Whether you want a straight-talking powerhouse, a down-to-earth industry grandee or an old-fashioned deal-maker with a great line in after-dinner speeches, the big names at Biba can deliver. This is your guide to the key personalities from the major players – the people you’ll want to watch, listen to and learn from this Biba
Jon Hancock, RSA
Who is he? Managing director of commercial, RSA
What’s he like? Hancock has been in the role for less than a year, but he has already had 500 conversations with different brokers during a gruelling UK tour. They seem to have taken to his friendly and attentive manner. He’s also determined to give RSA commercial a greater focus. In a February interview, he said: “We have too often tried to be all things to all people.” He has cut loose agencies with the bottom 250 brokers so that he can throw resources at the top 1,250. A focus on e-trading will help RSA expand into commercial SME.
Most likely to say: “I’ve just signed another managing general agency agreement”
Least likely to say: “We’re way ahead of the game on e-trading”
Who is he? QBE property, casualty and motor underwriting director
What’s he like? Bathia is ambitious, which is why the acquisition of Brit’s UK renewal rights will have suited his personality. He still has a lot to prove to SME brokers, especially those who remember the problems when QBE acquired property specialist Evergreen. Biba could provide the perfect platform for Bathia to reassure brokers that Brit’s renewal rights are in safe hands. The recent appointment of ACE UK chief executive Richard Pryce as deputy chief executive of QBE European Operations surprised some in the market, who expected Bathia to be given the role. Nonetheless, he remains the face of QBE’s regional operations in the UK.
Most likely to say: “QBE has a wonderful brand”
Least likely to say: “Evergreen had a wonderful brand”
Who is she? AXA commercial lines chief executive
What’s she like? Blanc has a natural empathy with brokers, stemming from her days as Towergate deputy chief executive. Touted as the eventual successor to then chief executive Andy Homer, she instead took on the challenge of turning around a declining AXA commercial, injecting belief so that the commercial team is not afraid to walk away from poorly priced business. Paris HQ is targeting £400m growth by 2015, while cutting costs. The market will be watching closely to see if Blanc can deliver.
Most likely to say: “We’re way ahead of the game on e-trading”
Least likely to say: “I’ve just signed another managing general agency agreement”
Who is he? General manager, Allianz Commercial
What’s he like? Hanks is universally respected and, along with chief executive Andrew Torrance, has formed a formidable team that has consistently delivered impressive commercial results. He is a shrewd trader, who fights hard to pick off the best of the consolidator business while also building bridges with the independent and regional brokers. In his 60s, he loves the industry, and shows no sign of relinquishing his role.
Most likely to say: “Let’s talk business”
Least likely to say: “Let me talk to you about my retirement”
Who is he? Towergate Underwriting chief executive
What’s he like? Nathan is an underwriter through and through, and it’s noticeable that out of all Towergate’s divisions last year, its underwriting division was the best performer. Nathan has signed up a diverse book of capacity providers for Towergate Underwriting, including RSA, Allianz, AXA and QBE. Nathan claims Towergate can give brokers access to plenty of niche markets in which other insurers don’t have the expertise. Nathan is also friendly and, as a keen Spurs fan, is always up for a bit of football banter.
Most likely to say: “I bloody love Towergate Underwriting”
Least likely to say: “I bloody love Ink Underwriting”