Unipol Re has been launched as a new European reinsurer, with assets of €500m.
The Dublin-domiciled business is backed by Italian non-life insurer UnipolSai Assicurazioni.
The venture is the company’s first outside its home market. It said it will offer tailored reinsurance coverage to small and medium-sized insurance companies throughout continental Europe
Unipol Re will focus on “a number of risks including third party liability business. Coverage may be structured on a proportional or a non-proportional basis.”
In January 2014, UnipolSai concluded the merger of Unipol Assicurazioni with Fondiaria-Sai Group, creating the biggest non-life insurance group in Italy and one of the largest in Europe.
The new reinsurer is not chasing a high return, focused instead on diversification.
“Its reasonable targets in terms of a return on risk adjusted capital (RORAC) also sets UnipolRe apart from other reinsurers,” said the press release.
“Given its parent’s main goal is diversification, the new reinsurer is seeking only a single digit return on the business it writes – a stark contrast to the standard double digit returns expected by many investors of recently established reinsurers,” added the statement.
Marc Guy Victor Sordoni is the reinsurer’s CEO, and also reinsurance head at the parent company in Italy.
Simon Wigzell, underwriting manager of UnipolRe, was previously a senior reinsurance manager at the Fondiaria. Before that, he was a treaty underwriter at ITT Hartford Re and later in the Lloyd’s market.
“As our parent group’s first venture outside of the Italian market, this represents an historic moment for the company,” said Sordoni.
“It was an important decision for the group to make this move but thanks to the relevant current market share in Italy combined with the incentives Solvency II provides, it is made it a natural one.”
“The fact is our parent company has great expertise in certain lines, in particular third party liability and property business. We believe we can offer insurers very specific and tailored solutions thanks to this expertise, knowledge and database in these types of business,” he said.
“Finally, because of the obvious reasons for our formation; our return on equity requirements are very different to most other comparable reinsurers. We are seeking a single digit return, well below the much higher expectations of most of the market players. Along with our strengths; in what are clearly challenging market conditions, we have an opportunity to make a real difference to clients and stable business relationships in Europe,” added Sordoni.