Specialist motor insurer ERS is making changes at the top, unveiling today the proposed appointment of Amanda Blanc (pictured) to the roles of non-executive director and chair-designate of ERSSML (the managing agent of Syndicate 218 at Lloyd’s), as well as non-executive director of its holding company ERS DGB Ltd.
Blanc, who will shortly be taking a new role at Aviva, would be taking over from Patrick O’Sullivan as chairman of ERSSML and her appointment would take effect on Jan. 02, 2020, subject to regulatory approval. She brings more than 30 years of experience from across insurance markets and has held executive positions at names like Towergate Partnership, Groupama, Commercial Union, and Ernst & Young.
Prior to this new role, Blanc served as a member of the executive committee and CEO for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Zurich Insurance Group, where she was
responsible for global banking partnerships. Prior to Zurich, Blanc was Group CEO at AXA UK and was also a chair of the board of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and a past president of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
“ERS has built a market-leading reputation in underwriting specialist motor insurance in the UK, and its hundreds of thousands of policyholders benefit from the strength of the Lloyd’s A+ rating,” said Blanc in a statement. “This position, coupled with ERS’s operational expertise and technology platform, provides a great foundation for the company to grow. I am delighted to join such an ambitious team with a clear passion for the business and look forward to working with the board and my new ERS colleagues.”
Meanwhile, Jeff Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Aquiline Capital Partners (a private equity firm that has a majority stake in ERS), and chairman of ERS DGB, stated, “The board and I would like to thank Patrick O’Sullivan for his significant contributions over the last six years as chairman of ERSSML, as he played a critical role in getting the business to where it is today. Amanda, with her deep industry knowledge and strong track record, will help the company continue its success as it further expands and strengthens its position in the market.”
In the first half of 2019, ERS posted a £3.1 million profit. Gross written premium in the period improved from last year’s £167 million to the latest result worth £182 million. However, combined operating ratio (COR) – a measure of underwriting profitability – stood at 102.8%, a worse showing compared to the 96.6% figure recorded in 2018. ERS said the hit was a reflection of the personal injury discount rate adjustment to -0.25%.
Moving forward, the insurer plans to continue investing in technology and establishing its position in the marketplace, now with the help of Blanc.
“I am excited Amanda has agreed to join our team as we look to grow the business organically and through acquisitions,” said Ian Parker, CEO of ERS. “Her appointment underscores the significant opportunities that lie ahead and reflect the important investments we have made in our talented employees, infrastructure, and technology. Our platform is profitable and growing, and with Amanda’s appointment, we will continue our positive momentum.”