The move follows the company’s plans to build their book in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next years

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XL Catlin announced this week the establishment of a new Reinsurance Unit focused on providing Facultative and Treaty Reinsurance across Africa. 

The African operation will be led by Alex St James, recently appointed XL Catlin’s reinsurance head of Africa, who will work along actuarial underwriter Matthew Gillies. Both of them will be based in London. 

XL Catlin’s EMEA reinsurance chief executive David Watson said: “Africa is a varied and complex collection of frontier and developing markets, generally rich in resources and increasingly home to international companies. Traditionally there has been a lack of insurance penetration across the continent, but this is changing and we believe we have a part to play as reinsurance capacity will further drive the development and growth of the primary insurance market.” 

He added: “We are already doing some business in Africa and in fact we’ve been interested in the region for quite some time. The establishment of this new team isn’t a short-term move; we’re looking to build out our book in Sub-Saharan Africa over the next five to seven years. We currently have no plans to set up an office in Africa as we believe we can service this business effectively from our existing offices in Europe and Dubai.”

XL Catlin head of emerging markets Brendan Plessis said: “We constantly seek to enhance our service proposition in emerging markets by providing deep regional expertise hand in hand with talented underwriting. As we continue to deliver our products across insurance and reinsurance in emerging markets, and to build a concentrated and coordinated approach to each market, we aim to meet and exceed the needs of our clients both local and global in these territories.”