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Top 10 marine insurers 2023

No marine insurance, no shipping. Here are 10 of the people that make everything else possible

Marine insurers stay busy year in, year out, providing the 118,000 vessels in the world fleet with all classes of cover, principally P&I and H&M. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and the fighting between Hamas and Israel is providing ample work for war risk insurers too

01 / Andrew Moulton, Ascot Underwriting

Ascot Underwriting’s Andrew Moulton is a long-standing veteran of the war risk scene and has been instrumental in developing products that have helped shipowners come through the Somali piracy crisis, and to continue to export grain from Ukraine, even after the Russian invasion.

He is also chair of the Joint War Committee, which brings together underwriters from both the Lloyd’s and London companies markets to determine which parts of the world should be “listed” for the dangers inherent in calls from merchant vessels.


David Kirk, Chubb

02 / David Kirk, Chubb

Each year, insurance research consultancy Insurindex holds a class-by-class poll of London underwriters, asking them to name the most outstanding individual in their niche.

David Kirk has won for the past three years on the trot, and was also placed fourth in the rankings of all London underwriters, irrespective of the business they write. 

Kirk has been head of marine at Chubb Global Markets since July 2022, and was previously deputy head of marine and product head for marine cargo at Syndicate 2488.


Louise Nevill, Marsh Specialty UK

03 / Louise Nevill, Marsh Specialty UK

Career marine underwriter Louise Nevill has been chief executive, marine and cargo, at Marsh Specialty UK — the world’s largest marine brokers — since it commenced under its current incarnation in 2020.

She started as an assistant marine underwriter at Markel after graduation in 1996, since when she has also worked as head of marine at Talbot, director underwriting at W/R/B and, latterly, vice-president underwriting at Gard, prior to her current role.

Marsh has risen to the challenge of helping maintain Ukrainian grain exports to developing countries through its recently launched state-backed war risk scheme, which could cut Black Sea war risk premiums by up to two-thirds, and that kind of real world humanitarian impact gets Nevill a top slot.


Song Chunfeng, China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association

04 / Song Chunfeng, China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association

China’s rise to become the world’s largest shipowning nation has undoubtedly bolstered the China P&I Club under Song’s leadership.

The club completed its 2023-2024 renewal in February, reporting “considerable growth” in its P&I insurance business to 187 members, 1,746 entered vessels, totalling 79m gt.

This includes several ships from French shipping giant CMA CGM entering for the first time, marking another step in the China-centric association’s overseas expansion.

In March 2023, the club welcomed an ultra large 24,188 teu containership, OOCL Spain (IMO: 9908126), from member Orient Overseas Container Line, part of Cosco Shipping.

The China P&I Club’s finances were affirmed again by ratings agency AM Best, which maintained its “A-” financial strength rating and “a-” long-term issuer credit rating in September 2023, reflecting the Chinese association’s strong balance sheet and adequate operating performance.

One of the latest efforts by Song and his organisation is an innovative mechanism to help owners expedite the release of vessels under judicial detention, by providing immediate club guarantees through direct communication with courts.


Bjornar Andresen, Gard

05 / Bjornar Andresen, Gard

Gard remains the world’s biggest P&I club, still ahead of a roughly equal second International Group giant following the merger that created Britain’s NorthStandard in early 2023.

However, the Norwegian outfit also accounts for around one-third of the Nordic Hull Market, now established as the world’s largest, thanks to the ongoing decline of Lloyd’s. The (considerable) profits subside its mutual members.

As chief underwriting officer for both books, Bjornar Andresen — a former Norwegian naval officer prior to joining his present employer in 2010 — is an obvious big wheel in both sectors.


Nick Shaw, International Group

06 / Nick Shaw, International Group

P&I clubs have underlined their importance in the marine insurance ecosystem of late, thanks to the role they have been handed in policing the price cap on Russian oil and products.

Their trade association, the International Group, operates the pool scheme, which is pivotal to marine liability insurance, providing the ultimate backstop for the major casualties, which gives the IG an obviously crucial role.

The IG is headed by Nick Shaw, a British lawyer who previously worked for Reed Smith, including a two-year stint in Hong Kong. He has been in post since 2019.


Frédéric Denèfle, IUMI/Garex

07 / Frédéric Denèfle, IUMI/Garex

Frédéric Denèfle is managing director of Garex, a war risk pooling arrangement for eight European insurers that is the probably the largest player in the niche in continental Europe. He somehow finds time to be president of the International Union of Marine Insurance on the side.

Denèfle started his career as a claims handler, first with Paris-based Reunion Européenne — now subsumed into AXA — and then with Cesam, an organisation that handles big claims for the French market. He joined AGF MAT/Allianz Group in 1998 and worked there until 2012.


Phil Schellhorn, Signal Mutual 08 / Phil Schellhorn, Signal Mutual

Phil Schellhorn is the chief underwriting officer at Signal Mutual, a Bermuda-domiciled and Connecticut-based non-profit mutual organisation that is one of the largest federal longshore and harbour workers’ compensation insurance providers in the US.

It is the largest self-insured group provider of longshore benefits in the US, with membership hailing from the stevedoring, shiprepair and offshore industries.


Steve Lewis, Eagle Ocean America

09 / Steve Lewis, Eagle Ocean America

Steve Lewis is the vice-president of Eagle Ocean America, a full-service insurance managed by Eagle Ocean Agencies, an affiliate of the Shipowners Claims Bureau.

The company writes fixed premium P&I and hull coverages for brownwater and greenwater Jones Act vessels operating in US trades. Lewis is also the director of business development — Americas for SCB.


Ju-Ann Lee, Berkley Insurance Asia

10 / Ju-Ann Lee, Berkley Insurance Asia

Ju-Ann Lee and her team are well-positioned to benefit from the growing Asia marine insurance market, the second-largest market for hull and machinery.

Stationed in Singapore, Lee serves as the head of the marine insurance division at Berkley Insurance Asia, which provides insurance protection not only for maritime cargo and hulls but also marine liabilities.

The emphasis is on commercially operated fleets with Asian ownership and management. Targeted tonnage consists of brownwater tugs and barges, anchor-handling tugs and supply ships, medium-sized tankers, containerships and general cargo carriers.

Boasting more than 20 years’ experience as an underwriter focused largely on Asian and Middle Eastern markets, Lee’s deep expertise has been crucial in cementing Berkley’s reputation as a regional specialist.


The Top 10 in marine insurance list is collated by the Lloyd’s List editorial team and considers a mixture of traditional power brokers in an insular niche, as well as those doing noteworthy things within it



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