Barbican considers Asian consortium
Barbican is one of a group of re/insurers that are considering a consortium approach as it looks to develop its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
David Reeves, CEO of Barbican, said that the syndicate is currently underweight in emerging markets and is exploring possible synergies with other players in order to crack key countries such as China. He said that Barbican was taking a long-term view of development in the region, with a three to five year time horizon that would enable it to thoughtfully develop an Asian footprint.
He said that a consortium approach would enable Barbican and other participants to deliver critical mass and provide the firepower needed to make the substantial investments needed to establish regional underwriting expertise.
Reeves said that in places such as China it is imperative to have local underwriting teams and to invest in modelling and analytics. Reeves said that using a Hong Kong or Singapore operation to enter China would not suffice. A local and locally staffed presence is imperative, he said.
He added that while many players are considering risks in China and the Asia Pacific, capital from the region also represents an exciting prospect for players in the Lloyd’s Market and beyond.
Reeves said that Barbican is working closely with Chinese investors and that others in the market would likely be following a similar approach. He said that the balance of investors is increasingly fluid and that re/insurers would do well to consider options a little further afield.
Reeves also said that the company is launching a new Guernsey-based subsidiary, Barbican Specialty Re this year, which will write marine, casualty and specialty business on a worldwide basis.
He said that limits would be collateralised at first with the intention being to raise capital and secure an AM Best rating in the near future. He said that he was in Monte Carlo to drum up support for the new venture, and was confident that interest would be strong.