Global insurer AIG has restructured and expanded its credit lines business in the UK.
The restructuring, which has taken place over the past few months, has seen AIG’s trade credit, trade finance, political risk, surety and credit teams in the UK put together under one umbrella. They are now headed up by Richard Webster, who was recruited to the newly-created role of head of UK credit lines in March.
The company has also appointed a range of new people to lead the various teams, including a new head of trade and supply chain finance, head of UK trade credit, head of political risk and head of its credit office. Some of them have been brought in after five of AIG’s trade credit employees left the company earlier in the year for Sompo Canopius, including Will Clark, who previously headed AIG’s UK trade credit team, and Scott Morris, who was the head of supply chain finance.
Replacing Clark, Sharon Giddings has become AIG’s UK head of trade credit, the largest part of AIG’s credit lines business. She joins from Euler Hermes, where she worked for the past 25 years.
Replacing Morris, Marilyn Blattner-Hoyle has been promoted to head of trade finance and supply chain finance, a team that is currently being expanded. Blattner-Hoyle most recently held the role of trade finance product specialist. Before joining AIG in 2015 she was an international banking and finance associate at Hogan Lovells.
In the political risk and structured credit team, AIG has made two new appointments. Sam Ouin (pictured) has been promoted from senior underwriter to UK head of political risk, while Sumeet Berry has been recruited to the role of director, structured credit. He was previously corporate credit analyst, emerging markets at Credit Suisse. Both will report to Edward Kelly, AIG’s head of political risk, who joined the insurer last year and was promoted to his current role after Ray Antes left AIG in January.
Meanwhile, Mark Moran has been recruited to head up AIG’s credit office function. He re-joins the company after spending five years as Euler Hermes’ head of excess of loss underwriting.
AIG has in total hired about a dozen new people across its credit lines business and more will come over the next year.
Speaking to GTR, Webster says that regrouping the different teams under one umbrella is meant to create “more synergy” and “operational benefits across the business” as well as improve the sharing of risk information.
He adds that the plans to expand and restructure the department had been underway for a while and are not related to the decision of five employees to leave the company at once. Nevertheless, the moves meant that AIG was left with an even bigger task as it had to find replacements.
With the changes come an ambition to expand offerings and business. Webster says the development of AIG’s trade finance capabilities is one of its “top priorities in terms of driving business”.
“If you are looking at what we are doing in the trade credit portfolio, we want to become less niche and more mainstream, so we are building our whole turnover capability and looking at the structure of some of our products to make them more attractive to the broader market,” he says, adding that the insurer has new products and projects in the pipeline, including a blockchain pilot that will be announced later in the year.
“The trade credit marketplace is relatively mature in Europe, and therefore it’s about offering something slightly different to existing users of trade credit. We, for example, have non-cancellable limits as one of our core offerings. And giving that certainty to clients, we think, is a way we can differentiate ourselves in the marketplace,” he ends.