MGA wants to talk to brokers who have problems placing risks

Aqua Underwriting is preparing to launch new products in the UK in the next two months, its new executive director Scott Brown has said.

Brown joined the managing general agent in April from Towergate Underwriting and was charged with developing new commercial products for distribution through UK brokers.

Aqua currently specialises in niche lines including Caribbean property, international terrorism and marine liability.

So far its only UK-broker focused specialism has been high net worth home and motor products, including Biba’s high net worth property scheme. It also runs a scheme for printers, which is underwritten by Allianz.

“There’s an opportunity for Aqua to grow that commercial UK book. Some of the things I’m looking to do will very much continue to be in specialist areas, and some will be more specialist by the way in which they’re delivered,” Brown told Insurance Times.

Brown said he would start by looking at higher risk non-standard sectors where brokers report a lack of capacity.

“If brokers have problems placing the risk, I want to think through what the underwriting solutions to those problems could be. Once we do that I can get capacity at the market that would back me with those solutions,” he said.

Aqua already has capacity arrangements in place with a number of Lloyd’s insurers, and Brown said his relationships with composite insurers would also provide capacity for the new products.

Brown also plans to build Aqua’s digital marketing capabilities and is considering launching a quote-and-buy extranet.

“We’re not just about the weird and wonderful. We want people to think that we’re experts in what we do whether its sales, underwriting, or distribution,” he said.

Over the next five years, Brown said he expected to grow Aqua’s commercial team from 10 to 40 people.

“I’m looking for people who have an entrepreneurial flair to them, an eye for an opportunity and want to come somewhere where they’d have to work hard, but they’ll have some fun, and the rewards will be there if we’re successful,” he said.

Aqua has handled £60m of gross written premium in its current year underwriting. The MGA was set up four years ago by broking group R K Harrison.