RED ARC, Medical Care Direct and PHP.

Prior to TUI Travel, Warr spent 7 years at the Towergate Partnership (Insurance Brokers) where roles included Financial Controller, internal audit, Regional Financial Controller and latterly Regional Financial Director. She became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in 2007.

Commenting on her appointment, Judith Warr said, “Joining one of the top healthcare intermediaries in the UK is an exciting prospect. Not only is PHP a sound business, but also one that values its staff and has a great reputation in the market.

“With my previous insurance sector background, I look forward to contributing to the business as it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Stuart Scullion, PHP’s Managing Director added, “We are delighted to have Judith on board and I am confident that with her expertise and industry knowledge she will be a great asset to the business going forward.”

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Gina Rinehart, Australian mining heiress and the worlds richest woman, has threatened to withdraw her children’s ransom insurance as the legal battle for royalties heats up.

Rinehart, 57, has been in court with 3 of her 4 children for years for control over a trust worth a estimated AUD3 billion (£2.3b).

The legal stoush escalated last week when Rinehart  lost a bid to have correspondence suppressed in which her children said they feared for their safety and that of their families as Rinehart’s wealth surged.

Rinehart is worth an estimated AUS$18 billion (£12.2) and her fortunes are set to soar as commodity prices rally, with Forbes Asia saying she could soon challenge Wal-Mart widow Christy Walton as the world’s richest woman.

Citigroup has predicted that her wealth could one day eclipse that of Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, making her the richest person in the world amid projections her wealth could top US$100 billion.

Rinehart stepped up pressure on her children Monday, demanding they agree to keep details of the legal battle private or lose their kidnapping insurance, after emails detailing their safety fears were released by the court.

“We can only presume that your clients’ previously stated concerns for the personal safety of their families and themselves have now completely and entirely disappeared,” said a letter from her lawyers published by the Australian Financial Review.

“Under these circumstances it seems that your clients would place no value in the continuation of ransom insurance that is currently provided to them and/or their young children,” the letter continued.

“Indeed you may consider such insurance to be wasteful expenditure.”

The emails released Friday by the Supreme Court revealed pleas from Rinehart’s two eldest daughters for bodyguards and greater protection for their homes, fearing kidnapping for ransom over her sizeable fortune.

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The medical insurance world has not responded well to Defacto’s new private medical insurance (PMI) star rating system, with the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries (AMII) saying the scheme could be “highly dangerous”.

Defacto released its first Star Ratings for the PMI industry last week alongside the organisations existing protection categories.

AMII’s chairman, Andrew Tripp, went so far as to say his members were “bemused” with the idea  of using a star system to rank PMI.

“Our members, all of whom are specialist independent healthcare intermediaries with considerable expertise in PMI, are bemused by Defaqto’s ranking of PMI products.

“For example, we do not understand how a budget plan with little out-patient cover can be given the same 3 stars as other full out-patient products, it doesn’t make sense.

“PMI is an extremely complex product and really does need specialist advice so that the product bought really is suitable and appropriate to an individual’s personal circumstances and wishes.”

The main concern Tripp raised with the rating system was the complexity of the product of health insurance, and that it is not possible to fit the mass of variables and infinite unique circumstances which people have into a simple star rating.

“Type of cover, fully comprehensive v policies with exclusions, cover for cancer treatment, levels of excess, pre-existing conditions, hospital choice are just a few of the factors that need consideration.”

Tripp finished by saying the scheme does not have the support of his association.

“Introducing simple star ratings to PMI products is highly dangerous and not in the best interests of consumers.”

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More than 30 percent of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes, the World Health Organization reported on Friday ahead of World Cancer Day on Saturday.

Among key risk factors for cancer are tobacco and alcohol consumption, a diet low in fruit and vegetable intake and lack of physical activity.

“Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22 percent of global cancer deaths and 71 percent of global lung cancer deaths,” the UN health agency said.

Halting tobacco use, for instance, could therefore help cut cancer mortality rates.

According to latest available figures dating to 2008, cancer caused 7.6 million deaths worldwide during the year, making up about 13 percent of global mortality.

Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancers caused the most fatalities. About 70 percent of all cancer deaths in 2008 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

The WHO projected that deaths from cancer will continue rising, and will hit an estimated 13.1 million in 2030.


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Groupama have increased their UK presence with the expansion of its commercial team. In the move, a team of three new underwriters will service different parts of the country.

Barry Gibbons will serve brokers in the North West, where he has been based for some years now. Steve Scrimgeour, an expert SME underwriter has moved from his role as new business underwriter in London to cover the whole of the South East. And Peter Bignell (pictured) has joined from Allianz to cover East Anglia and the East Midlands.

The move is aimed to give brokers better access to underwriting decisions.

Dawn Dillaway, Head of Commercial Underwriting at Groupama Insurances, said, “This is a tough market and in order to compete, brokers need swift decisions. That is precisely what our Development Underwriting Team has been created to deliver.

“By dedicating a highly skilled development underwriter to key regions of the UK, brokers know they will get a consistent level of focus on their needs that will help them win and retain business across our whole commercial range including online, open market and our specialist ‘Exclusively’ products.”

The new team will also be critical to the wider adoption of e-trading for Groupama’s commercial combined cover, Optima Business Plus. The company has already seen an uplift in brokers placing commercial policies using the system as a result of its Optima Rewards incentive programme launched at the start of the year.

Dawn Dillaway continued “Our team has the skills and authority to really help our supporting brokers take maximum advantage of valuable new SME business opportunities by providing a more local underwriting presence.

“This is all part of our on-going commitment to provide enhanced trading capabilities combined with agility and speed to market.”

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Austrian insurer UNIQA reported it’s results for 2011 last week, revealing let losses of €330 million (£274m). The company credited the result to a number of “one-time burdens” including investments in Greek government bonds.

The negative result comes despite reoccuring premiums rising by 4.4 per cent, loss ratios falling to 65.3 per cent and the market share improving.

The result is a far cry from the €153 million (£227m) profit the company made the year before. It is also a much larger loss than expected, with the the company predicting in November that it would finish the year between €250 and 300 million in the red.

Despite the losses, the company said in a statement that they retain a robust core business with underwriting figures and market share improving.

CEO Andreas Brandstetter commented, “We have a robust core operational business.

“The special effects were naturally a burden on the result for 2011, but they take the strain off us for the future. Our strategy of having a clear focus on customers and the core business is the right one.

“We will continue to implement it consistently in 2012: We will make processes faster and more efficient, further strengthen our proximity to customers, and – in Austria and Eastern Europe – expand the company profitably.”

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If you live in Leeds or London, lock your doors.

A new study by insurance comparison website moneysupermarket.com has revealed Leeds and London are the two places in the UK most likely to make a claim for burglary.

The website analysed over three million home insurance quotes which were input into their site over the past 12 months. It found that postcodes in Leeds and London feature most heavily in the top 20 postcodes likely to make a claim for burglary from their home or garden.

Stoke Newington in North London takes the top spot overall in the UK, closely followed by Apperley Bridge in Bradford and West Bromwich, which took second and third place respectively.

In Leeds, the places to look out for were Bramley, Rodley and Swinnow as they were revealed as the most ‘at risk’ postcodes in Leeds for theft related claims. Close behind Leeds and London is Bradford which has three districts in the top 20, the website reported.

Julie Fisher, head of home insurance at moneysupermarket.com, said the findings don’t necessarily mean the outlined postcodes are dangerous places to live.

“Being in a higher risk area doesn’t necessarily mean where you live is bad or rife with crime – many thieves will target more affluent areas purely for the rewards on offer.

“No matter where you live there will always be an element of risk to the safety of your possessions so it is vital to have adequate home insurance in place.

“Homeowners need to be extra vigilant when it comes to security – installing timers on your lights and ensuring items of value are kept away from your windows are easy steps to take to reduce risk.

“But you never know when an opportunistic thief may strike, so it’s crucial to ensure your home contents insurance is fully up to date, and is at a high enough level to cover all your belongings sufficiently.”

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A growing number of concussions in America’s National Hockey League (NHL) has resulted in insurance companies threatening to jump ship and leave the financial burden on clubs.

