NatWest Group’s Sir Howard Davies has been appointed as the group’s chairman 

Three former Hiscox bosses have founded an insurance group called Inigo at Lloyd’s of London after successfully completing a capital raise of $800m (£600m).

The specialty insurance and reinsurance business Inigo was launched by Richard Watson, Hiscox’s former chief underwriting officer who stepped down from the group last year after serving 33 years.

As well as Russell Merrett, former managing director at Hiscox London Market and Stuart Bridges, the former chief financial officer of both Hiscox and markets operator ICAP.

Watson said: “We are fully supportive of the direction that John Neal, Lloyd’s chief executive, is taking the market, making it a more attractive and efficient place in which to trade.

”For a company like ours, entirely focused on underwriting, London also has the depth of young talent we need to develop the analytical and data-led approach that is at the core of what we hope to do.”

Ahead of the date it will start underwriting on 1 January 2021, the group has also appointed NatWest Group’s Sir Howard Davies as its chairman. He was previously chairman of the Financial Services Authority between 1997 and 2003.

Watson added that Sir Howard joining its ”board validates our vision for Inigo and our determination to provide credible additional capacity and services to customers and brokers”.

It follows Lloyd’s launching Blueprint Two earlier this month. 

Concept to reality

Inigo believes that current market conditions are ideal to launch a new insurance business, at a time when demand across several classes of insurance and reinsurance is high.

It will be targeting a range of underserved sectors in London’s insurance and resinsurance market.

The group has chosen London as its base as it sees the overall insurance ecosystem offered by Lloyd’s as “exceptionally attractive” and said it will best support the growth and development of the new syndicate.

The capital raise of $800m was from a consortium of global investors – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Enstar, J.C. Flowers & Co, Oak Hill Advisors, Qatar Investment Authority, Stone Point and Inigo’s management team.

Watson added: “This significant capital raising, together with our acquisition, gives us the platform we need to turn Inigo from a concept into reality.

“We believe that 2021 will mark the beginning of an exciting growth phase for Lloyd’s and the London Insurance Market and Inigo will contribute to growing the specialty and reinsurance marketplace, as it returns to profitability.”

Inigo has signed an agreement to buy certain insurance underwriting assets of StarStone Underwriting Ltd which includes its Lloyd’s Syndicate 1301 and its managing agency, from Enstar Group as a platform to start underwriting on next year.

But this is subject to regulatory approval.

These acquisitions are to form the foundation for the group’s operations as a specialty insurer, writing a streamlined portfolio of insurance and reinsurance risks.

There will be no legacy underwriting that will be transferred to Inigo.