The insurance arm of U.S.-based Markel Group is making bold moves to establish a strong presence in the Australian market. Led by Managing Director Rory Morison, the company is focused on building out its team and strengthening its systems, including pricing. Despite being relatively new to the market, Markel has already written its first business and is set to offer additional products in the near future.
Seizing Opportunities in a Favorable Market
Morison believes that the timing is right for Markel’s entry into Australia, citing attractive premium pricing and a contraction of underwriting empowerment in the longer tail classes. These market conditions align with Markel’s growth strategy, making it an opportune time for expansion. Markel’s Australian unit primarily sells risk products to the mid-market and above through brokers.
Strengthening the Leadership Team
To support its expansion efforts, Markel has appointed key executives to its leadership team in Australia. Ahmed Farag joins as Head of Casualty, bringing valuable experience from Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Kym Beazleigh comes on board as Head of Professional and Financial Risk and Head of Sydney, having transitioned from Allied World. Additionally, Arné Booysen has been appointed as Senior Underwriter for Professional Indemnity, joining from Allied World.
Growth Plans and Market Readiness
Looking ahead, Markel is committed to preparing its go-to-market plans for general liability, professional indemnity, and directors and officers. Morison expects these plans to be finalized by next year, signaling a significant step in Markel’s long-term strategy for the Australian market. By year-end, the company anticipates having approximately 10 staff members in its Australian unit.
Markel’s expansion in Australia demonstrates its strong determination to establish a lasting foothold in the region’s insurance market. With its experienced leadership team and growing range of products, Markel is well-positioned to serve the needs of the mid-market and above, while capitalizing on favorable market conditions.