The new business, which plans to begin underwriting from 1 January 2022, indicates ‘a step towards facilitating long-term industry change’ around resilience

International broker Howden has today (2 June 2021) launched a new insurance business that will centre its underwriting approach around sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

The insurer, called Parhelion, will be led by co-chief executives Julian Richardson and David Cabral.

Reinsurance executive Chris Sharp will also be joining the senior leadership team from September 2021 as chief underwriting officer.

The business, which aims to begin underwriting from 1 January 2022, plans to adopt an underwriting approach that is based on data, technology and proprietary ESG criteria.

The firm will provide insurance for traditional risks as well as create new ESG-specific products for future risks, designed to meet the varying requirements of a wide range of corporates – from those already highly ranked on ESG criteria to those just starting out on their sustainability journey.

Parhelion believes there is a strong correlation between organisations with advanced ESG credentials and low insurance claims, which will enable it to offer cover at advantageous terms, while still generating strong shareholder returns.

The insurer, which is being advised by Howden Capital Markets and TigerRisk Capital Markets and Advisory, is targeting a capital raise of $500m. It has already been seeded by Howden.

Parhelion seeks to meet the growing demand from corporates looking for an insurance provider to support their journey towards ESG transition and a more resilient future.

Creating a more resilient future

Richardson and Cabral said: “Companies are transitioning to sustainable procurement and this should not be limited to physical goods - it must also include financial services and products.

“Our vision is to support customers’ transition to a more sustainable and resilient future while creating a virtuous cycle of improved risk control and underwriting performance, irrespective of the market cycle.

“This vision will be supported by an ecosystem of services and shared data insights to support the overall customer ESG transition.”

Charlie Langdale, head of sustainable insurance at Howden, added: “We’re delighted to offer a unique solution for our clients [that] are in need of a new and sustainable approach to the risks of the future.

“Parhelion will be an unencumbered, highly rated ESG-focused carrier backed by fresh capital that our clients can partner with and trust.

“Its launch is a step towards facilitating long-term industry change.”