Capsicum Re has announced the “major step” of the launch of Capsicum Re Latin America (CRLA).
Former Aon Benfield Chile CEO Joe Smith has been appointed as CEO of CRLA, leading the operation based in Miami.
The broker described the CRLA launch as “a major step in Capsicum Re’s strategy to become a full service, international, challenger reinsurance broker”.
Smith joined Aon Benfield Latin America as managing director in 2003, following five years in Tokyo as executive vice president for Aon Re Japan.
In 2010 he was appointed treaty director for Aon Benfield Chile before becoming the CEO in 2013.
He is joined by another former Aon Benfield hire, Luiz Araripe, who has been appointed managing partner of CRLA and CEO of CRLA Brazil, to be based in Rio de Janeiro.
Araripe was formerly chief commercial officer for Aon Benfield Brazil since 2014.
Before that he was treaty director for five years at Aon Benfield Brazil, and prior to that headed the broker’s claims department in the country.
Rupert Swallow, CEO of Capsicum Re, said: “Launching CRLA heralds a new chapter in the Capsicum Re story. We have made fantastic strides in building out our offering since we established the business 30 months ago and have received an overwhelmingly positive response since our inception, demonstrating the widespread support for our customer centric proposition.”
Capsicum Re was created by former Benfield boss Grahame Chilton in 2013 in partnership with Arthur J Gallagher, as an incubator for acquiring London market and Bermudian broking talent.
Chilton moved to assume the CEO role at Gallagher’s UK-based international broking operations in February 2015, handing over leadership of Capsicum to co-founder and current CEO Swallow.
Swallow told Reactions at the most recent Monte Carlo reinsurance meeting that: “We are disruptors, and that’s a good thing. Every…hire we make is a win for us – the epitome of disruption we can cause.”
Capsicum was formed with a deadline of 2018 in mind, at which point Gallagher will decide whether or not to buy out the venture (within which it has a 20% stake), with the aim of turning it into a major London broker.
“2016 has got off to an excellent start for Capsicum Re; the business is progressing well and we are gaining market share,” said Swallow in April.
“Joe and Luiz are market leading brokers who bring significant experience, an in-depth understanding of the region and a focus on relationships that complements our ethos,” he said, regarding the latest hires.
“I look forward to working with them and collaborating with Arthur J. Gallagher’s Latin America team, to deliver innovative solutions that fulfil the growing demand for specialist reinsurance products in this market,” Swallow added.