CLS Risk Solutions hires CEO to wake property risk ‘sleeping giant’
CLS Risk Solutions, the legal indemnity and transactional property risk MGA for the CLS group, has secured Tom O’Connor as its new CEO.
He has been appointed to rework and manage the company’s strategy, and to drive growth in its specialist markets. He will lead on developing new opportunities, focussing on leveraging the power of data and capitalising on the collaborative strength of the group.
O’Connor joins the business with 25 years experience in the financial sector focussed mainly on asset management. Previously, he held the post of COO at Perdurance Asset Management (PAM) for five years and was responsible for running the business. In partnership with three PAM colleagues founded and launched a European equity hedge fund, which raised $600 million. Before this he was COO for Altis Partners, a $1.6 billion systematic managed futures hedge fund.
Matt Le Breton, chairman of CLS, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Tom on board. We have ambitious growth targets that will see CLS RS continue to grow fast in the next 36 months. The innovative property risks solutions that CLS has brought to the market are still relatively new, with some products more mature than others, but it has been a high growth area in Western Europe for insurers and brokers over the past decade and that growth is set to continue.
“The future potential is very exciting; in addition to our established portfolio, we have innovative new products entering the market, particularly in the area of data insight. Tom’s appointment will set a clear strategy for the group going forward that will capitalise on these new wave innovations to drive growth both for our broker partners and across the CLS group.”
O’Connor said: “We have a fantastic opportunity in this business. CLS RS already has an enviable reputation in the market, and amongst the top brokers it works with, for innovation and expertise. We are the leaders in the market for complex property risk solutions, but it’s an area of insurance that is little known and even less understood in the wider market – it has been a sleeping giant in many respects. The growth potential is huge across the product areas including Environmental, Legal & Structural Indemnities, Public Law and Rights of Light, but there is work to be done to raise awareness among brokers about the capabilities of these products.
“We have first rate capacity, innovation and expertise at our fingertips, and brokers have the client relationships and distribution capability. With the right collaborative approach, we aim to wake up this sleeping giant. Exciting times ahead.”
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