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Acrisure Re, the reinsurance broking unit of the Acrisure group, has announced its expansion into the catastrophe bond market, with the hiring of two experienced insurance-linked securities (ILS) executives in Zurich, Sandro Kriesch and Patrick Witteveen.
The pair join Acrisure Re’s Corporate Advisory and Solutions (ARCAS) division as Managing Directors of Catastrophe Bond Solutions.
Both are very well-known in the ILS market, with Sandro Kriesch having been a co-founder of Zurich-headquartered catastrophe bond and insurance-linked securities (ILS) fund manager Twelve Capital, while Patrick Witteveen has a long capital raising track-record, most recently working as Global Head of Business Development at AXIS ILS.
Acrisure Re said that both of the hires will be based in Zurich and report to Ben Canagaretna, Global Managing Director of ARCAS.
In their new roles, leading Catastrophe Bond Solutions for Acrisure Re’s ARCAS division, Kriesch and Witteveen will lead the launch and development of a full-service cat bond offering for the company.
The ARCAS division of Acrisure Re already operates globally, across ratings advisory, capital raising, legacy transactions and asset management services.
Adding cat bond solutions to its portfolio offering is seen as a crucial step in the development of an all-inclusive service from a single connected team, by Acrisure Re.
Canagaretna commented on the hires, “I am thrilled with the growth this team has experienced in the last year. It shows ARCAS’ commitment to filling our team with best-in-class talent who have the leadership skills and networks to expand into new areas.
“The cat bond market is an evolving area with strong fundamentals and increasing opportunity. Sandro and Patrick are the ideal candidates to lead the charge and we very much look forward to working with them both.
“This is another great example of Acrisure Re doing its homework and having conviction at the right moment.”
Kriesch brings Acrisure Re significant experience across cat bonds, ILS, investment management, and the role of ILS solutions in the reinsurance industry.
Most recently, Kriesch has worked on several mandates as a consultant for his own firm Kriesch Advisors, advising on catastrophe bonds, the industry-loss warranty (ILW) market, and start-ups that are targeting the reinsurance market in general.
Before that, Kriesch spent 1.5 years as the COO for IQUW’s ILS division, where he helped to develop an institutional platform for ILS fund management. Prior to that, he co-founded Twelve Capital where he was Managing Partner for nine years and a member of the board of directors for three years.
Previously in his career, Kriesch worked as an ILS Portfolio Manager at Horizon 21 and as an earthquake underwriter and solvency II expert at Swiss Re.
Witteveen has significant experience on the investor side of ILS, having worked in business development and investor relations, raising significant sums from third-party investors for ILS fund strategies in his career.
Most recently, Witteveen was Global Head of Business Development for AXIS Capital’s third-party reinsurance capital management focused unit, AXIS ILS.
Before that, he spent seven years working for ILS manager Securis Investment Partners as a Partner and the Head of Investor Relations & Business Development Europe, during which time he helped raise significant new assets for the company.
Craig Darling, Acrisure Re Executive Vice President also commented, “The additional product offering of a catastrophe bond, further complements and expands our structuring and placement capabilities. The Capital market strategy further diversifies our global market reach in solving market capacity concerns for our North American catastrophe exposed clientele. This expansive capability has been part of our strategy and represents a continued collaborative effort with the Centre of Excellence for Critical Cat and ARCAS.
“We are committed to expanding our reach with global investors that will directly benefit the growth aspirations of our existing carriers, MGA clients and prospects in North America.”