Tearing up the rulebook

From the union of two respected re/insurance institutions—Third Point Re and Sirius International—came the birth of SiriusPoint. Sid Sankaran, its chief executive officer and chairman, now wants push the limits of the sector.

“The combined company is not going to be a larger Sirius or a larger Third Point Re, but a new company.”
Sid Sankaran, SiriusPoint

When was the company formed and with how much capital?

SiriusPoint was formed in February 2021 as a top 20 global re/insurer, writing a worldwide portfolio. With a financial strength rating of A- (excellent) from AM Best, S&P and Fitch, SiriusPoint was created from combining Third Point Re, a specialty reinsurer, and Sirius International Group, a global multiline insurer and reinsurer.

Bermuda-based and listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker of SPNT, SiriusPoint launched with over $3 billion in capital, and this, plus significant capacity, a global operating platform, and excellent diversification of our portfolio puts us in a very strong position to respond to our client and broker demands, while profitably growing our business.

Who are the main investors?

The capital comes from the combined capital from Sirius Group and Third Point Re.

What was the inspiration for the name?

The name SiriusPoint pays homage to the merger of two complementary companies, Third Point Re and Sirius International Group.

“The combination of talents from both businesses should be a catalyst for some creative thinking.”

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

I took up leadership of SiriusPoint, as chairman and chief executive officer, at the company’s inception in 2021. I was instrumental in the creation of global re/insurer having served as the lead non-executive director on the Third Point Re board during the acquisition of Sirius Group. I bring extensive actuarial, financial and leadership experience to the team.

Previously, I was the chief financial officer at insurtech Oscar Health, which I led through an IPO at the beginning of 2021. I joined Oscar in 2019, after spending nine years at American International Group (AIG), serving as both CFO and chief risk officer at different times. Before that I was a partner in the finance and risk practice of Oliver Wyman Financial Services where I led the company’s Toronto office.

An entrepreneur, innovator and problem-solver, I have laid the foundations for a new type of global insurer and reinsurer. I am passionate about changing the face of the industry and advancing the consumer and client experience through technology, data and creative thinking.

Rachel Dugan serves as general counsel, with responsibility for strategic transactions, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and the legal and compliance functions of the business. She held the same position at Third Point Re, and before that, she was general counsel and chief compliance officer at private investment firm Reverence Capital since 2019.

Prashanth Gangu will serve as the company’s chief operating officer and president of insurance and services. In addition to the operating platform and strategy of the combined entity, Prashanth will oversee the evaluation of strategic investment and partnership opportunities; potential new lines of business, with a focus on balancing the company’s reinsurance and insurance lines; and SiriusPoint’s managing general underwriters.

He joins from Oliver Wyman, where he was a partner and head of Americas P&C insurance, consulting for insurance industry clients in the areas of strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation.

Dan Malloy is president, global distribution and head of runoff. Dan will be responsible for distribution and business development, and broker and client engagement. He will also oversee SiriusPoint’s runoff division. He will be based in Bermuda, subject to Bermuda Immigration approval. Dan was previously chief executive officer at Third Point Re.

David Govrin is global chief underwriting officer and president, Americas reinsurance. He was previously president at Third Point Reinsurance (USA) and head of business development at Third Point Reinsurance. He is based in the US.

Monica Cramér Manhem is president of international reinsurance. SiriusPoint International branch managers, including the European, Miami and Singapore offices, will report to Monica, who is based in Stockholm and was previously president of global reinsurance at Sirius Group.

Ming Zhang is chief investment officer. Ming, who is based in New York, was previously chief investment officer at Third Point Re, having joined from MetLife.

Vievette Henry is chief people officer. She joined SiriusPoint in March from AIG in New York, where for the past three years she has served as global head of talent, organisational effectiveness and chief diversity officer.

David Junius is chief financial officer. He bring 23 years’ of experience to the role. David most recently served as chief operating officer at Third Point Re. He joined the company in October 2020 from AIG where he was chief financial officer for the international division of the general insurance segment from 2018, and before this held various senior and financial roles.

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

We aspire to be a disruptive force in the industry and drive technology innovation—with skilled underwriting at the core of everything we do. We have set a goal to challenge the status quo and define new ways of conducting business with diversity of thought and expertise.

