Expansive insurance group Applied Underwriters is set to launch a directors’ and officers’ (D&O) underwriting unit in the US with the hire of Validus Specialty CUO Stephen McGill, The Insurer can reveal.

Applied UW Stephen McGill

The hire is another high-profile coup for the company, with McGill having previously headed global professional lines and financial institutions units at Argo and XL Catlin.

According to sources, McGill will officially join on 1 January to establish the new Applied Financial Lines unit in the US after a similar launch in Europe earlier this month in a move also first revealed by this publication.

The European launch came with the renewal rights deal for a $45mn financial lines book from StarStone along with a team lead by Jeroen Claesen from the carrier.

Early hires as part of the anticipated build-out in the US include Steve Loupee from wholesale broker CRC as a senior underwriter.

New York-based McGill was brought in as CUO at AIG-owned Validus Specialty in November 2018. Before that he spent three years as group head of professional lines at Argo, overseeing the Bermudian’s Argo Pro unit.

He was previously at XL and then XL Catlin for 16 years, latterly as global product leader for errors and omissions and financial institutions, and also held positions at Axa and Alexander & Alexander earlier in his career.

Los Angeles, California-based Loupee worked with McGill at Argo and joined CRC last year. He had previously spent 16 years at AIG.

McGill has also worked with Claesen, with the Paris-based executive holding positions at Catlin and XL before his most recent role as head of international financial lines at StarStone.

The focus of the US book to be built by McGill in the US is not known at this stage, but the executive has a broad range of experience across the D&O segment from his previous roles.

In common with other recent launches by Applied Underwriters, it is expected that Applied Financial Lines in the US will effectively operate as an MGA, underwriting on the paper of the group’s own carrier subsidiaries as well as third-party carriers.

Continued build-out

The move is the latest in a series of high-profile entries by the group since its Steve Menzies-led buyout from Berkshire Hathaway as it adds underwriting teams to write on its own carrier balance sheets and the paper of other insurers.

Applied rolls out UW units

Last week The Insurer reported that the company has taken Ron Fiamma, Rand Silver and Christopher Walsh from AIG to build out its newly formed Applied Fine Art & Collectibles unit.

Fiamma had been global head of private collections, part of AIG Private Clients Group, while Silver was global director of the fine art loss prevention program at AIG. Walsh was global private collections underwriting manager at the insurance giant.

The European launch of Applied Financial Lines included the acquisition of a $45mn Europe and Middle East renewal book and the Claesen-led team as a platform for a broader expansion into specialty insurance business in the region.

AM Best A rated Applied Underwriters does not have a European insurance company but will instead utilise the fronting services of Randall & Quilter’s Accredited Insurance (Europe) subsidiary.

And last month, this publication revealed that Applied Underwriters had established a new E&S casualty MGA led by former Tokio Marine HCC executive Chris Day, with initial offerings targeting the New York construction market.

Applied Underwriters declined to comment on this article and Validus Specialty’s parent AIG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.