Catlin: Convex will reach $3bn GWP milestone in 2022

Convex Group chairman and CEO Stephen Catlin said he is confident the group will reach “not less than” $3bn of gross written premium (GWP) next year as the carrier continues to benefit from heightened demand and improved specialty (re)insurance rates.

Speaking exclusively to The Insurer, the industry entrepreneur said: “It took us 30 years with Catlin to get to $6bn, we’re going to do half that this time around in three years.”

Catlin sold his eponymous business Catlin Group – which began life in 1984 as a small Lloyd’s syndicate with £10,000 of capital and one other member of staff – to XL for £2.8bn in 2015.

In May 2019, Catlin and Paul Brand, the former chief underwriting officer at Catlin Group, formally launched Convex Group after it was incorporated in October 2018. 2022 will represent the third full year of trading for the London-Bermuda business, which recently opened its licensed European operations in Luxembourg.

Stephen Catlin, chairman and CEO, Convex Group

Convex launched with an initial $1.7bn capital base, which expanded to $3.2bn following equity and hybrid raises last year supported by existing and new shareholders. Its headcount is now over 300 with the majority of staff based in the group’s London office.

Speaking to The Insurer TV as part of its #ReinsuranceMonth coverage, Catlin said the opportunities for Convex “are huge”, adding that he expects to reach $2bn of GWP this year after generating more than $1.1bn of GWP in its first full year of underwriting in 2020.

Convex’s treaty reinsurance business accounted for $480.7mn of GWP last year while the group’s direct insurance business generated the remaining $614.5mn.

“We pinch ourselves every morning, we can’t believe the place and opportunity we find ourselves in,” he said, noting that the industry’s legacy issues around casualty under-reserving and Covid-19 claims uncertainty will continue to ensure risk premiums remain cogently priced.

“There are people out [in the office] who are absolutely energised. You can see the smiles on their face and they feel confident about what they can do and knowing that senior management has been at the coalface to understand how it works. We are very blessed and very lucky,” he added. 

In a fascinating 16-minute interview Catlin discusses a whole gambit of industry issues including: the Covid-19 XoL reinsurance impasse; 1.1 pricing; progress on the Lloyd’s Blueprint transformation; the future of systemic risk insurance; the moves to narrow reinsurance coverage and the impact of 2021 cat losses.