In terms of our core lines of business, we are focused on growing profitable areas within specialty, casualty and accident and health. Property reinsurance, catastrophe in particular, will remain an important part of the portfolio, while other lines are grown to provide balance. Our current business mix in these lines is predominantly reinsurance, but we expect to grow the insurance contribution from existing lines in addition to pursuing new areas in both insurance and reinsurance.

SiriusPoint is built around a global platform that provides re/insurance solutions to clients and brokers in almost 150 countries with access to admitted and non-admitted paper in Europe, the US, Bermuda, and Lloyd’s of London. A new division, insurance and services, has been formed to seek out strategic investment and partnership opportunities.

“Innovation, discipline, and sustainability lie at the core of our company.”

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

The idea behind SiriusPoint was to create a company that could grow the range of a multinational platform, but also have a meaningful presence and a footprint in various markets.

SiriusPoint is a merger that is somewhat unique as the combined company is not going to be a larger Sirius or a larger Third Point Re, but a new company, with the platforms, talent and clients already in place.

Because we’ve merged Third Point Re and Sirius Group, we have a great international footprint, but we also have the ability to cut through bureaucracy. Third Point Re was an extremely creative, small and collegiate company and management team that could move quickly, with everyone rowing in the same direction. We want to take that agility, innovation, and flexibility into SiriusPoint.

Why did you choose Bermuda?

The Bermuda market is very nimble and has always been at the forefront of innovation in the reinsurance world with support from its regulatory bodies. Historically, the Island has proved itself to create opportunities from adversity and has frequently created new products and solutions that become the accepted models for future startups and established companies in the sector.

What has been your experience of Bermuda so far? The Island has a well-earned reputation as the insurance laboratory of the world, and Bermuda’s pro-business regulatory regime encourages innovation, as well as allowing new businesses and products to get to market quickly. We are very excited about SiriusPoint, and the combination of talents from both businesses should be a catalyst for some creative thinking on an island that encourages innovation.

What are your predictions for reinsurance market conditions in 2021?

The consensus between analysts and brokers is that rates will maintain momentum in 2021 after accelerating in 2020. In reinsurance and retro excess of loss, rates did not harden as much as expected. However, terms and conditions across the board have generally improved. Much of the underlying business has seen an improvement in rates as well as contract terms and limits exposing the reinsurance.

At SiriusPoint, we’re ready to take advantage of solid market trading conditions. We feel we have an advantage over the new entrants in the market as we have existing sticky relationships and business, with a broad product offering, an existing infrastructure, as well as a global reach.

The industry has fared well in the face of the global pandemic and proved to be very resilient. COVID-19 is a unique event in our lifetime and in the last 100 years of the insurance industry—not just the pandemic itself but the global economic reaction to it.

While governments shut down their economies, they also moved to buffer the effect, so the worst-case predictions that were being bandied about at the beginning of the pandemic haven’t come to play, and the economy hasn’t slumped as dramatically as feared.

It has recovered substantially, albeit not equally. However, equally important, the pandemic increased awareness of the potential for extreme events and it has created a re-thinking of risk management beyond the traditional physical events such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Effectively, the spectrum of realistic disaster scenarios has become more apparent, requiring product innovation and capital.

SiriusPoint is a response and solution to a lot of areas such as the erosion of underlying prices and terms and conditions, ultra-low interest rates for the foreseeable future, and the short and long-term impact of COVID-19.

What are your medium-term objectives as a business?

Our vision is to grow our business, create value, and positively impact a changing world by being the most adaptive and responsive re/insurer in the market. We want to tear up the rulebook and push the limits of what is currently known in an insurance and reinsurance company.

We have a stable franchise and intend to use the SiriusPoint platform to leverage the strengths inherited from Sirius Group and Third Point Re.

Innovation, discipline, and sustainability lie at the core of our company. Our insurance and services division is dedicated to seeking out strategic investment and partnership opportunities as we aim to balance the company’s reinsurance and insurance lines. This division will act as an incubator for insurance technology startups as well as encompassing SiriusPoint’s managing general agent, Pie, Armada Global, and International Medical Group.

At SiriusPoint, we aim to redistribute the mix of insurance and reinsurance to create a balanced portfolio that is protected from volatility.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock / StunningArt / Joey Chung

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