NorthStandard meets target for formal launch with enhanced S&P ‘A’ stable rating

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NorthStandard has achieved its first objective of completing its formal launch on the P&I industry’s 20 February renewal date, opening for business by announcing the team to lead it into a new era for marine insurance.

Launched yesterday from headquarters in the UK, and with offices throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, NorthStandard, formed through the merger of North and Standard Club, immediately becomes one of the world’s largest providers of mutual maritime cover. With over 390 million GT of owned and chartered tonnage on its books, the new entity consolidates annual premiums of around US$800 million, employs over 700 people and brings together over 300 years of P&I heritage.

As expected, NorthStandard will be led by Managing Directors Jeremy Grose (pictured, right) and Paul Jennings (left) – respectively previously CEOs of the Standard Club and North legacy organisations.

“Eleven months on from our first public announcement, the successful launch of NorthStandard creates a fresh and distinctive force in marine insurance,” said Jeremy Grose. “Building on scale, comprehensive services and the depth of our talent pool, NorthStandard provides the resilience members need from their P&I partner to meet the shipping world’s challenges and opportunities. We are fully prepared to deliver even better service, support and cover than ever.”

Earlier this week, S&P Global confirmed that NorthStandard, formed from the merger of two A-rated clubs, has been given an enhanced ‘A’ rating with stable outlook based on its competitive position, financial strength, ‘AAA’ capital adequacy and sound balance-sheet risk management. Grose commented, “this improved rating assessment from S&P confirms that NorthStandard has the financial resilience and certainty members need from their P&I partner in 2023 and beyond.”

In a series of appointments designed to make the best use of talents within the new organisation, NorthStandard, has confirmed the following senior roles (amongst others), subject to regulatory approval where applicable:
• Managing Directors – Jeremy Grose and Paul Jennings, previous CEOs of the legacy Standard Club and North organisations.
• Chief Strategy Officer – Ed Davies.
• Chief Financial Officer – Nick Jelley.
• Chief Underwriting Officer – Thya Kathiravel.
• Chief Claims Officer – Sam Kendall-Marsden.
• Chief Information Officer – Laura Linturn.
• Global Director (People & Culture) – Alex Miell.
• Group General Counsel – Chris Owen.
• Chief Operating Officer – Dipo Oyewole.
• Chief Risk Officer – Lee Williamson.
• Global Head of FD&D Claims – Katherine Birchall.
• Global Head of Mutual Underwriting – Mark Collins.
• Global Head of P&I Claims – Matt Moore.
• Head of External Affairs – Mike Salthouse.

“This is a truly exciting moment for service-led P&I as we launch NorthStandard and announce the leadership team entrusted with ensuring that members worldwide experience greater value, certainty, choice, responsiveness and easier access to unrivalled expertise,“ said Paul Jennings. “NorthStandard will also be the P&I mutual of choice as an employer because its unique blend of service scope, influence, flexibility and innovation will co-exist with the family ethos and culture on which both North and Standard Club built their reputations.”

In their final renewal statements as separate entities, North P&I and Standard Club reported resilient performances through another extraordinary year of challenge for the maritime industries. Both clubs are expecting positive combined ratios and stable levels of capital, notwithstanding losses across their investment portfolios given the turbulence in financial markets over the last year.
As well as an unusually benign year for claims on the International Group pooling arrangements, North and Standard have benefitted from their efforts to adjust premium rates to sustainable levels, as well as continued diversification. The positive decision of Standard & Poor’s to move NorthStandard to a “stable” outlook affirms the resilience of the new club’s financial and capital position.

North’s diversification strategy continues to generate positive returns, with Sunderland Marine and North Hull experiencing continued growth in market share and premium income. North’s total premium income for 2022/23 rose to over US$445 million, with combined renewed tonnage at 20 February 2023 currently estimated to be approximately 240M GT.

Standard Club saw total premiums rise to US$350 million and combined owned and chartered renewed tonnage at 20 February 2023 of approximately 155M GT. Its extension into Coastal and Inland vessels in Asia continued to attract new business, while Strike & Delay activities delivered strong year-on-year premium growth.

Building on this success, NorthStandard, with its enhanced ‘A’ stable rating from S&P, is one of the world’s largest providers of mutual maritime cover. With over 390 million GT of owned and chartered tonnage on its books and annual premiums of around US$800 million, it employs over 700 people and brings together over 300 years of P&I heritage.

For the 2023/24 Policy Year, members of North and Standard Club have renewed into their existing insurance entities, with 2023/24 certificates and documentation retaining Standard Club and North branding. It is anticipated that insurance entities will adopt a common NorthStandard policy from 20 February 2024.

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