Diverse and harmonious

Mosaic combines its Lloyd’s syndicate with its wholly-owned syndicated capital management agency to offer a new way to manage complex risks, as Mitch Blaser, chief executive officer at Mosaic, explains.

“We think we can achieve strong growth no matter what the market does.”
Mitch Blaser, Mosaic

When was the company formed and with how much capital?

Mosaic is a new industry model that matches Lloyd’s market strength via our new syndicate with a global distribution network. It’s an exciting and opportune time to be launching an insurance venture like this.

Mosaic officially launched on February 4, 2021 with $185 million in capital from high-calibre, long-term investment partners. It’s a flexible capital approach with access to syndicated capacity leveraging both the capital efficiency of our Lloyd’s balance sheet and our global distribution structure.

Mosaic Syndicate 1609 received Lloyd’s approval to begin underwriting, with an initial stamp capacity of £100 million ($136 million).

Our model has the full backing and “power” of the Lloyd’s ratings and licences, as well as global recognition. Our syndicated capital management approach allows us to leverage our specialty underwriting talent in specific lines of business to grow significantly in this space and manage our capital accordingly.

Mosaic will write on behalf of our own Syndicate 1609 and also on behalf of other capital partners through our global underwriting hubs in the UK, US, Bermuda and Asia.

Who are the main investors?

Golden Gate Capital is a leading private equity investment firm based in San Francisco with more than $17 billion of committed capital. Golden Gate is Mosaic’s anchor investor—they understand our business model and are a fantastic partner, with a perpetual fund to support our long-term vision and growth plans. Notably, Golden Gate brings a long-term investment philosophy and a permanent capital structure.

What was the inspiration for the name?

Mosaic reflects our makeup. The uniqueness of our model resembles a mosaic: a diverse group of elements that come together to create a harmonious whole. In the centre, there’s our Lloyd’s syndicate; add to that our agency’s various service companies in different hubs across geographies, plus our end-to-end digitised operating platform which leverages the latest insurtech and advanced analytics to enhance our underwriting capabilities.

It’s about insurance industry components coming together to create a compelling and efficient structure. Our syndicate number, 1609, is a shout-out to Bermuda’s history, being the Island’s founding date.

“We provide lead-line capacity on all business we write.”

Who are the key figures/senior management at this stage?

Mosaic’s leadership brings deep experience in building profitable global specialty businesses, at Lloyd’s, where they achieved top-quartile performance, and internationally. I have 40 years in this industry and was honoured to work alongside Bob Clements back in 2006 to found Ironshore in Bermuda.

That company became a global property and casualty insurer, with over 800 employees in 15 nations, before being sold to Liberty Mutual Group.

I’m equally proud of Mosaic’s executives, some of whom were with me in that journey. Our team includes Lisa Fontanetta, chief of staff; Krishnan Ethirajan, chief operating officer; Oz Haque, chief financial officer; Chris Brown, executive vice president of syndicated capital management; Charlie Mackay, executive vice president and active underwriter for Mosaic Syndicate 1609; and Olly Reeves, group chief risk officer.

We look forward to welcoming a further cadre of top-notch underwriting leadership across product lines in coming months. We’ve attracted a broad range of people who represent the very best intellectual capital in the market right now—and we’re excited to be working with every single one of them.

What is your initial business plan in terms of target lines of business?

Our structure creates a new industry paradigm. It combines our Lloyd’s Syndicate 1609 with our wholly-owned syndicated capital management agency with offices in key markets, including London, Bermuda, the US and Asia.

That fusion (syndicate + agency) forges a powerful new way to leverage the Lloyd’s brand, deploy capital globally, and efficiently manage clients’ most complex risks. It brings new regional and local retail business directly to Lloyd’s via global underwriting hubs—effectively taking Lloyd’s virtual.

We provide lead-line capacity on all business we write, fully backing our underwriting capabilities while aligning with trade capital partners and third-party markets.

We have been very deliberate in choosing our products and niche specialty focus. Unlike many other startups, our company isn’t a reinsurer, or a property-cat play. We are a highly focused specialty insurer and are zeroing in on lines of business that have strong growth trends and steep technical barriers to entry—taking advantage of our underwriting talent and technology capabilities.

Our lines include political risk, political violence, transactional liability, cyber, financial and professional lines, and environmental cover, and we’re rolling them out over the coming months. All are relevant to current world economies as well as future trends.

Why did you feel now was a good time to launch a new insurer?

Our business is not an opportunistic move. We wanted to build a company that stands the test of time. We’re looking beyond COVID-19 and the current market conditions with a view to enhancing conventional insurance models of the past. The reality is, we saw a unique opportunity and envisioned a powerful new way to syndicate capital in local markets and manage clients’ most complex risks.

That’s the essence of specialty insurance. We’re in it for the long haul.

Of course, the current industry landscape—the pandemic, the hardening rate environment, and geopolitical and technological exposures that are driving heightened demand for the products we offer—provide tailwinds we didn’t expect.

Yet the biggest advantage we have is no legacy in terms of infrastructure or balance sheet. By “sticking to our knitting,” we think we can achieve strong growth no matter what the market does.

“We expect to be a model for insurance companies of the future.”

Why did you choose Bermuda?

Bermuda is our headquarters and I, along with other senior corporate roles, will be based here. Many of us have a heritage in this market, which is one of the top three insurance markets in the world.

Bermuda’s reputation and regulatory strength are well-respected globally. This market also has advantages in terms of lines of business that gravitate here as well as the number of clients who visit the Island (COVID-19 notwithstanding).

What has been your experience of Bermuda so far?

We’re very familiar with Bermuda, having started Ironshore here back in 2006. It was then, and continues to be, a vibrant global insurance marketplace. Bermuda has a robust insurance regulator in the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), and all the local infrastructure supports a dynamic startup environment.

Bermuda’s regulatory environment has always provided a “speed-to-market” advantage, as well as global recognition and credibility, providing a great platform for long-term growth.

What are your predictions for re/insurance market conditions in 2021?

Mosaic is a specialty insurance company, so we will not be writing any reinsurance. Reinsurance markets will benefit from the overall market hardening, which seems poised to continue well through 2021. The world is still in the midst of sorting through the economic impact of COVID-19, and the pandemic’s impact on the insurance market will continue for years to come as a result of litigation and a rapidly changing global socio-economic landscape.

What are your medium-term objectives as a business?

We plan to be recognised as a market leader in our chosen lines of business in the next five years. We’ll have geographic spread—across the US, UK, Asia, Bermuda—and a very specialised focus.

We also have a technology backbone that allows us to have a competitive expense base and the potential to generate revenue through our insurtech partnership with a leading provider. We expect to be a model for insurance companies of the future.

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