2 April 2015 Insurance

XL launches venture capital initiative

XL Group has launched a venture capital initiative focused on innovative underwriting and risk solutions.

The new fund, XL Innovate, will be financially backed by XL and will invest in companies that have a strategic focus on developing new capabilities in the insurance sector. The fund will take equity positions in companies that provide new market opportunities for XL throughout the world.

Tom Hutton, a past director at XL, will lead the fund. He has previously served as chief executive officer of RiskManagement Solutions, White Mountains Re, and as a director of private and public insurance and reinsurance companies including Montpelier Re and Safeco.

Most recently, Hutton served as the CEO and founder of New Energy Risk, a provider of data analytics, strategic consulting and financial risk transfer solutions to the renewable energy industry worldwide, which partnered with XL last year to launch an innovative fuel cell insurance product.

XL Innovate will be overseen by a board of directors including Sarah Street, currently XL’s chief investment officer. Street will be stepping into a new role at XL focusing on innovation efforts and strategy initiatives following the close of XL’s proposed acquisition of Catlin.

Greg Hendrick, currently chief executive of insurance operations at XL, who after the close of the proposed Catlin transaction will become chief executive of XL’s reinsurance operations, will be the XL leadership team member with responsibility for XL’s involvement in the XL Innovate activities.

Mike McGavick, XL CEO, said: “We are very excited to launch this new initiative, which will extend XL’s capabilities in existing markets and give us new opportunities to address some of the most pressing and complex risk problems in the global economy.

“XL Innovate is an important step as we continue to drive our focus on innovation forward and secure the relevance of XL and the industry well into the future. We are particularly pleased to have Tom Hutton, and his strong track record of insurance innovation, partnering with the XL team.”

Hutton added: “I am thrilled to be partnering with the XL team at a time of both industry transition and great momentum at the company. Mike McGavick has led the creation of a forward looking and creative culture at XL that makes it an ideal sponsor for this initiative, which will be further enhanced by XL’s proposed offer to acquire Catlin Group, and to form an even stronger company.

“We look forward to being a unique partner to entrepreneurs with the vision and ambition to address new risks with new solutions, unconstrained by geography, scale, or traditional thinking.”

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