Allied World: Everything you need to know
Owned by: Fairfax Financial Holdings
Total assets as of December 31, 2018: US$13.2 billion
Gross written premiums as of December 31, 2018: US$3.4 billion
Annual policies written: 90,000
Number of employees: 1,400
Number of offices worldwide: 21
Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd. is a global provider of insurance and reinsurance solutions. Headquartered in Switzerland, Allied World has been offering property, casualty, employment practices liability, and environmental liability insurance products and services to clients worldwide since the company’s founding in 2001. In 2017, Allied World was taken over by Canadian financial holdings company, Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. It now operates around the world as a Fairfax subsidiary.
The Allied World footprint
Allied World operates 26 global re/insurance divisions through 21 offices around the world. It has a strong presence in North America, Europe and in Asia-Pacific, with the majority of its office locations in the USA. The 18-year-old firm employs over 1,400 people worldwide, who together wrote nearly 90,000 policies in 2018 for over 52,000 commercial clients and cedents.
On the insurance product menu
The insurer has a lot of products and solutions on its menu, primarily focused around complex or specialty risks. The firm’s chief executive of global insurance, Lou Iglesias, explained in a video on the Allied World website: “At Allied World, we differentiate ourselves through our entrepreneurial spirit, through our people, and through our product knowledge. Our customers come to us for special needs that they can’t get elsewhere in the marketplace.”
Products offered vary slightly based on locations and jurisdictions around the world. It’s insurance solutions include: casualty, commercial motor, construction & engineering, crisis management, environmental liability, frameWRXSM, healthcare liability, management & financial lines, marine, personal lines, professional liability / indemnity, programs, property & energy, small business, surety, and workers’ compensation.
On the reinsurance product menu
Allied World provides global reinsurance solutions through Allied World Re. Through regional solutions in Asia-Pacific, Bermuda, Europe, Latin America and the US, and via its Lloyd’s Syndicate 2232, Allied World RE reinsures a wide range of clients operating around the world. The reinsurer offers solutions to cedents in casualty, financial lines, marine, professional liability, property, and specialty lines of business.
A break down of GWP
In 2018, Allied World reported approximately US$3.4 billion in gross premiums written (GPW). Of that GPW, Allied World broke its business down to the following:
- Casualty: 42%
- Property: 15%
- North America reinsurance: 13%
- Professional lines: 12%
- Programs: 10%
- International reinsurance: 6%
- Worldwide specialty reinsurance: 2%
The Fairfax acquisition
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. completed a US$4.9 billion acquisition of Allied World on July 06, 2017. At the time, this marked Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa’s largest ever purchase. The deal made Allied World a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairfax, but the re/insurer kept its executive and senior management teams. As Watsa announced when the deal was first made public: “Allied World will operate within the Fairfax group on a decentralised basis after closing, and we are looking forward to supporting Scott and the entire team at Allied World in growing their business over the long-term.”
As part of its Allied World takeover, Fairfax received a US$1 billion investment from OMERS, which indirectly acquired 21% of the outstanding shares of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings. Sharon Ludlow, head of insurance investments at OMERS, expressed her enthusiasm for the deal, saying: “OMERS’ investment in Allied World is consistent with our strategy to invest in high-quality companies, with strong fundamentals and a track record of value creation.”
A relationship-focused firm
Allied World claims to be built around a value-oriented and service-driven, customer-centric model. In 2018, the global insurance and reinsurance solutions provider appointed Faye Cook as its first ever head of client engagement and global accounts, with the aim of managing and streamlining client relationships around the world. Cook explained: “Strong client relationships are an important brand pillar for us at Allied World. The creation of my role was the company’s formal way of saying: ‘This is where we stand with clients. We want to build long-term holistic partnerships with them, and ensure that our lines of business around the world are communicating and coordinating in order to foster that relationship. We don’t just want to be seen as capital; we want to offer value and trust.”