Fledgeling re/insurance provider Vantage Group Holdings has hired industry veteran Daniel Riordan as head of its new political risk and credit team.

Having started in May, Riordan is tasked with setting up the political risk and credit business, which will work to provide medium and long-term cover to global private and public sector financial institutions from its initial base in Washington, DC.

Clients will include large global banks, multilateral and export credit agencies, as well as development finance institutions and alternative capital providers.

Riordan tells GTR that infrastructure finance is one of the main sectors the new unit will target.

“Infrastructure is very hot in the US. While there’s a lot of debate between the Democrats and Republicans, I think there will be an infrastructure bill which will result in significant investments by the government – as well as companies and banks,” Riordan says.

“This is one of the areas we want to be part of, so I’m assembling a team which will have experience in project and infrastructure finance… Renewable energies like wind, solar and biomass will be a big part of the support we provide, in addition to road, tunnel and bridges,” he adds.

Riordan makes the switch to Vantage from AXA XL – formerly XL Caitlin – where he had been serving as president for political risk, credit and bond insurance since 2016.

He previously worked in a number of different roles during a near two-decade stint at Zurich Insurance, including as CEO of global corporate insurance, president of specialty products and head of surety, credit and political risk insurance.

He held various posts during a 15-year spell at development finance agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, prior to this.

Riordan also served for two years as president of the global association for the export credit and investment insurance industry, the Berne Union.

Vantage’s new political risk and credit team will initially have around eight employees, and will be mainly based out of Washington, DC.

According to Riordan, the firm is currently looking to bring in experienced underwriters and expects to make new hires in the coming months.

However, he says the aim is to keep the new business relatively modest in terms of headcount: “What attracted me is the company will seek to have an impact through data and analytics, which is one reason we don’t need a huge team.”