Former RenRe SVP Michael Cash is CEO of new ILS investment management firm, Juniperus Capital Limited

Benfield Group Limited has announced that it has made a cash investment of $50m into Juniperus Insurance Opportunity Fund, which will be managed by Juniperus Capital Limited.

Benfield holds a significant shareholding in JCL having acquired shares at nominal value by way of a $6,588 investment.

The broker has also committed to provide up to $2m in working capital to JCL. Other substantial investors in the fund include Transatlantic Re and JCL management.

JCL, which launched today, is a new investment management company that will manage third party funds focused on the collateralised reinsurance and insurance-linked securities (ILS) markets.

Grahame Chilton, chief executive of Benfield, commented, “Benfield is at the forefront of the converging reinsurance and capital markets. In addition to advising on the formation of new risk taking entities such as JCL and its affiliates, Benfield Advisory, our specialist corporate finance and advisory business, advises on insurance and reinsurance M&A and provides cedants with direct access to hedge funds, pension funds, banks and other non-traditional investors.

“BA has advised on many start up insurance and reinsurance companies including Lancashire Insurance, Montpelier Re and other vehicles, and has also advised on the placing of billions of dollars of catastrophe risk in the capital markets in recent years, either through the formation of broadly syndicated risk transfer vehicles such as Starbound I and Starbound II or directly with capital markets investors.

“Our investment in this Fund is a logical next step in this expanding marketplace and I am delighted at our involvement in this initiative.”

Rob Bredahl, global head of BA, commented, “The convergence of the (re)insurance and capital markets is being driven by (re)insurance companies seeking to access different forms of capital and innovative risk transfer techniques and investors increasingly attracted to the high yielding, non-correlated nature of catastrophe-type risk.

“Consequently, the market for ILS, the term given to the form of insurance risk distributed to capital market investors, has grown significantly in recent years. Benfield expects this growth to continue going forward, with ILS becoming an increasingly important market over time.”

JCL will be managed by Philip Lotz as executive chairman and Michael Cash as chief executive officer.

Lotz was formerly the chief executive officer of Swiss Re Capital Management and Advisory.

Michael Cash, chief executive officer and chief underwriting officer, has over 17 years’ experience in the reinsurance industry, including experience with structured reinsurance.

He joined Renaissance Re in 2000, resigning in July 2005 as senior vice president, specialty reinsurance. Cash served as a Principal at Stockton Reinsurance from 1998 until joining Renaissance Re.