Aon to expand Florida operations with enhanced reinsurance and analytical capabilities
In line with rising client demand for complex risk transfer solutions and specific expertise in the dynamic Florida insurance market, beginning January 2016, Aon Benfield will increase the number of reinsurance broking and analytics colleagues based in its West Palm Beach office.
The office will report into Bob Keane, Aon Benfield Executive Managing Director, and will initially be staffed by Managing Directors Gard Olbers and Chris Lux. Mr. Olbers has been located in the West Palm Beach office for three years, and over his 15 year career with Aon Benfield has also worked in the New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey offices. Mr. Lux has 11 years of broking experience in the Florida reinsurance market and has spent the past six years working for Aon Benfield in Bermuda. On the analytics side, Paul Hosni will join the firm's West Palm Beach operations as a Senior Catastrophe Analyst, transferring from Aon Benfield's Dallas, Texas office.
According to the Aon Benfield's Reinsurance Market Outlook – September 2015 report, overall reinsurance demand in peak regions had increased materially for the second consecutive year. This trend was particularly notable in Florida and other U.S. coastal areas, given the attractive risk transfer margins offered in both the alternative and traditional markets.
As a result, in 2015 a number of insurers reduced their participation in government risk transfer programs, such as the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, by utilizing private reinsurance capacity.
The Florida private insurance market has also seen significant growth, and resulting increased private reinsurance demand, due to the positive Florida population and construction trends and due to the depopulation of policies from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Florida Citizens) – a government entity that provides insurance protection to Florida policyholders who are entitled to, but are unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.
Bob Keane, Aon Benfield Executive Managing Director, said: "In line with the trend towards increased reinsurance purchasing for Florida risk in the private markets, we are seeing strong local demand from clients both for transactional capabilities, and data and analytical solutions. To meet this demand, we are increasing the number of reinsurance brokers at our West Palm Beach office, as well as the number of analytics professionals. It is an exciting time in the state, and Aon is being proactive in expanding its Florida presence in order to meet future demand and capitalise on growth opportunities."