Talking to The Insurer TV as part of #ReinsuranceMonth, Young said Odyssey has been in growth mode for the past few years. That growth, Young explained, has been especially strong in its insurance business, with the portfolio expanding to account for half of Odyssey’s $4.45bn of gross premiums written in 2020.

Brian Young – Odyssey

And that growth has continued into this year.

“The growth in insurance through six months of this year has been 32 percent, so very strong. It’s been 32 percent at Hudson and a little bit more at Newline,” Young said.

There has also been growth in the reinsurance business, with OdysseyRe generating 18 percent growth in the year to date, notably in North America, Young highlighted.

EMEA has been another source of growth, Young said, with premium volume increasing 10 percent year on year during the first six months of 2021.

“The one area where there hasn’t been any material growth has been in Asia Pac where we continue to find market conditions challenging,” Young said.

Casualty business has been the main driver of its growth, Young said, whether that has been within its insurance operations Hudson or Newline, or in OdysseyRe.

The growth has been notable in D&O, excess and umbrella, he said. And in cyber, Young said Odyssey has “more than doubled our volume in 2021 in response to dramatically improving market conditions”.

“Frustrating” cat markets

While Young said Odyssey has also enjoyed some growth within the property space, the company has stayed away from expanding in what he called “critical cat”.

“We find the cat markets generally speaking rather frustrating if I’m honest,” Young said.

“There’s a lot of unmodelled loss that’s affected the market. If it’s not unmodelled, it’s [an] under-modelled loss. We think we need to see a material correction in cat for us to have more interest for us to expand in that area,” he stated.

Heading into the 2021 renewals, Young said there is “plenty of reinsurance capacity and there’s plenty of appetite”.

Brian Young, president and CEO, Odyssey Group

“Where there haven’t been losses and market conditions remain positive, I think you’ll see renewals that are fairly straightforward,” he predicted.

But “it’s a more complicated story” in those markets that have suffered losses.

“All eyes are going to be on Europe”, Young said, owing to continued uncertainty regarding Covid-19 losses, and the significant impact of Storm Bernd in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland as well as the smaller Wolfgang, Volker and Xero storms in late June.

“I think we need to see material correction in continental Europe and in South Africa and we’ll wait and see what happens,” Young said.

“I’m expecting to see, and I hope to see, material positive change at 1.1.”