Everything you need to know about Pen Underwriting
Pen Underwriting is a specialist insurance underwriting agency under Arthur J Gallagher & Co. that deals in a wide range of business lines, including general and leisure liability, professional risks, contingency, and property insurance. It was formed from the 2014 merger of two managing general agents under AJG – Australis Group Underwriting and SRS Underwriting Agency.
The merged entity was rebranded under the name Pen Underwriting, reflecting Gallagher’s similar move in the UK, where it applied the Pen brand as the collective identity for its UK managing general agencies. In Australia, Pen is headquartered in Sydney, and has branches in Brisbane and Melbourne.
After the merger, SRS founding director Paul Lynam became CEO. In 2015, Lynam left Pen and Peter Searson, chairman of AJG Asia-Pacific, led the firm on an interim basis. A few months later, Gary Marshall took the helm of the company until his retirement at the end of 2017. He was succeeded by Ken Keenan.
According to Pen Underwriting, its main philosophy is to draw upon its collective knowledge and experience to anticipate the needs of its brokers and their clients. It seeks to create innovative products and risk solutions across a broad range of insurance classes.
Pen works with the Lloyd’s of London and Australian markets to provide brokers and clients with 100% placement, lead, or co-insurance capacity.
Pen Underwriting in the news
2014: Two Australian MGAs merge to form Pen Underwriting
2015: Pen to target electronic distribution, says CEO
2015: Pen Underwriting CEO steps down
2016: Pen wins three “Brokers on Underwriting Agencies” awards
2016: Ex-Pen employees form About Underwriting
2016: Berkley sells motor and fleet book to Pen Underwriting
2017: Pen Underwriting reveals new CEO
2018: Pen Underwriting attends AJG fundraising event
2019: Pen Underwriting restructures its liability teams
Need to know
Parent company: Arthur J Gallagher & Co.
Type of underwriting agency: Specialist
Service areas: Accident and Health, Aged and Community Care, Construction Contingency, General Liability, Hospitality And Leisure, Professional Risks, Property, Transport
Offices: Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane
Key people as of 2019
Ken Keenan – CEO
Keenan became CEO of Pen Underwriting in 2018 after the retirement of Gary Marshall. He was previously general manager branch operations for AJG, and, before that, he was CEO of the Canadian broking division of AJG. He has also worked for global insurance heavyweights RSA and Zurich.
Frank van Rooy – National underwriting manager (liability classes)
Van Rooy is an insurance professional with over 35 years of experience. He established Aged Care Insurance Services in 2002, which was acquired in 2007 by Australis Group Underwriting, one of the component firms of Pen Underwriting.
Richard Hardy – National underwriting manager (property and specialty)
Hardy joined Pen in 2014 from ACE Group, where he was property manager for New South Wales and later NSW manager. He is a senior associate of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)
Pen encourages its employees to volunteer for charitable causes in their communities, with 7.5 hours of paid leave each year dedicated to giving back. In August 2018, several employees spent a day working with Foodbank, Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation. The team members helped sort and pack over 1,000 kilograms of produce.
It also holds an annual charity golf day, with the 2017 edition benefiting The Bear Cottage children’s hospice.
The firm frequently attends Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) Expos nationwide, with its underwriters present to meet and chat with brokers and clients.