Attracting talented people is one of the key factors behind Liberty Specialty Markets’ growing success in the international credit and political risk markets.
Talk to any insurer about the secret behind their success and you’ll hear the same mantra over and over again: people, people and people. No insurer can function without the skilled and technically-adept underwriters who perform the delicate task of assessing risk and assembling the complex insurance contracts that form the backbone of the insurer-broker-client relationship. This is just as true of the credit and political risk classes of insurance – although these underwriters will tell you that theirs is one of the most challenging lines of insurance in the global marketplace.
Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) is a growing force in these lines of business and its people are a major part of that story. The insurer’s reputation is attracting some of the most respected talent from around the world. Alexandra Paton joined in April to become LSM’s Head of Continental Europe for Global Financial Risks. An established name in the market, she points to the power of that reputation in attracting insurance professionals as well as the quality of the service offered by LSM’s Credit and Political Risk operation.
“Liberty has a strong reputation,” she says, “but I was also drawn by the quality of the team and the underwriting platform the business has developed. I was also very impressed by the underwriting philosophy. Liberty has managed to underwrite differently from the rest of the market with a lower loss ratio and greater diversification of product. It strives to offer a unique perspective.”
Edie Quintrell, Director of Underwriting Development, joined in February 2016 and is based in Washington DC. She, too, cites Liberty’s reputation – but also that of Global Financial Risks head Peter Sprent. “Peter has put together an outstanding team with many years of experience in the trade credit and political risk market.” She also points to Liberty’s financial strength and its balance sheet.
We’ve come a long way in the last five years, and now we’re seeing the benefits of that commitment.
Peter Sprent, Liberty Specialty Markets
Sam Wilde, a senior underwriter based in London, joined the business in May. With considerable experience of working across the City of London and the banking sector, he felt that Liberty stood out from its competitors as an insurer that truly understands the world of commodity finance. “Just like my former banking team,” he observes, “Liberty’s people embody high standards, so it was an obvious choice for me.”
At a time when global financial markets are subject to a level of disruption and pressure that renders them increasingly unpredictable, it is the quality and diversity of Liberty’s team of underwriters and analysts that will help steer clients towards robust solutions for their business needs. This diversity of thought and experience means that Liberty’s team is able to bring unique insights and perspectives to the table
Edie Quintrell has an impressive CV including a senior role with the risk insurance arm of the World Bank. Armed with her detailed understanding of the impact of public agencies in the trade credit and political risk arena, she has focused on these organisations and worked to develop stronger relationships with them. Liberty’s move to join the Berne Union last year provides a platform for the business to build links with the union’s 83 members, many of whom are public agencies, and to work on industry issues.
Alexandra Paton’s background in both trade credit and political risk, including founding the managing general agent Equinox Global, allows her to understand ways in which the two classes of insurance are converging. She plans to use her experience to develop new markets and to diversify Liberty’s product offering in areas such as supply chain finance for banks and multi-buyer programmes for corporates on an excess-of-loss basis.
Peter Sprent, LSM’s Head of Global Financial Risks, is pleased with the way in which the business is positioned today. “We’ve come a long way in the last five years, and now we’re seeing the benefits of that commitment. People like Alexandra, Edie and Sam are joining us, which is creating a stronger, more diverse team strategically positioned around the globe to work closely with our clients and our broker partners.”
But the journey is not over yet, according to Peter: “We’re still growing, but now, with our expanding team, we’re able to look at a broader range of deals, which is extending the depth of our client relationships. It’s a powerful recipe for success, but equally it ensures we help our clients prosper.”
For Liberty, a business whose hallmarks are continuity and stability, the combination of talented people backed by a secure yet innovative business is clearly a winning one.