International specialty reinsurance MGA Rokstone has announced the launch of a specialist agriculture division for the US market, part of the company’s continued expansion in North America.
The new division, Rokstone Agriculture Risk Underwriters, will be led by underwriting specialist Eric Conklin (pictured above). Conklin has more than 20 years of experience underwriting livestock and equine business. Prior to joining Rokstone, he served as head of equine and livestock Americas for AXA XL.
“We are delighted Eric is joining us,” said Tony Lawrence, chief digital distribution officer at Rokstone. “We are an entrepreneurial, people-led business, and the launch of this exciting new agriculture division is part of our strategy to expand in North America and diversify our specialty product range. Our specialist knowledge, use of technology and approach to underwriting means we can provide broader, more relevant cover that’s quicker to secure than anywhere else.”
“I am really excited to be joining Rokstone – its entrepreneurial DNA and its focus on creating long-term value are inspiring,” Conklin said. “We’re launching this new division at such a pivotal moment in US agriculture underwriting. It is an area that has suffered from lack of innovation, and the hard market has been punishing. We plan to kick off and disrupt the underwriting approach with one of the US market’s first online quote-and-buy facilities. Rokstone has had outstanding success with this approach in the UK, where its agricultural team, iFarm Underwriting, is now the fastest-growing agricultural MGA in the UK. We plan to leverage that expertise and technical capability here in the US, and will be supported by A-rated capacity partners.”
Rokstone is one of the world’s largest MGAs, with offices in the US, UK, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It currently underwrites $500 million in gross written premium in several specialty lines, including marine, terrorism and political violence, direct and facultative property, treaty property, construction and engineering, liability, and agriculture.
“Rokstone is an entrepreneurial, people-acquisitive business, and the launch of this exciting new line signifies the latest move in our group-wide strategy for considered growth,” Lawrence said. “We now have more than 150 staff group-wide, and our recruitment strategy has shown no sign of slowing down during the global pandemic. Rokstone has a great heritage with some of the market’s strongest underwriters in its specialty lines, and I’m delighted that as a group we continue to appeal to the best talent globally from across the market.”