Since the season began in October last year there have already been around 60 players sidelined with head injuries. As a result some specialist sports insurance companies say the NHL’s teams will have to absorb the multi-million dollar losses this bring.

Howard Bloom from Sports Business News said that if insurers do pull out it would be “potentially devastating” for the game.

“It’s implications are really very, very terrifying for the National Hockey League and the sport of hockey”

One recent prominent case was when the captain of the Pittsburg Penguins, Sidney Crosby was sidelined with a head injury.

“In the case of Sidney Corsby about 90 percent of his contract is covered against his concussions if he can’t play games.”

The Penguins managed to dodge the payout for Crosby’s USD9 million (£5.7m) contract because they had insurance which covered absence due to injury for more than 30 games.

“What [the insurance companies] are suggesting is that after a player suffers one concussion they’re not going to cover that player.”

What this would mean is that when a player is injured the club would be left on their own to cover the multi-million dollar contracts without any help from insurers.

While some of the larger teams will be able to absorb this, many smaller teams may risk going under.

Bloom continued, “it’s also going to put up liability insurance in term of the earning potential of a player. If a star junior hockey player suffers a concussion and then becomes un-insurabe as a professional hockey player, you are opening up a legal nightmare

“The implications of this are absolutely mind boggling for the sport of hockey”

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The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has announced it will require £78 million pounds more funding than it did last year, as it announces it’s proposed Annual Funding Requirement (AFR) for 2012/13.

Last time, the FSA required £500.5 million but a number of factors contributed to a gross increase of 15.6 percent, taking the latest figure to £578.4 million.

A spokesman from the FSA told News Insurances that this would roughly equate to an increase of 37 percent for bigger companies.

The AFR for 2012/13 is likely to be the last before the introduction of the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

They credited the increase to a number of factors. An increase of £32.5 million was required to implement the governments UK regulatory framework, and a further £22.4 was needed for the modernisation of the IT infrastructure. The rest would go towards maintaining the FSA’s core programs for the year.

Hector Sants, FSA chief executive , said, “the AFR is rising as we implement the government’s regulatory reform programme and invest in the necessary long term IT infrastructure.

The increases will be borne mainly by larger and more complex groups. We have, however, minimised the impact on smaller firms by keeping the minimum fee at £1,000 for the third year running.”

Currently 42 percent of the FSA’s authorised firms only pay the minimum amount, however a number of medium sized firms are expected to see a proportionate increase in their fees next year.

£32.5 percent of the increase is to go towards an internal restructure, but Sants says this is a justified amound.

Much of the increase in AFR is the result of the additional resources needed to implement the new regulatory structure but these costs for the restructuring are in line with government forecasts,” Sants continued.

The FSA will continue to deliver intensive and intrusive supervision and develop the key policy initiatives but we are not planning any new discretionary initiatives.

The principal initiatives are progressing the domestic consumer protection strategy, implementing a number of key EU directives and influencing the continuing international regulatory reform agenda.”

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A delegation from the Polish Insurance Guarantee Fund (IGF) visited London today to learn more about the UK insurance industry’s pioneering fraud detection techniques.

Welcomed by Phil Bird, director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), the five-strong delegation from Warsaw met IFB officials to discuss fraud detection software, personal data protection and industry-coordinated counter fraud operations across the UK.

With a view to applying this knowledge back home, the Polish visit marks an increasing number of nations – including Japan, Canada, France and Spain – turning to the UK insurance industry for intelligence on counter-fraud procedures.

Phil Bird, Director of the IFB, said, “Insurance fraud is an international problem from which no country is immune. Fraudulent general insurance claims are estimated to cost the UK alone £2 billion a year – adding £50 to the annual costs of honest policyholders.

Welcoming colleagues from around the world is testament to the sophistication of UK counter-fraud operations and the successful coordinated efforts of our insurance industry to disrupt organised insurance fraud – a crime which is so costly to honest policyholders.”

Wojciech Bijak, Director of the Polish Insurance Information Office, added, “Last year, the IGF launched a central motor insurance database in Poland, capturing 188 million records of policies, accidents and associated payouts.

