ArgoGlobal’s Syndicate 1200 exits Asia and hull risks

September 2 2019 by Andrew Tjaardstra

ArgoGlobal is leaving Syndicate 1200 underwriting operations in Asia and most of its hull underwriting business within the syndicate; the firm established operations in Asia in 2014.

The syndicate, which has  an office in Lloyd’s Asia at Capita Green in Singapore, offers energy, marine, property, specialty and non-US liability lines.

Matt Harris, Argo’s group head of international operations, commented: “Over the past two years, we’ve taken deliberate steps to improve profitability in Syndicate 1200 and ultimately enhance shareholder value. We’re executing this through underwriting actions, increased rates, and a focus on digital technology to improve underwriting margins.”

Harris added: “The ArgoGlobal Syndicate 1200’s Asia business recently recorded combined ratios are unsustainable and, whilst we still see growth opportunities in the region, we need to prioritise our efforts on profitable growth in other markets.”

The Asia business accounted for less than 3% of Syndicate 1200 gross written premium in 2018.

The company also announced plans to exit most of its hull underwriting business within Syndicate 1200 as recently recorded combined ratios are also unsustainable.

“This is another step in our overall drive to increase profitability,” added Harris. “It is important to note; however, we are fully committed to the remaining marine classes we insure and insuring hull on non-Lloyd’s platforms.”

The company will, however, consider writing certain hull risks on a limited basis through Syndicate 1200 from Dubai.

The announcements will have no impact on ArgoGroup’s Ariel Re Syndicate 1910 business, including its growing Hong Kong-based renewable energy business.

All existing policies remain valid and the company will manage claims handling through its London operation.

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