Insurance Investor - news round-up 20/1/23
A guide for all the news you may have missed in the investment space for insurers featuring Swiss Re, Great-West Lifeco, Kingstone Insurance, and Convex Group.
Insurance Investor Editorposted on Friday, January 20, 2023
Comings and goings
Giant Swiss Re appointed Velina Peneva as Group Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and member of the Group Executive Committee, which will be effective from 1 April 2023.
She will succeed Guido Fürer following his retirement after 25 years at Swiss Re.
"We're pleased we've been able to find a capable internal candidate to lead our Asset Management unit forward,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Christian Mumenthaler. “[She] has a strong track record both within and outside Swiss Re.”
Peneva is currently Co-Head of Client Solutions & Analytics in Swiss Re's Asset Management. Previously, she headed Swiss Re's private equity investment mandate.
Before joining Swiss Re in 2017, Peneva worked for Bain & Company in the US, Australia, and Switzerland, most recently as a Partner and leader for the private equity and institutional investor practices in Zurich.
Outgoing CIO and Country President Switzerland, Guido Fürer, announced his retirement in September 2022 - effective 31 March 2023, after 25 years with the Company and has been Group CIO for a full decade.
P&C insurance holding company, Kingstone Companies, appointed Jennifer Gravelle as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as of January 17, 2023.
Gravelle has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the P&C insurance industry and expertise in coastal-focused property insurance specifically. Most recently, she was CFO of Slide Insurance and previously served as CFO of both Allied Trust Insurance Company and Olympus Insurance Company.
Long-Island-based Kingstone was founded in 1886. It operates in New York state, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Kingstone is also licensed in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Gravelle previously led finance operations, accounting, and forecasting as CFO of Slide Insurance, a full-stack insurtech organisation. Before that, she served as CFO of Allied Trust Insurance Company, a personal property insurance organisation, and held roles of increasing responsibility at Olympus Insurance Company, also a personal property insurance company, including CFO. Earlier in her career, she was with HomeWise Insurance Group as the Controller.
As part of a planned transition of roles, Benji Meuli will be stepping aside his position as CFO at Convex Group to become CIO. He will remain on the Board and will continue to represent the investment function.
Meuli has been CFO since 2019.
The specialty re/insurer has promoted Brian Bissett to Group CFO with immediate effect to take over. Based in London, Bissett will report to Paul Brand, CEO of Convex Group Limited.
Bissett joined Convex at its inception in 2019 as Group Chief Actuary. He has more than 30 years of experience in the data and actuarial sector within the re/insurance industry and has held numerous senior positions at Catlin, XL Catlin, and Zurich.
In his new role, Bissett will be responsible for overseeing the Convex finance function, while retaining responsibility for the data and actuarial teams.
“I would like to thank Benji for his outstanding work and his contribution to Convex’s growth. I am delighted that we will still benefit from his extensive expertise in his new role of CIO,” said Brand.
Great-West Lifeco Inc.
Dervla Tomlin, currently the Chief Actuary has been appointed as Chief Risk Officer, effective February 13, 2023, at Canadian giant Great-West Lifeco.
In her new role, Tomlin will lead all aspects of risk management across Great-West Lifeco. She will also continue to have responsibility for our Actuarial function with the Appointed Actuary reporting to her.
Great-West Lifeco is a holding company with interests in life and health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. It operates in Canada, the US and Europe under the brands Canada Life, Empower, Putnam Investments, and Irish Life, with approximately 28,000 employees.
Tomlin has over 30 years of experience in the industry in the role. She was appointed Chief Actuary, Lifeco in April 2015, having previously served as the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Actuary for Irish Life.
She joined the Great-West Lifeco team in 2013 as part of the acquisition of Irish Life. Tomlin succeeds Graham Bird, who is retiring in April this year and has been Chief Risk Officer since 2015.
Bird will be supporting the transition as a special advisor to the CEO until his retirement on April 30, 2023, after which he will continue in an advisory capacity to Great-West Lifeco.