The recent launch of Berkshire Hathaway
Specialty Insurance, owned by US financial wizard Warren Buffett, could have a massive effect on the Australian commercial market.
The new boss of the Australian business, Chris Colahan
, has told Fairfax Media
that BHSI will be “playing in the large corporate segment,” of the Australian market which is dominated by major players IAG
"We're targeting across Australia and to start with, as of today, we're launching in property, casualty, financial lines and marine cargo insurance," Colahan continued.
"In the US we have other lines as well – healthcare, surety, home owners insurance and travel. We'll get into that if it makes sense to do so in the future."
Peter Eastwood, president of BHSI, said in a statement that the Australian market offers great strategic gains for the company.
"BHSI is committed to expanding into geographic markets and lines of business where we can provide financially strong, highly responsive underwriting solutions and market leading service,” Eastwood said.
“Our move into Australia reflects this strategy. Under Chris’ leadership, we’ve already built a stellar underwriting, claims, and functional team to serve the needs of the Australian market.”
The Buffet-backed business could offer competition to many major players in the Australian market and Colahan believes the company is here for long-term growth rather than short-term gains.
"The plan globally is to expand into markets where we think there's an opportunity to bring a new offering – we take a very long-term view on our strategy," Colahan said.
"We plan to build Berkshire here to be a significant player over the long term in Australia – we're not here for a short duration."