And also this week...

Broker Network bags Aviva

Aviva has committed to its network partnership with Broker Network, with both companies agreeing a new three-year deal. The insurer is believed to have withdrawn its support from some networks and alliances after admitting it would rather deal with brokers direct. Aviva director of trading Caroline Cooper said the deal would aim to “develop the business of both parties”. Broker Network Group chief executive Grant Ellis added that the relationship with Aviva will benefit members.

New president for Torus

Tim Mardon has been appointed president and chief underwriting officer of Torus Re and will report directly to Clive Tobin, chief executive of Torus. Prior to joining the firm, Mardon was chief underwriting officer of Citadel’s reinsurance operations, CIG Re and New Castle Re. He joined Torus in early 2009 after it acquired New Castle Re.

Willis faces South American class actions

Venezuelan investor Reinaldo Ranni has sued Willis over the collapse of the Stanford banking empire, saying he relied on assurances from Willis that Stanford was sound. The lawsuit, filed as a class action in US federal court in Miami, accuses Willis of fraud, negligence, misrepresentation and violations of US and Florida securities laws. A similar lawsuit was filed against Willis in federal court in Dallas earlier this month by a group of Mexican investors. Willis “played an instrumental role in enabling Allen Stanford and his companies to perpetrate a massive multibillion-dollar fraud against scores of investors, largely Venezuelans and other South Americans,” the lawsuit said. Willis declined to comment.