North P&I Club is ready to set sail even if passporting rights are lost after the UK’s departure from the European Union.
In today’s announcement, the marine insurer confirmed that its Irish subsidiary has been granted authorisation as a non-life insurance business. The green light from the Central Bank of Ireland will enable the Club to continue its European operations via North of England P&I DAC.
“From February 20, 2019, members and policyholders with an EEA (European Economic Area) place of management will be insured by North of England P&I DAC and all documentation for EEA insurance business (including certificates of entry and blue cards) will be issued and administered by that company,” said North.
Meanwhile those with a non-EEA place of management will continue to be insured by the Club and its subsidiary Sunderland Marine.
North’s former group financial controller David Bruce has been tapped to serve as chief executive of the Brexit unit in Dublin. He is joined by underwriting head Richard Bracken and risk & compliance officer Geoff Potter. Bracken previously held the role of group director of underwriting for the European Area while Potter was North’s head of group compliance.
All three have moved from North’s UK headquarters in Newcastle. By around mid-year a total of eight people will be based in the Dublin office, with recruitment for support roles already underway.
The Irish subsidiary’s board has also been established. North chairman Pratap Shirke will take on the same position at North of England P&I DAC while Bruce and North CEO Paul Jennings will act as executive directors.
Also joining the board are Caitríona Somers and Rachel Panagiodis as local independent non-executive directors, as well as existing group directors Peter Johnson and Alexander Lynch as non-executive directors.
“North has opened and staffed this new office in Dublin to ensure that North’s members, particularly those whose ships have their place of management within the EEA, can continue to trade with confidence after Brexit on March 29 with no change to the excellent service levels currently delivered by our teams across the Club,” said Jennings.
“As the first UK-based P&I Club to confirm its post-Brexit trading arrangements, I am confident that this new subsidiary will continue to build upon our long tradition of delivering excellent service to our members around the world.”
Jennings, who described the establishment of the subsidiary as a significant development in the Club’s history, added: “I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of Chris Owen (group general counsel), Michael Easom (project manager), and the rest of our team in delivering a successful outcome.”