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AmTrust International head reaffirms focus on specialty lines

Dewey hails strong 2023 returns and expects 2024 to be profitable

The international unit of US-based specialty insurer is expanding its footprint in Canada and Australia, the division’s head, Peter Dewey, says

The head of AmTrust International, Peter Dewey, credits “under­writing discipline” for the unit’s strong profit growth in 2023, adding he wants the business to become the “go-to specialty insurer” in its existing lines of business.

A division of US-based AmTrust Financial Services, AmTrust International saw year-on-year growth with gross written premium increasing to $1.2bn in 2023.

In an interview with Insurance Day, Dewey says the division will continue focusing on intensive growth in its existing underwriting port­folio. “We’re pretty happy with the core lines we’re in at the moment,” he says, adding they still provide “room for growth and expansion”.

AmTrust International mainly writes financial lines insurance and only writes property cover in the UK.


Setting a high bar

“That’s not to say we wouldn’t look at a new product line, but I think the bar would be pretty high,” Dewey says. Any such expansion would be likely to align with AmTrust’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, with the firm incorporating novel portfolios and the attendant personnel from an existing managing general agent (MGA) or similar enterprise.

AmTrust International has five MGAs at present and Dewey says it has no immediate plans to add more. It has made other acquisitions in the past year, including a third-party claims administrator.

“We’re pretty happy with the core lines we’re in at the moment… That’s not to say we wouldn’t look at a new product line, but I think the bar would be pretty high”
Peter Dewey
AmTrust International

Although AmTrust International does most of its business in the UK, the division is trying to expand its footprint in certain international markets. Dewey cites Australia and Canada as particular focus areas, saying their common law systems make them somewhat familiar environments for his London-based operation.

He also mentions a new office in South Korea, which opened in 2023.

Dewey has led AmTrust International since January 2019 and holds the title of executive vice-president and head of international at its parent company. Investors and shareholders took AmTrust Financial Services private in 2018 and AmTrust International subsequently exited some insurance lines and the Lloyd’s market.


Lloyd’s return unlikely

Dewey reaffirms there are no plans to return to the Lloyd’s market in the foreseeable future. “I don’t necessarily know what the hurdle would be for that to happen, but it’s certainly not on any short- or medium-term horizon for us,” he says.

AmTrust sold its Lloyd’s operations to Canopius in February 2019. Before the sale, Dewey led AmTrust’s presence at Lloyd’s.

Dewey says the company’s move away from catastrophe cover made a Lloyd’s presence less necessary. For the other lines, “we have the infrastructure and the geographical reach we need to be able to grow those product lines without necessarily entering into Lloyd’s”.

Dewey says the international division has seen further strong growth in the first quarter of 2024 and expects this trend to continue. “We’re very happy with those lines of business; they’re all performing very well. And long may it continue.”

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