In 2012, by way of amended law, the IGF is now entitled to interrogate this database for the purpose of detecting insurance fraud.

We visited the IFB today to consider and learn from the UK insurance industry’s valuable experience in fraud detection and disruption.”

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Munich Re’s profits plummeted last year because of the eurozone debt crisis and a string of natural disasters, the reinsurer reported today.

In 2010 the company saw profits reach €2.43 billion (£2.2b), but last year this figure was around €71 million (£59m), a drop of 71 percent.

The company acknowledged that despite the massive drop compared to 2010, €71 million was a good result and demonstrated the companies resiliance in a tough operating climate.

The year 2011 was marked by a series of severe earthquakes and many weather-related catastrophes,” the company said in a statement. “Thus Munich Re estimates its claims costs from the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand at around €1.5bn for each event.

In addition, there was the worsening of the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone”

Munich Re CEO, Jörg Schneide, added his own comments, saying “we have never experienced a year like 2011 before – extreme burdens from natural catastrophes combined with the financial crisis, which flared up again after the slight recovery in 2009 and 2010.

Given the huge strains these placed on results, it is a notable achievement that we still posted a profit of €0.71bn,” Schneide said.

Analysts had predicted worse results from the reinsurance giant, and if it weren’t for a strong frouth quarter their predictions may have come true.

The company made almost 90 per cent of their yearly profit in the final quarter of the year, reporting gains of €63 million (£53m) for the term.

While gross premiums for the year rose by 8.9 percent to 49.6 billion euros, investment earnings dropped 21.8 percent to 6.8 billion euros, not least as a result of 1.2 billion euros in writedowns on the group’s holdings of Greek government securities.

The company said that losses from natural catastrophes amounted to 4.5 billion euros for the entire year, with the deadly earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan costing it 1.5 billion euros.

Yet despite despite economists predicting the eurozone will remain shaky throughout 2012, the company said they expect 2012 profits to be back around what they experienced in 2010.

Assuming average loss experience, Munich Re expects a significantly improved technical result for 2012,” the company said. This will be “subject to actual claims experience with regard to major losses and the impact of possible severe currency or capital market developments”

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Hannover Re has increased it’s premium price for hurricane an earthquake losses, as the reinsurer renewed it’s contracts with insurers last month (January).

Hannover, the third biggest reinsurer in the world, “expressed satisfaction” and said the news made then optimistic about the year ahead.

“We achieved better conditions and rates on average than in the previous year,” chief executive Ulrich Wallin said.

The price increases in the new contracts were in around 3 to 6 per cent, the companyreported.

“In segments affected by natural catastrophes, the price increases were particularly marked,” Wallin said.

An unusually large amount of natural catastrophes last year such as the Japan tsunami, New Zealand earthquake and Australian floods caused billions of dollars of losses for reinsures.

The large number of disasters resulted in reinsurer taking on a bigger proportion of losses than expected, putting a strain on the equity capital of many business and making it harder to write new business.

On top of this, low interest rates also damaged the investment income of reinsurers pushing prices up further.

About two thirds of Hannover’s non-life reinsurance business premiums were up for renewal at the start of the year, and the group said it boosted the volume of renewed premiums by 6 per cent to €3.69 billion (£3.7m).

Hannover Re said it expects to post net profit of at least €500 million (£415m) in 2011 and possibly pay out more than 40 percent of it as a dividend.

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Snow showers and freezing temperatures are forecast for much of the UK over the next few days as the met office downgrades its cold weather alert to level 3.

The level 3 warning means that there is “a 100% probability of sever cold weather … between Wednesday and Saturday … in all parts of England”.

Today and tomorrow are expected to be the coldest days with temperatures dropping as far as -6 degrees Celsius and climbing no higher than to 2 or 3 degrees, despite deceptively warm blue skies.

The Met Office reported that the “weather could increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services”.

Compared to our neighbours over in Europe, however, 2 and 3 degrees seems balmy – as temperatures in Russia drop as low as -36 Celsius last night.

These weather conditions bring with them a number of dangers to motorists, including the added risk of black ice.

