Martin Hall named ERS’s new permanent active underwriter

Arthur J Gallagher-owned MGA Pen Underwriting is to promote Tom Downey to the position of chief underwriting officer (CUO), replacing departing underwriting head Martin Hall (pictured).

Hall is heading to specialist Lloyd’s motor insurer ERS to become its new active underwriter, taking over from ERS interim active underwriter Gina Butterworth, who stepped in following the departure of Mark Bacon.

ERS said Butterworth, who was director of underwriting before taking the interim active underwriter role, will remain a critical part of ERS’s executive team, reporting to chief executive Ian Parker, and will continue to lead an investment programme focusing on underwriting, pricing, reserving and management information.

Parker said: “I’m delighted that we’re recruiting someone of Martin’s calibre and experience to lead our Underwriting teams. He will augment the executive at ERS and I am looking forward to him joining.”

He added: “Gina joined ERS just 10 months ago. In that time she’s had a profound effect on how we think as an underwriting organisation and how we need to optimise our approach through increased investment in data and analytics.

“Through this time it became clear to both Gina and I that such a fundamental piece of work and an investment of this size can’t be completed alongside the active underwriter role.”

Pen reshuffle

New Pen CUO Downey, currently specialty managing director, will take up his new role from 1 October. Hall will leave the business at the end of October.

Pen development director Steve Thornett will become managing director of speciality lines and financial lines managing director Jennifer Martin will join the executive team as financial lines becomes its own trading division within Pen.

Pen chief executive Jonathan Turner said: “[Downey’s] unwavering focus on driving profitable growth, thinking strategically, achieving insurer loss ratios, and so strengthening our carrier relationships whilst embedding good governance, make him the ideal chief underwriting officer as Pen embarks on its next phase of development.”

He added: “I’m also delighted that Tom’s move to his new role enables us to promote internally from the fantastic pool of talented individuals we have within Pen. I know that Jen and Steve will build on the great work undertaken by Tom in positioning Pen as the go-to specialty underwriting business.”