Berkshire Hathaway gains Australian insurance licence
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) has received its insurance licence to provide all lines of general business in Australia.
The company, an offshoot of US investment giant Berkshire Hathaway, was notified of the licence approval yesterday by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
BHSI has based its operations in Sydney and has named Chris Colahan as President of its Australasia region.
It has already established operations in the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada, with underwriting and service teams in each market. It is also pursuing an insurance licence in New Zealand.
“BHSI is committed to expanding into geographic markets and lines of business where we can provide financially strong, highly responsive underwriting solutions and market-leading service,” BHSI President Peter Eastwood said in Boston today.
“Our move into Australia reflects this strategy. Under Chris’ leadership, we’ve already built a stellar underwriting, claims, and functional team to serve the needs of the Australian market.
“Beginning immediately, BHSI will be providing property, casualty, financial lines and marine cargo insurance in Australia.”
Mr Colohan, an Australian, was most recently CEO Asia for British insurer RSA. As previously reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, his leadership team includes CFO and COO Australasia Frank Costigan; Head of Executive and Professional Lines Australasia Cameron McLisky; and Head of Human Resources Australasia Anne O’Keefe.
Australian department heads are Susan Donaldson (claims); Andrew Spurr (casualty); and Craig Taylor (property).
Managers are Matthew Clarke (professional indemnity lines); Daniel Cole (mining, energy and power); Mark Dixon (marine insurance); and Ryan Thomas (D&O liability insurance).
BHSI underwrites on the paper of Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity group of insurance companies, which hold financial strength ratings of A++ from AM Best and AA+ from Standard & Poor’s.
More information in our regular edition on Monday. Insurance News (the magazine) will also publish an exclusive profile on the company in its June edition.