Beazley execs cash in as shares rise

Five executives at firm have offloaded more than 1.2 million shares in the business

Beazley execs cash in as shares rise

Insurance News

By Paolo Taruc

Almost £4.9m-worth of Beazley shares were cashed in by its board members, following a recent surge in the LSE-listed insurer’s stock price.

Five executives at the firm sold share options, offloading more than 1.2m shares in the business in total, a report from This is Money claims.

Beazley CEO Andrew Horton sold 352,527 shares at an average price of 424.336p, totalling almost £1.5million. Chief underwriting officer Neil Maidment and head of marine Clive Washbourn, each sold 236,928 shares.

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Some of the shares were part of a deferred share award scheme while the rest were part of the company's long-term incentive plan, according to the report.

Shares have posted a strong performance so far this month – Beazley saw its highest-ever close on February 07, at 437.10p. This follows its announcement of strengthening its US underwriting team for small to mid-sized businesses, expanding its specialty lines presence in Canada, and hiring more staff in Ireland.

The company reported a 3% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to $293.2m for 2016, from the previous year’s $284m. This beat analyst estimates of $243m.

Beazley said there are significant opportunities to grow in the US and, on a smaller scale, in other markets outside London. As of February 16, its stock was up some 8.6% since the year began.

“Beazley’s performance in 2016 was good across the board,” said Horton. “Our increased profits were driven by a higher investment return, but the bedrock of our success remains our underwriting performance, which generated a combined ratio of 89% in 2016 despite highly competitive conditions in many of our markets.”

“Overall premium growth doubled to 6% and we were able to develop a number of growth opportunities, particularly in the US, that enabled us to offset areas where market conditions dictated that we cut back,” he added.

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Beazley acquires specialist MGA, expands international presence

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