There are a number of important things to remember when driving in freezing conditions. News Insurances outlined a few that could help below:

– If you find yourself on black ice, stay calm. The worst thing you can do is slam on the brakes or over steer.

– Keep the steering wheel straight, at least at first. If you feel the back of your car sliding out you can turn the wheel gently to counter this, but don’t make any jerky movements.

– Take your foot off the accelerator so that you slow down without having to touch the brakes. Using the breaks can cause you to skid even more.

– If you can, shift down a gear. Lower gears generally give the driver more control.

– Know what black ice looks like. While a lot of time it is almost impossible to spot, black ice often looks like a shiny part of the normal road. If you see it coming you will have more time to prepare your car.

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Lombard International Assurance, a wealth management business of Friends Life Group based in Luxembourg, has announced some changes within senior management.

John Stone, current Chairman of Lonbard, will retire effective from mid February. When he leaves, Norbert Becker, currently a non-executive director at the company, will become Chairman.

David Steinegger, Chief Executive of Lombard, has also announced his intention to resign to pursue other business interests and will leave the company in May. He will be replaced as Chief Executive by Matt Moran who has been Chief Financial Officer of Lombard since December 2009. Matt Moran will take up the role after a short handover period.

The two outgoing staff members have been with the company for 30 years together. Stone was the founder of Lombard in 1991 and has been the only chairman to date, while Steinegger has been Chief Executive since 2001.

Becker, set to become chairman, has been a non-executive director of Lombard since July 2009. He has significant expertise in financial services and business in general through roles with Andersen, Ernst & Young and Edmond de Rothschild Group. He is the founding Chairman of Compagnie de Banque de Priveé Quilvest and Atoz, a high end tax advisory and corporate finance firm.

Sir Malcolm Williamson, Chairman of Friends Life Group, Lombard’s parent company saidJohn Stone and David Steinegger have done a fantastic job in building Lombard into the leading pan-European wealth management business and a key part of Friends Life Group’s international business. I thank them both for their contributions and wish them every success with their future ventures.”

On the news of the appointments, Sir Malcom added, “Norbert Becker and Matt Moran have both been with Lombard since 2009 and have been a key part of our leadership succession planning. Norbert Becker is a major global business figure whose significant background in financial and business markets will complement Matt Moran’s international experience and skills.

Together they will continue to drive Lombard’s growth strategy through the tough markets of today and to a successful long term future. I am delighted they have accepted these roles.”

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NIG has released a new insurance product for commercial property owners. The product, called Essential Property Owners (EPO), is a SME-focused version of the companies existing Premium Property Owners (PPO) product.

EPO is targeted at clients typically paying between £5,000 and £25,000 in annual premium for property owners’ insurance.

Initially it is only being released to a limited broker panel but the company aims to offer to a full range of partners later in the year.

The EPO policy has core benefits similar to PPO, including damage to buildings, loss of rent and property owners’ liability; however, a suite of additional covers are optional rather than standard and these can be purchased at an additional price where required.

This ability to buy-in additional covers such as legal expenses, engineering breakdown and financial loss has not traditionally been available in one policy for the SME market.

While PPO has been successful for NIG, broker feedback suggested that the SME market was under-served in terms of policy coverage, which is what prompted EPO.

Stewart Anderson, Head of Property Owners at NIG, said, “We have had extremely positive market response since launching our PPO proposition 19 months ago, and through broker feedback we have identified a demographic that requires a similar package, but who were dealing within different financial constraints.

“This means the ability to pick and choose optional covers as appropriate was key.

“Working with our brokers in this way allows us to be confident that there is a real demand for the benefits that our Essential Property Owners offering has for customers.”

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Xchanging, the global business processor business, has appointed John Niblett as Insurance Change Director for the company’s Insurance Sector business.

John is an insurance sector stalwart with over 20 years experience in the industry. In that time he has held senior positions in large scale operational management and change delivery roles.

He most previous role was as Head of Programme Delivery at Aviva.

In his new role at Xchanging, John will be respinsible for managing all change delivery projects and staff within its UK insurance sector business. He will report directly to Jim Sadler, Chief Information Officer for Xchanging.

