Williams Insurance Group has launched a new specialist trade credit and political risk insurance broker, Trade Credit International (TCI), headed by Rupert Murray, previously executive director of Arthur J Gallagher.

The broker was established after Williams Insurance Group acquired Newstead International in September, a move which saw the two companies’ trade credit insurance businesses merge and rebrand to TCI.

Rupert Murray has since been appointed managing director of the combined businesses, which will focus on trade credit and political risk.

Murray has almost 30 years of experience in credit insurance, most recently with Arthur J Gallagher, where he worked for seven years. He left the company in August 2016 and had been on gardening leave until he joined TCI in October.

In addition to Murray, the team includes Bridget Chapman, director, Mark Williams (CEO of Williams Insurance Group), director, Kit Brownlees, non-executive director, and Andrew Neill and Roger Gilmore, both consultants.

Speaking to GTR, Murray says the focus of TCI is now to grow its portfolio and client base, which “is already going well”. In its first year of trading, TCI placed approximately €3.5mn of gross written premium.

The team is also set to expand. “We are looking to bring in new brokers and business development people over the latter half of this year and in 2019,” he adds.

He is optimistic about growth prospects, seeing “a huge demand” for trade finance and related insurance products. “You only need to look around at the number of insolvencies and the difficult political risk markets at the moment to know that it’s a product that’s on the forefront of people’s thoughts,” he says.

TCI works with companies with global operations that require bespoke facilities and technical input from the broker along with the provision of broking services to determine policy structure, term negotiation and product support. It will target key export sectors such as manufacturing, engineering and agri-farming.

The broker focuses on London and international traditional trade credit monoline insurers, and the export credit agencies. It also has access to the Lloyd’s of London insurance market through its sister company, Williams Insurance Management, which has recently received its Lloyd’s accreditation as a broker.