Markel reveals thought-process behind Brexit choice

Its decision has been made and now the specialist insurer reveals why

Markel reveals thought-process behind Brexit choice

Insurance News

By Lucy Hook

Last week, London-based insurer Markel revealed its plans to set up an insurance company in Munich, Germany, ahead of the impending Brexit.

Following discussions with BaFin, the German federal financial supervisory authority, Markel plans to apply for regulatory approval for the hub – which it says will ensure it can meet client needs regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Now, the firm has revealed more on the plans and why it chose Germany in an interview with Insurance Business.

“We’ve had a business there [in Germany] since 2012, so we’ve got established assets on the ground, we’ve got management on the ground and experience – and obviously that is both appealing to us and indeed to any relevant regulators,” a Markel spokesman said yesterday.

As well as having an existing base, from which the insurer’s national markets are run, the country’s reputation as a major economy in Europe, and a “serious, grown up, established place to do business,” was also appealing for the insurer.

The move will provide passporting access after Brexit, giving Markel’s syndicate business “a route into Europe,” though its national markets business “is absolutely written on the insurance company and not on the syndicate.”

While concrete plans for the hub are still to be hashed out, Markel is clear that establishing the base will be more than just a formality.

“It’s going to be a real business and an important business for us. Europe as a whole is important for our national markets business, and we think a German base for that will be a strong place to be,” the spokesperson added.

In a statement last week, Markel International’s President, William Stovin, called the move an “important, strategic development for us.”

“While we’ll continue to write international business through our Lloyd’s syndicate, we also want to build on the strong foundations of our national market businesses in Europe. Establishing a carrier in Germany would enable us to do this and give us flexibility to pursue other opportunities in continental Europe.”

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