Specialty re/insurer Canopius has promoted Stephen Pike to head of its credit and political risk (CPR) team, part of the credit, political and crisis (CPC) division, effective immediately. He will focus on leading the CPR team in further developing its proposition across Europe and internationally.

Pike joined Canopius as an underwriter in CPR in 2017 from ED&F Man Capital Markets, where he co-led the build out of its global trade finance business. He began his career at Merrill Lynch, focussing on M&A and then leveraged finance, before moving to a special-situations hedge fund where he traded corporate debt, restructured businesses and managed those businesses to growth.

Pike reports to Bernie de Haldevang, who oversees CPR as the overall head of CPC, and was previously head of CPR.

The CPR team works alongside Crispin Hodges’ trade political risk (TPR) team, Scott Morrison and Yvonne McCormack in excess loss of trade credit (XTC), and also with Tim Davies’ crisis management team. The four teams make up the CPC division.

According to a statement issued by the company, Pike’s appointment “underlines Canopius’ commitment to CPC as a key area of focus for the group, which, following its 2019 merger with AmTrust, has one of the largest teams in the Lloyd’s market”.

“I am very pleased to announce Stephen’s appointment as we look ahead to the unparalleled prospects emerging in the post-Covid era,” says de Haldevang. “Becoming one of the younger team leaders in the market to lead a team of this size, Stephen has made a remarkably fast and effective transition from banker to insurer and is able to leverage his experience in banking and capital markets to the mutual advantage of our clients and ourselves.”

Pike adds that the financial instability in the corporate environment brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to increased demand from the insurer’s clients. “As we saw following the last financial crisis, this increased appetite will provide opportunities to those underwriters who are able to offer clear solutions in an uncertain market, and I believe the team at Canopius is well placed to do this,” he says.