Reinsurance firms cluster on Brickell
By Scott Blake
Brickell Avenue is becoming a mini-Mecca for reinsurance firms.
The latest to add its name to that list is Allied World Reinsurance, which opened an office this past week at the tower at 800 Brickell Ave.
The company said it opened the office "with the intention of expanding our presence" in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Miami office will be "a hub from which to write treaty reinsurance business throughout Latin America, South America and the Caribbean," the company added.
Allied's initial staff on Brickell will include three underwriters, a catastrophe modeler and an administrative assistant.
Several reinsurance firms have moved to Brickell Avenue in recent months.
They include Swiss Re America Holding Corp., part of the Switzerland-based reinsurance giant of the same name; London-based Royal & Sun Alliance; New York-based JLT Re; and Willis Group Holdings, part of the major New York-based reinsurance brokerage firm.
Reinsurance is insurance that is purchased by an insurance company from another insurance company as a means of risk management.
The treaty reinsurance that Allied is handling out of its new Miami office is a method of reinsurance in which the insurer and the reinsurer formulate and execute a reinsurance contract. The reinsurer then covers all the insurance policies coming within the scope of that contract.
With Brickell Avenue's excess of Class A office space, Allied and other reinsurers have been drawn to Brickell to focus on growing their Latin American businesses, using Miami as a headquarters and launching pad. Partly due to double-digit office vacancy rates, tenants have found favorable and relatively affordable lease terms on Brickell. Allied did not disclose the terms of its lease.
"Having a presence in Miami gives us closer proximity to our clients and brokers in a part of the globe that we've targeted for expansion," Allied said in a statement in response to questions from Miami Today.
"The cost of doing business in Miami is reasonable and the technology/infrastructure is excellent," Allied added. "The logistics of traveling to the [Latin America] region are ideal, as Miami is also an airline transportation hub for the region. Finally, in terms of staff, a high percentage of employees in the area speak both English and Spanish."
The company said its presence in Miami should not have an impact in the South Florida insurance market.
Like some other reinsurance firms on Brickell, the focus of Allied's new office "is to provide world-class reinsurance products to carriers operating in the Caribbean and Central and South America," the company said. "So there is no effect on Florida's insurance companies or their consumers."
In addition to opening the Brickell office, Allied has appointed William Turkel senior vice president and general manager for its Latin America and Caribbean business. He will report directly to Kevin Marine, executive vice president of Allied's International and Global Specialty business lines.
A 17-year insurance veteran, Mr. Turkel previously was senior vice president at Platinum Underwriters Bermuda. At Platinum, he was responsible for reinsurance business in Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and Asia, Allied said.
"We are very excited that Will [Turkel] has joined Allied World Re's growing team," Mr. Marine said in a statement. "I have personally known Will for 15 years and I am confident that, with his experience and extensive contacts in Latin American and the Caribbean, he will provide invaluable leadership to our reinsurance team in Miami."
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