Recently promoted as Head of Risk Excess at Hiscox Re, David Roache talks about the challenges in the reinsurance market as well as topping the charts in his alternative reggae career.
How long have you lived on the island?
I’m Bermudian through and through – other than college and university, I’ve lived in Bermuda all my life.
Tell us about your career to date.
I now head the risk excess line of business for Hiscox Re, encompassing platforms in Bermuda, London and Paris, with responsibility for the strategic direction, underwriting and oversight of this portfolio with worldwide annual gross written premium circa $100m.
I joined Hiscox in Bermuda in 2009 originally working as a pricing actuary before moving over to underwriting in 2010. As well as having passed SOA/CAS actuarial exams, I hold the underwriting designations of CPCU and ARe. Prior to that I had actuarial roles in Ariel Re and Rosemont Re, after graduating from The University of Toronto.
I was proud to be shortlisted by the Insurance Insider for “Young Underwriter of the Year” in 2016 and credited for my role in bringing a new product - risk aggregate protection (RAP) to the market, with greater than $1b limit sold annually.
Given your new role as Head of Risk XS at Hiscox, what do you see are the big challenges ahead from a reinsurance perspective and also specifically what do you hope to achieve in the Risk XS area for Hiscox?
The risk excess space follows a slightly different market dynamic than the, at times, more commoditised X over Y catastrophe space. There are no vendor models for third party capital providers to hang their hats on and the vast majority of covers afford multiple reinstatements. As such the overcapacity that has plagued the catastrophe space since 2012 is felt a bit less on risk excess business.
As competition heats up in the catastrophe arena however, traditional reinsurers have been looking for alternative ways to earn premium and deploy capital. This has been putting pricing pressure on the risk book for the last three years. In addition to the vulnerabilities that exist within rate reductions, the risk excess space is especially vulnerable to movement in terms and conditions, and coverage expansions. Limited terror capacity, expansion of hours clauses, increases in occurrence limits and a movement towards multi-line covers are some of the challenges we’re facing. We make an effort to overcome these hurdles with a flexible approach to structuring protection, customising to clients’ key concerns rather than a one size fits all.
Tell me more about your reggae career – is it true you’re one of the best reggae artists in Bermuda?
I worked with Harper Digital Entertainment, a locally based music label, from 2006 - 2009 with recording artist, Collie Buddz. Collie Buddz, who is signed to Sony, released a self titled album in 2007 which sat at the top of the reggae Billboard for 12 weeks and stayed within the top ten reggae albums for 63 weeks. I collaborated with him on the album, as well as other tracks which were released as singles.
In 2009 I released a single called “Roses” which topped various regional reggae charts around the world.
What else do you do to relax/spare time?
Spend time with my wife and children when I’m not on the golf course, or fishing, or being a frustrated Liverpool FC fan.
For further information on Hiscox Re please visit the website.