Brit : Everything you need to know

Brit: Everything you need to know

Headquarters address

The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4AB, United Kingdom

Year established

Size (employees) 700+
Gross written premiums US$834.1 million (2022)
Underwriting expertise Insurance (accident & health; contingency; cyber, privacy & technology; delegated authority; directors & officers; e-trading; energy; financial institutions; fine art and specie; general liability; healthcare liability; marine; political & credit risk; political violence/terrorism; private client; professional liability; programs; property; space; transportation); Reinsurance (Property & casualty)
Key people Martin Thompson (group CEO & executive chairman of Ki), Christiern Dart (chief underwriting officer), Gavin Wilkinson (group chief financial officer), Jesseman R. Pryor (co-founder Ambridge & executive chairman); Joy Ferneyhough (chief experience officer), Lorraine Denny (chief engagement officer), Mark Allan (CEO Ki and Brit group executive director), Matthew Wilson (executive advisory director), Shane Kingston (chief risk officer & chief actuary), Sheel Sawhney (group head of claims & operations)

About Brit
Lloyd’s syndicate Brit is a specialty insurer and reinsurer focused on underwriting complex risks for clients across the world. It operates through a combination of its international distribution network, and through its Lloyd’s global licences and broker partners. 

Brit’s business is primarily underwritten through its Lloyd’s Syndicates 2987 and 2988, which are underpinned by the insurance marketplace’s solid financial ratings: A (Excellent) from A.M. Best, AA- (Very Strong) from Fitch, and A+ (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s.

The firm has been a member of the Fairfax Group since being acquired in 2015. Its brands include Sussex Capital – the Bermuda-domiciled investment manager offering insurance-linked strategies (ILS) products to institutional investors, Versutus sidecar vehicle, and Lloyd's Syndicate 2988 – and Ki – the first fully digital Lloyd's of London insurer operating as Syndicate 1618.

Brit, Brit Global Specialty, and Ambridge, which specialises in transactional insurance products, are the other brands.

Brief history of Brit

  • 1995: Established as Benfield & Rea Investment Trust
  • 1996: Acquired Stewart Syndicates Limited
  • 1999: Bought Wren PLC
  • 2005: Raised £150 million capital through subordinated bond issue to consolidate other debt and increase underwriting capacity
  • 2006: Became lead investor of Norton Re, a Bermuda-based catastrophe retrocession underwriter
  • 2007: Successfully completed £50 million share buy-back
  • 2007: Launched Norton Re II, a larger investment vehicle
  • 2008: Invested £7 million in Xbridge, a leading insurtech platform
  • 2009: Brit Insurance Holdings N.V. became the group’s new holding company, which was incorporated in the Netherlands and listed in the UK
  • 2009: Established Brit Insurance Services USA in Chicago to underwrite on behalf of Lloyd’s Syndicate 2987
  • 2011: Achilles Netherlands Holdings B.V. completed cash purchase of Brit Insurance
  • 2012: Established the Brit Global Specialty underwriting franchise led by Matthew Wilson, CEO Brit Global Specialty
  • 2013: Acquired renewal rights and underwriting platform of Maiden Holdings’ E&S Property business
  • 2013: Opened distribution capability in Bermuda
  • 2014: Brit Plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange following an initial public offering
  • 2015: Acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings
  • 2016: Launched Syndicate 2988 backed by Lloyd’s
  • 2016: Renewed special purpose reinsurance vehicle Versutus
  • 2017: Launched Bermuda-domiciled reinsurance platform Sussex Capital
  • 2020: Launched Ki, the first algorithmically driven Lloyd's of London Syndicate

Leadership at Brit

Martin Thompson – Group chief executive officer

Thompson was appointed group of CEO of Brit in October 2022, succeeding Matthew Wilson who stepped down from the post. Thompson boasts a vast industry experience, holding key executive roles running commercial and specialty line across the UK, Canada, and Scandinavia.

Before joining Fairfax Group in September 2021 as an executive officer, Thompson was president and CEO of RSA Canada, where he spent more than two decades, including the start of his insurance career in 1997. He is also an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

Culture at Brit
Brit fosters a culture where employees can be their true selves. One of its projects, the People Forum, enables employees to contribute to a range of topics, including race, identity, sexual orientation, belonging, disability, and mental wellbeing. The company also supports diversity initiatives such as Pride.

The firm’s charitable efforts, meanwhile, reach the far corners of the world. These include supporting the education of young boys and girls attending the Soweto Academy in Kibera, one of Africa’s largest slums located in Nairobi, Kenya.

“For many people, Kibera is unknown or out of sight, so out of mind,” said Collette, one of Brit’s risk analysts. “Seeing that level of poverty for the first time was heartbreaking. Having the opportunity to make a small difference and meet such incredible strong, determined, and inspirational young women and children was life-changing.”

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