Chaucer advances new marine division with key hire

Industry veteran joins amid plans to overhaul marine insurance lines

Chaucer advances new marine division with key hire


By Roxanne Libatique

Global specialty (re)insurance group Chaucer has boosted its new marine specialty division by appointing Mike Smith, former director at Willis Towers Watson (WTW), as the division's new lead.

Smith has more than 35 years of experience working within the marine insurance industry, focusing on all aspects of marine cargo and freight liability insurance from broking and claims management perspectives. Most recently, he was responsible for servicing a portfolio of global cargo accounts at WTW.

Nicola Stacey, chief underwriting officer at Chaucer, commented that Smith's reputation for driving client service and leading a motivated team to achieve success makes him an asset to the firm.

“We're delighted to welcome Mike to Chaucer. His depth of expertise in marine insurance will be invaluable as the team undergoes changes to better position us for future growth,” Stacey added.

The appointment comes as Chaucer plans to reposition its marine insurance lines to support product development and technology-driven sector innovation, enhanced service, and future growth in targeted segments.

Beginning January 2022, the following changes will come into effect:

  • “Marine global,” to be led by Chaucer marine head Phil Graham, incorporates the London and international market lines of cargo, species, hull, war, and liability and the ports and terminals portfolios.
  • “Marine specialty,” to be led by Smith, will include marine PI and transport logistics; the Freight Forwarder business in London and Lonham; and Chaucer's specialty cargo, freight, and logistics liability insurer based in Ipswich, where Smith will be working closely with Mike Ayres and the underwriting team. 

In addition to the changes planned for 2022, Chaucer rebranded early this year to support its growth agenda and accurately and effectively show the strength of the business. Its new brand identity also aims to reflect the company's brand proposition of leading specialists in underwriting risks, empowered by a collegiate management style.

“Our new brand provides us with an opportunity to reinforce the qualities that distinguish us and shine a light on the quality of our people and our business,” Chaucer CEO John Fowle said in a statement in April.

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