Commenting on the appointment Sadler said, “The market is hungry to modernise further and John’s appointment adds to a compelling leadership team that can deliver change to the market.

John has a particularly impressive track record in delivering large-scale IT-enabled and business transformational change on a massive scale, which will be of enormous value in driving the changes our customers require.”

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Allianz and Evolution Underwriting will continue to work together for the next five years after extending their arrangements until at least 2016, Evolution said today. The deal covers property, casualty, excess of loss and motor lines.

Evolution, the independently owned commercial underwriting specialist, said the deal will continue to benefit both companies.

“We are delighted to continue our long and productive relationship with Allianz,” commented CEO Paul Upton.

“We value continuity of relationship with our insurers very highly and to be able to bring the security that Allianz offers to independent regional brokers enhances our proposition in the long term.

“I am pleased that Allianz will get the benefit of what we hope will be an improved trading environment over the next few years.”

Steve Coates, Head of Property and Casualty at Allianz added, “Evolution has proved it has the systems, controls and governance that we are looking for in our MGA partnerships and this is why we are delighted to renew our relationship with them.

“This decision reflects our shared underwriting philosophy, the attraction of the segment and our mutual desire to generate long term profitable growth.

“It also highlights the financial strength and stability of the Allianz brand despite the challenging market conditions.”

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The British Property Federation (BPF) has added it’s opinion to the flood cover debate, saying the issue could “sink the economy”.

The BPF made the comment in support of the findings of a report into the state of the nations flood defences.

The report from the Public Accounts Committee accused the Department for Environment, Flood and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that it “had not yet adjusted its long-term investment strategy and could not tell us what the scale of the long-term funding gap would be” in the face of budget reductions, and it “did not accept ultimate responsibility for managing the risk of floods”.

The report was skeptical that households and businesses would be able to make up the shortfall caused by government spending cuts. It suggested that homeowners, property investors and insurers alike would not have proper flood management if the proposed system is implemented.

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: “DEFRA needs to work to secure a new agreement as quickly as possible. Given the state of the economy, there is severe doubt private investment can reach the levels it is expecting.

“It is right that those who benefit from flood defences help to fund them, but we struggle to see how, the demands of flood protection, when added to other planning obligations, all have an impact on development viability, which government must recognise.

“A lot of focus is on householders, but the impact of flooding on businesses can have significant consequences, which spread into the wider economy and cause damage beyond the immediately flooded area.

“The UK has a great tradition of universal insurance cover, which is predicated on sufficient investment going into flood defences.

“We shall rue the day if that is lost.”

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The FSA has fined two individuals in the latest update of the Greenlight Capital insider trading case. Alexander Ten-Holter and Casper Agnew were both fined for their failure to act on suspicious activity, which turned out to be insuder trading at the company.

Ten-Holter was fined £130,000 after giving the order to sell Greenlight’s entire shareholding in Punch Taverns. He was told to give the order to sell minutes after a senior person at Greenlight had been on the phone to management at Punch.

When the person told Ten-Holter to sell, he mentioned that they have one week before the stocks “plummet”.

According to the FSA this “should have alerted Ten-Holter to the risk that Greenlight may have been in receipt of inside information.”

During the call the analyst made, inside information was traded on which the company based its decision to sell. Ten-Holter simply executed the order, instructing Casper Agnew to sell on behalf of the company.

Agnew’s was fined £65,000 for following Ten-Holter’s orders to sell the shares without questioning the suspicious circumstances of the deal.

The FSA said, “Agnew failed to act with due skill, care and diligence especially because he became aware of the possibility that there had been a pre-marketing of Punch shareholders prior to the unscheduled announcement, and that major shareholders were likely to have obtained inside information through pre-marketing.

“Shareholders contacted during such a pre-marketing exercise are not allowed to trade on receipt of that inside information.”

Last week Greenlight Capital Inc and its founder, David Einhorn, were fined £7.2 million for trading on inside information in Punch Taverns.

Ten-Holter and Agnew are the first individuals, apart from Einhorn, to be fined in the case, but there are “ongoing investigations into other parties”, an FSA spokesperson told News Insurances on Monday.