Canopius founder becomes InsurX chair

Former Council of Lloyd's member to support ambitious growth plans

Canopius founder becomes InsurX chair


By Terry Gangcuangco

London-based digital risk exchange InsurX has welcomed Canopius founder and former Council of Lloyd’s member Michael Watson (pictured) as non-executive chairman.

Watson, who will be succeeded by Andy Haste as Canopius chair in July, brings significant governance experience to his new role as InsurX advances its technology and widens the company’s workforce to meet growing client demand. As part of its growth plans, InsurX is also expanding into new business classes.

Commenting on his appointment, Watson said: “We have all known for about three decades that London must trade more efficiently, and I have seen lots of different digitalisation initiatives come and go. InsurX is finally delivering the market infrastructure we need to realise the promise of the digital revolution in general, and algorithmic trading specifically.

“I am delighted to support the venture, and I encourage all risk carriers and brokers to explore its offer. InsurX is the perfect solution for the market. It isn’t aligned to a specific insurer or broker and has no aspirations to become one, but it offers those companies an extremely flexible way to extend their distribution or find new capacity. It’s a winner.”

Meanwhile chief executive Gilbert Harrap highlighted the significance of Watson’s arrival, saying: “Our ability to attract a chairman of Michael’s stature illustrates not only the rising importance of algorithmic underwriting in the specialty insurance market but also the potential of InsurX within it.

“That potential is reflected in our growth: at latest count, we have 13 member insurers trading £100 million of capacity, and 20 global Lloyd’s brokers placing risk through our independent exchange.”

Harrap further outlined their ambitious plans for the year amid the growing volume of business traded over the InsurX Exchange.

“We intend – before the year is out – to add new classes of business to our existing functionality to trade contingency and property D&F (direct and facultative),” the CEO said. “Again, that’s ahead of schedule, in response to demand.

“We’ve had to recruit to develop those new capabilities, and to enhance our current offering, and develop our service and support functions as we mature. We’re driving the evolution of better, faster, cheaper risk trading in the specialty insurance market, and it’s happening fast.”

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