Royal Accolade for CFC Underwriting

Royal Accolade for CFC UnderwritingCFC is proud to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation that CFC should receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category.

Winners in this category are recognised for having demonstrated a substantial and sustained increase in export earnings over three consecutive 12-month periods, to a level which is outstanding for the products and services concerned, and for the size of the organisation.

With a track record of pioneering emerging risks and disrupting inefficient insurance markets, CFC has grown to become one of the fastest growing specialist insurance providers in the UK. From just one office in the City of London, the business provides its range of insurance products exclusively through authorised insurance brokers in over 75 countries around the world.

CFC was previously awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade in 2013.

“Speaking on behalf of the entire team, we are incredibly honoured to once again be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for our contribution to UK business in achieving substantial growth in overseas earnings,” says David Walsh, CFC’s founder and CEO. “We are an insurance exporter in the truest sense of the word. We don’t set up local operations or buy up the competition, we export. Last year we brought in over £150m in premiums to the UK from overseas customers who would normally have purchased their insurance locally.”

“At CFC, we are very proud that today 60% of our business is owned by management and staff. Our success lies in their passion, entrepreneurialism, dedication and sheer hard work to deliver remarkable products and service. This award recognises their efforts. I couldn’t be more proud of them and firmly believe that by continuing to support these qualities in our team, we will achieve our business goals.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have been operating in various forms since 1966, developing over the years into the UK’s most prestigious business accolade. Today, the Awards are widely recognised as a highly valued mark of excellence across many sectors in a diverse and competitive business market.

CFC launches revamped proposition for tech companies

CFC launches revamped proposition for tech companiesToday we’re happy to announce the launch of our revamped insurance proposition for technology companies worldwide.

In what represents a significant upgrade to our existing proposition, the new look product adds a number of valuable cover elements to protect technology companies against the emerging risks that they face in the running of their businesses.

This includes clear, unambiguous cover for breach of a client contract, which is available up to the full policy limit. Furthermore, the new policy reflects modern contracting practices within the technology industry by including an updated waiver of subrogation condition and a clear allocation of any future recoveries.

The new product also provides policyholders with CFC’s award-winning cyber cover including comprehensive cyber crime and access to its internal cyber incident response team with a nil deductible.

CFC’s Head of Emerging Risk, Matthew Taylor, says: “Our revamped product delivers next generation cover for next generation companies. The risks faced by tech businesses are changing as rapidly as technology itself and insurance policies have to evolve to reflect this. Having consulted with our broker partners and their clients, we’ve introduced some major enhancements to our existing product and we’re confident that CFC offers technology companies a well-rounded policy that truly meets their needs.”

Our product for technology companies also includes affirmative cover for bodily injury and property damage, cover for claims alleging an infringement of intellectual property rights, and because claims alleging negligent or unsatisfactory work are usually accompanied by a demand for a refund, the policy does not include a refund of fees exclusion like many others on the market.

Half of UK SMEs claim their broker fails to discuss cyber

Image of contract being signed by two peopleOur new research revealed that over a half of UK based SMEs (50.8%) say that their insurance broker has not raised the issue of cyber insurance with them.

Graeme Newman, Chief Innovation Officer at CFC, said: “This figure is quite shocking particularly when you put some context around it. 90% of our cyber claims come from businesses with less than £50 million in revenue and we get more than one claim every single day. This shows just how vulnerable SMEs are to cyber attacks. I think it sadly demonstrates that cyber insurance is still well outside the comfort zone of many brokers who are providing their clients with a wide range of commercial covers. However, the research shows that there is also a gulf in awareness amongst SMEs themselves as to the very real threat that cyber crime poses.”

Despite the fact that cyber offences now account for over half of all crime in the country, when SMEs were asked what poses the biggest threat to their business, cyber crime failed to top the list and a fifth claimed that they had never even assessed their business exposure to cyber risk. More than half (56%) do not have an incident response plan in place outlining roles and responsibilities in the event of a cyber attack.

Newman concluded: “The insurance industry should be doing more to raise awareness amongst SMEs that this is just as significant a risk as others that a business faces. In order to do that, we need to drop the hype and confusing rhetoric and provide our clients with clear facts and a crisp explanation of what cyber risk is actually about. With major changes to UK data protection legislation on the horizon, it is more important than ever that brokers put this on the agenda to ensure that their clients have the right cover in place to protect their business.”

CFC team acquires business with support of Vitruvian

CFC's management team acquires business with support of VitruvianCFC, the largest independent Managing General Agent (MGA) in the UK, today announced that its Founder and Chief Executive David Walsh and the rest of the management team have agreed to acquire the business with support of leading international growth capital investor, Vitruvian Partners.

