Watford Re raises $1bn; reveals board
Watford Re, the Bermuda-based reinsurance start-up managed by Arch Underwriters and Highbridge Principal Strategies, has raised $1.13 billion. The firm also recently secured a rating of A- from AM Best.
Its initial capitalisation comprised some $907 million in common equity, including a $100 million investment by a subsidiary of Arch Capital, and $226 million in preference shares. The company’s reinsurance business will be managed by Arch Underwriters, a newly formed subsidiary of Arch, and its assets will be managed by Highbridge Principal Strategies, a subsidiary of JP Morgan Asset Management.
John Rathgeber, who was most recently the vice chairman of Arch Worldwide Reinsurance Group, will serve as chief executive of Watford. Jon Levy will serve as chief risk officer and Roderick Romeo will serve as chief financial officer.
Watford’s board of directors will be led by Walter Harris, who will serve as chairman of the board. Harris currently serves as the senior advisor and vice chairman Emeritus of Alliant Insurance Services and is a director on the board of Loews Corporation.
Marc Grandisson, chairman and CEO of Arch Worldwide Reinsurance and Mortgage Groups, and Nicolas Papadopoulo, chairman and CEO of Arch Reinsurance, have joined Watford’s board of directors.
“We believe our unique strategy will enable us to address an unmet need in the reinsurance marketplace today,” said Rathgeber. “We are thrilled to partner with Arch and Highbridge, two leading institutions within their respective fields. Our management team is focused on providing our clients a high level of service, creative reinsurance solutions and prompt claims payment.”
Grandisson said: “Our partnership with Watford is driven by the opportunity we see to underwrite attractive medium- to long-tail, multi-line business. We look forward to working with Watford to serve the reinsurance needs of its clients and build long-term value for its shareholders.”