Nationwide Excess and Surplus/Specialty has hired Lillian Labbat to lead its freshly launched credit and political risk division.

Labbat reports to Tom Iorio, executive vice-president, management liability and specialty. She will be responsible for hiring a team of structured credit and political risk underwriters.

Previously, Labbat was the senior vice-president and global head of credit and political risk at Zurich, where she oversaw the growth strategy and performance of the global team.

Labbat has also been managing director at JP Morgan, with a focus on growing the bank’s global structured export finance products, and headed up export finance for BNP Paribas in the US and Canada. She worked at Citigroup as head of underwriting for a credit and political risk insurance subsidiary.

“There is increased demand in the market for solutions to growing credit relationships and exporting abroad,” says Iorio. “Nationwide sees this area as a good place to continue to grow our specialty business and a complement to our existing lines of business.”

“Labbat has extensive experience in credit markets and structured lending at top global financial institutions, with experience spanning a wide range of industries and countries, and an expertise in developing markets,” Iorio adds.

Nationwide says it plans to start writing credit and political risk business in early 2024.