US-based Everest Specialty Underwriters has started underwriting credit and political risk in a new division headed by Jim Thomas.

The political risk arm, which was announced by GTR in May, has a US$150mn policy limit for contract frustration and political risk equity and lender coverage for up to 15 years.

On the credit side, which includes trade receivables, pre-export finance, bank-to-bank loans, buyer finance, non-trade structures and project finance, Everest can provide cover for up to US$50mn and seven years.

Thomas is based in Washington DC and reports to Mike Karmilowicz, head of Everest Specialty Underwriters. The team consists of three underwriters located in Washington, New York and Houston, but Thomas tells GTR that the firm is currently hiring additional underwriters in the US, and plans to employ underwriting teams in London this year and Singapore in 2017.

“Our broad range of product capabilities and our limits and tenors are among the largest in the market and the response from banks, brokers, and public agencies has been overwhelmingly positive,” he adds.

Thomas joins Everest from Zurich, where he spent 15 years as head of credit and political risk.