But start-up boss says many MGAs simply increase costs for insurers

Charles Manchester has taken a swipe at managing general agencies (MGAs) for letting down capacity providers, insisting that his Amlin-backed start-up will deliver profitable business.

Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM) will start underwriting professional indemnity (PI) business next month, as revealed this week on insurancetimes.co.uk.

Capacity provider Amlin has taken a 25% stake in the business. Manchester, a former chief executive of HCC International Insurance, said that he aimed to deliver profitable business for insurer partners.

“There are a lot of MGAs starting up right now, many of which are pure distribution plays that are simply increasing costs to insurers at the height of a soft market,” he said. “Manchester Underwriting Management brings together professionals with a proven track record of building profitable business across market cycles, as well as a proven ability to provide top-level service and understanding to brokers.”

HCC colleague Richard Webb has resigned as head of marketing and broker development to join MUM.

Michael Cant, previously director at Saturn Professional Risks, has also joined the MGA with a team of six professional indemnity specialists from RSA.

Manchester resigned from HCC in February last year, having sold his firm, Dickson Manchester, to the insurance giant six years earlier. MUM will now go head-to-head with HCC. Manchester commented: “We will be competing with everybody for business, but I haven’t set up a business to specifically attack HCC. HCC happens to be in the same space we are in, but the market is big enough for the both of us.”

Manchester said the MGA did not have to write any specific amount of business in the first year, especially considering the current market conditions. He added: “Over a period of time, we expect to be one of the major players in the market.”

Amlin UK’s head of PI, Nigel Dorning, said: “We are pleased to support a new and refreshing proposition in the UK PI market. I have known the key team for many years and am confident in their ability to build a profitable and sustainable business.”