week commencing 28/02/21:

What a week! Beazley lost its CEO to QBE; Whitespace its independence to Sequel; Aon all hope of a rapid conclusion to its WTW merger and the UK’s Supreme Court managed to cast doubt over the basic tenets of a reinsurance contract while ruling on COVID BI claims. Good job there are only 38 more days left until the pubs open.

Antitrust hurdles loom for Aon WTW merger

The EU’s antitrust body has failed to approve the Aon Willis Towers Watson merger and will demand concessions in order to allow the deal to go ahead, in a blow to Aon’s hopes of closing the deal in H1 this year. External-link. [Reuters]

Sequel invests in Whitespace

Tech giant Sequel bought Whitespace, a London market trading platform, in a move that may herald a shakeup in the competitive landscape. External-link. [Reinsurance News]

Andrew Horton to become QBE CEO

Beazley has appointed CUO Adrian Cox to replace Horton who moves to Australia with the demanding brief of steadying the management ship at QBE. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Amanda Blanc warns of “forked tongue”

Aviva will stop insuring businesses where more than 5% of their revenue comes from coal or other pollutants, with CEO Amanda Blanc saying the industry needs to be consistent on underwriting and investments. External-link. [Financial Times]

Willis Re accused of “double-speak”

Guy Carpenter accused its competitor of “speaking out of both sides of its mouth”. While the merger of WTW and Aon is not anti-competitive “as the market can support frequent movement of broking teams”, court documents in a separate case allege “catastrophic damage” from the departure of a team in 2020. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Insurers partner with Geneva Association on climate

17 of the largest P&C insurers have agreed to find ways together to assess and mitigate climate risk within their operations – “taking the insurance industry’s climate action and collaboration to the next level”. External-link. [Insurance Business]

Texas storm loss estimates twisting in the wind

Modelling firms have given a wide range of estimates for losses from the recent Texas snowstorm of $10-$20bn, saying it is difficult to model. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Supreme Court muddies reinsurance waters

David Priebe, Chairman of Guy Carpenter, warned the recent UK Supreme Court ruling that coronavirus BI cases were not a single event, brings into doubt the whole basis of reinsurance contracts. External-link. [Insurance Day]

Results round-up

The COVID effect this week – Atrium Syndicate 609 reported a £55m profit. External-link. [Insurance Insider] Hiscox meanwhile, dropped to a loss of $268.5m. External-link. [Insurance Business]

AGCS and Munich Re join Google Cloud

AGCS has announced a new partnership with Google Cloud and Munich Re to deliver a light-touch commercial cyber insurance solution. External-link. [Intelligent Insurer]

Don’t be smug

The Economist explores the self-praising ‘cult-like’ culture of McKinsey, whose consultants “expect their halo to be noticed” and how it led to the shock ousting of the CEO who tried to bring change last week. External-link. [The Economist]

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