Ryan Specialty Group (RSG) and Nationwide announced they have formed a new Bermuda reinsurance company, Geneva Re Ltd.

Columbus, Ohio-headquartered Nationwide will own 50 percent of the venture with RSG and RSG-related investors holding the remaining 50 percent.

Reinsurance industry veteran Michael D. O’Halleran will serve as executive chairman of Geneva Re. Ryan Re, an RSG-affiliated company led by CEO and President Brian M. Boornazian, will act as the exclusive underwriting manager for Geneva Re.

O’Halleran previously was executive chairman and founder of Aon Benfield and also was president and COO of Aon Corp. Boornazian has been in the reinsurance business since 1982, with prior experience at Gen Re, Guy Carpenter, Cologne Re, NAC Re, XL Re and, most recently, at Aspen Re.

Geneva Re will immediately have the financial strength to accept a diversified portfolio of reinsurance business from Ryan Specialty Group’s underwriting programs. It is anticipated that Geneva Re will be able to begin underwriting business July 1, 2019, subject to the approval of the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

In addition, Nationwide will appoint Ryan Re as its exclusive underwriting manager for third-party property and casualty treaty reinsurance business flowing through Geneva Re.

The strategic partnership will provide both companies an opportunity to grow in the specialty lines market while expanding upon an already strong relationship shared by RSG and Nationwide, said Chicago-based RSG in a statement.

“We are proud and excited to partner with Nationwide, a world-class financial institution whose financial ratings and performance are unquestionable,” said Patrick G. Ryan, founder, chairman and CEO of RSG.

“We also share a similar culture, which is critical to entering into a long-term relationship. RSG and its operating companies, RT Specialty and RSG Underwriting Managers, look forward to expanding the already successful relationship we have enjoyed with the Nationwide companies since our inception in 2010 and to further enhancing this partnership with Geneva Re and Ryan Re,” Ryan continued.

“It has been our goal since RSG’s formation to more fully align our interest with our clients. Through Geneva Re, we will be able to accomplish this objective,” he said.

“We look forward to furthering our relationship with Ryan Specialty Group, who is today one of our largest E&S/specialty distribution partners,” said Mark Berven, president and COO, Nationwide property and casualty. “This relationship will create new opportunities for both organizations to expand our reach and serve additional niche markets that are currently underserved.”

Commenting on the new venture, O’Halleran said, “I am thrilled to be part of the new partnership between RSG and Nationwide. Ryan Re and Geneva Re, with the support of our founding shareholders, will immediately have significant financial strength and be able to accept a diversified portfolio of reinsurance business.”

“I believe we are bringing an unprecedented proposition to the reinsurance market,” said Ryan Re’s Boornazian. “Combining the quality and balance sheet strength of Nationwide, the innovation and market presence of RSG, and the well respected and experienced underwriters will uniquely position Ryan Re to provide the security and underwriting insight to our brokers and clients desire.”

Source: Ryan Specialty Group, LLC

*This story appeared previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.

Topics Excess Surplus Underwriting Reinsurance