Hannover Re is selling its 49.8% stake in the joint venture HDI Global Specialty SE to the majority shareholder HDI Global SE, effective Dec. 31, 2021.

HDI Global SE will then hold 100% of the shares. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Hannover Re said this agreement underscores its strategic positioning as a pure reinsurer. In addition, the transaction frees up previously committed risk capital that will be available for future growth in the company’s core business.

Through this acquisition HDI Global said it is further expanding its specialty insurance business and at the same time reducing complexity in this strategic growth segment. Since the launch of the joint venture in 2019, the premium volume booked by HDI Global Specialty has grown from more than €1 billion in 2018 to €2.5 billion currently, the company said in a statement.

“The reinsurance market continues to see improved prices and conditions. By selling our stake we are freeing up capital for profitable growth in our core business,” said Jean-Jacques Henchoz, chief executive officer of Hannover Re. “Under our cooperation agreement we shall continue to support HDI Global Specialty with our expertise as a long-term reinsurance partner.”

Edgar Puls, a member of the Board of Management of the Talanx Group and chief executive officer of HDI Global SE, said HDI’s consolidated ownership will allow it to act quicker on opportunities and also be flexible on M&A as well as other strategy decisions.

Following the takeover of the shares, Ralph Beutter, CEO of HDI Global Specialty, will also be appointed as a board member of HDI Global SE. Claire McDonald, currently managing director of the branches in the United Kingdom & Ireland, also will be appointed as a new board member. Their appointments begin on Jan. 1, 2022.

Starting on that date, McDonald will be chief underwriting officer for the property, engineering and marine portfolios and HDI Risk Consulting. As CEO of HDI Global Specialty SE, Beutter will be responsible for specialty on the Board of Management of HDI Global SE.

At the same time, David Hullin, who has been on the Board of Management handling the property classes, will take over the management of the company’s international markets together with Jens Wohlthat. Mukadder Erdönmez will take over responsibility for the motor fleet business in addition to third-party liability and cyber insurance.

McDonald is currently the successful managing director of HDI Global SE’s UK and Ireland branches, steering the branch through Brexit and successfully implementing the reorganization and restructuring of the local portfolio. Previously, she was with the Allianz Group for more than 30 years in a variety of underwriting and operations roles most recently as global head of Operations at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE.

Beutter has many years’ experience of industrial insurance and the reinsurance business. He has worked as an underwriter at the Talanx Group since 1987, holding a number of management positions at Hannover Re since 1994. He was named CEO of Inter Hannover (International Insuance Co. of Hannover SE) in 2015 and has been CEO of HDI Global Specialty SE since 2019. HDI Global Specialty was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Hannover Re and HDI Global SE.

Yves Betz, who is currently responsible for Europe (without Germany), Americas and Global Marketing, is leaving the company for personal reasons to take up a new professional challenge.

Further announcements are pending regarding the leadership of HDI Global UK and Ireland. In the meantime HDI Global UK & I remains under the leadership of McDonald.

The new appointments to board of management positions are subject to approval by BaFin, the German supervisory authority.

Formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Hannover Re and HDI Global SE, DI Global Specialty SE writes agency and specialty insurance business including financial & professional lines, D&O, legal expenses, sport and entertainment, aviation, offshore energy and animal insurance.

Hannover Re, with gross premium of more than €24 billion, is the third-largest reinsurer in the world.

Source: HDI and Hannover Re

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.