The investment from Vitruvian will enable CFC to invest further in building its unique portfolio of emerging and specialty risk products, expand its global distribution base, and develop its industry-leading technology platform, in order to build on the Company’s premier position in the specialty insurance market.

The transaction is expected to close in the summer of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.

David Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of CFC, commented: “This is an incredible deal for our staff, carriers, brokers and customers – because it shows that we want to take this business to the next level and build the world’s pre-eminent MGA. We have always been committed to independence and wider employee share ownership and this deal is designed to deliver those two goals.

I would like to thank our existing investors, including Richard Corfield, ex-chairman of RK Harrison, Mike Rees, co-founder of Benfield and Hugh Willis, co-founder of BlueBay Asset Management who have been hugely supportive of CFC during the last five years. We are now extremely excited to welcome Vitruvian as we embark on a new chapter for CFC. We continue to believe that our combination of great people, processes and technology puts us in the best possible position to capitalise on the opportunities we see ahead.”

Joseph O’Mara, a Partner at Vitruvian, added: “Vitruvian is delighted to back David and his team at CFC, at a time of rapid growth for the company and the markets which it serves. The management team have done an extraordinary job in building CFC to be the leading independent UK MGA, and we believe that through continued focus on industry-leading products, customer service, and innovation, CFC is poised for continued success.

Our partnership with management will allow the company to build on recent success. We are delighted to partner with David and the broader management team and look forward to supporting them during the next phase of the Company’s growth.”

About CFC
Headquartered in London, CFC incorporates two trading entities: CFC Underwriting and Modus. Together these businesses are backed by 34 Lloyd’s syndicates and have a global distribution network of over 1,900 broker offices and more than 206,000 customers. Over the last three years, CFC’s gross premium income grew at a compound annual rate of more than 40% to over $200M in 2016.

In 2016, CFC won six awards, including MGA of the Year and Best User of Technology from the Insurance Times Awards 2016, MGA of the Year from the Insurance Insider Honours and Cyber Risk Insurance Provider of the Year at the Commercial Insurance Awards.

The company were advised by Evercore, Norton Rose Fulbright, Deloitte and PwC. The management team was further advised by Wyvern Partners, Macfarlanes and Deloitte.

About Vitruvian Partners
Vitruvian is an independent private equity firm which specialises in growth middle-market investments. Vitruvian focuses on dynamic situations characterised by rapid growth and change across industries spanning information technology, financial services, life sciences & healthcare, media, and business and consumer services. Vitruvian is currently investing the Vitruvian Investment Partnership II, which closed in December 2013 at its self-imposed cap of £1 billion. The firm’s previous investments in the financial services sector include Callcredit, RL 360 and Ebury Partners.

Vitruvian was advised by KPMG (Corporate Finance and Financial Diligence), Kirkland & Ellis, Marlborough Partners, Oliver Wyman, Bearing Point, Marsh and Clyde & Co.

Expert views at the fourth annual Cyber Symposium

Expert views at the fourth annual Cyber SymposiumThe 2016 Cyber Symposium held at a new location on the edge of the City was our most successful one yet.

Over 150 of our partners and peers in the London market came together to hear the views on the cyber insurance market from two distinguished industry speakers – Lloyd’s Chief Executive Officer Inga Beale and Pool Re Chief Executive, Julian Enoizi. We were also delighted to welcome Ciaran Martin – Chief Executive of the newly created National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ – on to the panel to provide us with insight into the new organisation.

Inga concentrated on the ongoing debate as to whether the (re)insurance industry should be handing over cyber catastrophe risks to the state. While she acknowledged that the industry would not be able to cope with “mega risks”, she was crystal clear in her view that it can handle the vast majority of smaller ones. Work being done at Lloyd’s right now suggests that cyber exposures at syndicates are currently no bigger than some of the other risks the market takes on.

She also dismissed the idea of compulsory cyber insurance for businesses, saying it was a “blunt instrument”. In her view it would be far better to make companies disclose the robustness of their cyber security – and if they decide they need cyber insurance, then so much the better.

Highlighting the ”gulf” in existing insurance coverage around property damage arising from cyber risks, Julian pointed to several cyber attacks that resulted in physical damage to infrastructure. He confirmed that Pool Re is exploring expanding its terrorism remit to include property damage as a result of cyber terrorism – and in his view this would happen in 2017.

He reassured guests that Pool Re was supporting rather than trying to supplant the private market and that he believed that public-private partnership represented the way forward when it comes to systemic cyber exposure. His proposed model would take catastrophic risk away from the private market which would then encourage (re)insurers to put shareholder capital at risk knowing that they wouldn’t have to worry about systemic catastrophic risk.

