Expansive US MGA Paragon Insurance Holdings is planning an entry into the fast-hardening contingency marketplace with the hiring of Christian Phillips from Beazley, The Insurer can reveal.

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Paragon – which is backed by EPIC and Oak Hill Capital Partners – is looking to build a business plan and team around the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based executive when he joins following the fulfilment of his contractual obligations with Beazley.

Sources said the MGA is working with existing trading partners to secure capacity for the new initiative.

The planned entry comes at a time when coverage and capacity in the contingency space have been contracting, with rates hardening as established writers of the business have been badly affected by Covid-19 related losses from the mass cancelation of events that the pandemic brought.

Phillips’ previous employer Beazley has been a significant player in the segment, with capacity at a level that it was able to write the majority of risks 100 percent across a broad portfolio that included cancellation coverage for a range of events such as sports, trade shows, conferences and exhibitions, music and theatre.

Its offering includes up to $15mn of limit for standard events and up to $50mn for major events.

The carrier has seen the departure of several underwriting executives in recent months, however, including its head of contingency in London, Chris Rackliffe.

Rackliffe has since resurfaced at Arch as head of accident & health and contingency. He will join the Bermudian in London in late 2021 after serving 12 months of contractual obligations.

Sources said Phillips is likely to have a shorter period in the garden of six months before taking up his position at Paragon in the US.

Phillips is thought to have written a broad and diversified book in the segment at Beazley.

Phillips and Rackliffe worked together at HCC in London before both joining Beazley in 2005.

Epic and Oak Hill Capital Partners-backed Paragon is an MGA formed in 2014 by former AIX executives Ron Ganiats and Ron Mairano.

It has grown its book with a series of program launches, renewal rights deals and full acquisitions since.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based MGA is believed to have gone into 2020 with annual run rate premiums of $225mn, but has significantly grown since with additions including Trident, its acquisition from Argo.

Paragon did not respond to a request for comment on this article.