In talking about the objectives of the new National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin said that there was a real need to “demystify” cyber security saying that a lot of it is pretty basic. In his view, there hasn’t been enough done to educate people about the risks of today’s tech-driven environment and that this is essential to improving the wider cyber infrastructure.

He also felt that government, media and industry each had a role to play by stopping the characterisation of cyber attacks as clever or sophisticated – the vast majority simply aren’t.

Ciaran believes that the cyber environment needs to mature to provide more evidence and data to help develop government policy as well as help our industry. He endorsed the point that no-one wants to nationalise risk, saying that the government and GCHQ have both been “adamant” on this in the past. Rather, he sees the need to encourage calm, rational dialogue between all parties so that eventually cyber risk is perceived as “normal” rather than catastrophic.

We’ll be sharing videos of each of our panelist’s presentations over the next few days and in the meantime, we’re already planning how we can top this year’s event in 2017!

Video: CFC Broker Academy

Broker Academy_v2A little over a month ago, CFC hosted 13 of our top performing brokers for our Broker Academy, a week of product sessions and workshops. Our aim was to not only enable these brokers to experience the London Market and learn more about our approach to insurance, but also to let them share in our unique culture and meet the teams who make CFC market-leading.

With sessions covering everything from emerging risk insurance to niche market products and specialty lines, brokers got a taste of the wide range of expertise CFC offers, and the unique insurance solutions we create. Brokers were also able to get a behind-the-scenes look at our processes and in-house technology solutions which enable us to provide partners with reliable, efficient and fast service, from quoting to binding and all the way through to claims handling.

Of course, entertainment and fun played a large part as well – this is London after all. From wine tasting on the iconic London Eye to afternoon tea in a Georgian townhouse and a sky-high brunch in the Shard, brokers got to experience the very best of London sights and tastes.

We have created a round-up video of the week, so if you’d like to find out more about the Broker Academy and what our people had to say about it, watch it on our YouTube channel:

CFC beats AIG

CFC beats AIGLast week’s football match between CFC and AIG resulted in a decisive victory for our team, and sets the team on course for the Lloyd’s Cup finals on 10 May. Our 16-strong team gave it their all and the final results speak for themselves: a massive win of 4 – 1 against the AIG team.

Hailing from all parts of the CFC family, the team showed some serious football skills throughout the Lloyd’s Cup semi-final, which was held at Ilford’s Ford Sports & Social Club. Amongst a number of strong performances, Ant Aylett’s hat trick certainly stood out and put us on the winning track. The third goal was scored shortly after halftime, after which AIG scored a penalty shot – which was the only ball to pass goalkeeper Graeme Cooke all night. Still, it was just too little too late for AIG, as their penalty shot was promptly followed by George Stollery with a cheeky and impressive finish from the corner just a few minutes short of the final whistle.

CFC is now heading into the final on 10 May at Charlton Athletic’s home turf The Valley in Greenwich, where they will be competing against Talbot Underwriting. We have 20,000 seats to fill, so we invite all of our friends and partners in the industry to join us in supporting the team there – entry is free and kick-off is at 15.00. Be there or be square!
Finally, a big shout-out to the CFC football team and everyone who’s been supporting them throughout. Go CFC!

Another year, another great CFC Pool Night

Another year, another great CFC Pool NightCongrats to Media Insurance Brokers who beat the tricky Howden team to pull out a victory.

We had yet another wonderful CFC Pool Night, an annual pool tournament held underground at the City’s Crypt Bar. We started with 20 promising teams, but alas, only one could prevail. Media Insurance Brokers adds its name to the long list of past victors so please join us in congratulating them!

To all who were able to attend, thank you for coming out for the night. It was wonderful greeting old faces and meeting some new ones. If you haven’t been to the Pool Night before and think you might be interested and available for next year’s tournament which takes place at the end of January in London, feel free to shoot us an email by clicking here.

CFC Recruits New Head of Management Liability

CFC Recruits New Head of Management LiabilityIn order to spearhead the growth of CFC’s emerging management liability product suite, we have appointed Kate Lyes, former London Manager of Executive Protection at Chubb Insurance. Kate will be responsible for defining our management liability strategy and underwriting approach whilst also creating a collection of tailored products for specific industry verticals.

Management liability policies are highly complex so it is critical that brokers work with a partner that will consult with clients to truly understand the individual nuances of their business and potential exposures. Kate’s appointment highlights CFC’s commitment to developing our management liability offering. We are known for our specialist approach and are looking forward to applying the same level of expertise to this area as we do with all our products.

Kate Lyes said: “I am delighted to be joining the team at CFC. The increasing demand for innovation in the management liability arena presents a real opportunity for us to take a market leading position. I am thrilled by the prospect of working with true innovators in the underwriting market.”