Florida lawmakers approve surplus lines modernization provision

The Florida legislature has approved House Bill 301 – a law that has a provision that would eliminate the prescriptive cap on surplus lines agent policy fees. As part of an effort to “modernize” the surplus lines market, the provision not only removes the cap on insurance agent fees, but also replaces the rule for new language which stipulates that fees should be reasonable and clearly listed on the policy. The legislation will not come into effect until it is signed by the governor. The bill shares some similarities with an earlier plan – HB 387 – which was proposed last February. In response to the Florida legislature’s approval of the bill, the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) has issued a statement praising the lawmaker’s decision. “We applaud the work of the Florida Surplus Lines Association (FSLA), and their partnership with WSIA and a number of industry leaders, to modernize the Florida surplus lines marketplace,” said WSIA president Joel Cavaness in a statement.

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Insurance Technology

Global Atlantic Announces $10 Billion Block Reinsurance Agreement with Manulife Across Both US and Japan Business

Global Atlantic | December 11, 2023

Global Atlantic Financial Group a leading insurance company meeting the retirement and life insurance needs of individuals and institutions, today announced it has signed a $10 billion reinsurance agreement with Manulife Financial Corporation. Key Highlights of the Transaction Third block transaction Global Atlantic has executed with Manulife, a leading international financial services provider and wealth manager. Highlights successful partnership between organizations. Showcases Global Atlantic’s unique ability to underwrite, structure and execute on multiple liabilities and across the global insurance market and includes Global Atlantic’s first block reinsurance transaction in Japan. The transaction, signed between subsidiaries of the companies, will reinsure a seasoned and diversified block of Manulife’s life, annuity, and long-term care insurance business originated in the US and Japan. Following a concurrent transaction where 100% of the long-term care (“LTC") insurance risks are simultaneously reinsured with a highly rated third-party global reinsurer, Global Atlantic will only retain the underlying spread-based risks on the subset of the block that involves the LTC business. Similar to Global Atlantic’s other spread-based reinsurance transactions, the predictable nature of the retained risks makes this an attractive profile for Global Atlantic and Ivy II, its co-investment vehicle. With this deal, Global Atlantic further advances its position as a reinsurer of choice in the annuity and life insurance marketplace. The company has established a 20-year track record, successfully completing more than 40 transactions with nearly 30 clients and reinsuring more than $140 billion of assets since inception. “Throughout this process, we partnered closely with Manulife teams in Canada, the US and Japan to gain a strong understanding of their goals” said Manu Sareen, Co-President of Global Atlantic. Due to our organizations’ close collaborative process, we were able to develop a tailored solution that aligns with all parties’ strategic objectives. Our innovative LTC structure separates the insurance risks from the underlying investment and spread-based risk, and enables Global Atlantic to reinsure the insurance risks to a highly regarded reinsurance partner. With this structure, our retained liability cashflows on this part of the transaction are not subject to any lapse, longevity or morbidity risks. [Source -Business Wire] The block currently has approximately $10 billion in general account assets across multiple product lines including payout annuities, whole life policies and long-term care policies. The Japan whole life block represents approximately $4 billion USD equivalent (¥574 billion) assets making the transaction one of the largest Japanese reinsurance deals in recent history and further advancing Global Atlantic’s presence and commitment across Asia. Global Atlantic will retrocede the long-term care insurance risk to a well-established and highly rated third-party reinsurer. Under the terms of the agreement, Manulife will reinsure the blocks and transfer general account assets to Global Atlantic. Manulife will also retain servicing and administration of the policies. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024, subject to satisfaction or waiver of customary closing conditions specified in the agreement, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals. About Global Atlantic Global Atlantic Financial Group is a leading insurance company meeting the retirement and life insurance needs of individuals and institutions. With a strong financial foundation and risk and investment management expertise, the company delivers tailored solutions to create more secure financial futures. The company's performance has been driven by its culture and core values focused on integrity, teamwork, and the importance of building long-term client relationships. Global Atlantic is a majority-owned subsidiary of KKR, a leading global investment firm. Through its relationship, the company leverages KKR's investment capabilities, scale and access to capital markets to enhance the value it offers clients. KKR's parent company is KKR & Co. Inc. Certain information contained in this press release constitutes “forward-looking statements,” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “project,” “estimate,” “target,” “intend,” “continue” or “believe,” other variations thereon or comparable terminology. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and are based on Global Atlantic’s current beliefs, assumptions and expectations. Due to various risks, uncertainties and contingencies, including but not limited to obtaining required regulatory approvals, closing on signed transactions and whether the anticipated benefits of a transaction can be achieved within expected timeframes, actual events or results or performance may differ materially from what is reflected or contemplated in such forward-looking statements. Global Atlantic undertakes no obligation to update or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

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Risk Management

Nearmap Announces Agreement to Acquire Betterview, a Complementary Property Intelligence and Risk Management Platform

Nearmap | December 07, 2023

Nearmap, one of the world's largest location intelligence and aerial imagery solutions providers, has signed an agreement to acquire Betterview, a leading property intelligence and risk management platform in the insurance industry. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap expanded operations into the U.S. in 2014 to help companies better visualize the truth on the ground to make more informed business decisions. Today's announcement marks a significant milestone in the advancement of the Nearmap global growth strategy. This will reinforce the company's position as a leading source of imagery intelligence, data and solutions, and expand and complement its expertise and capabilities for insurance customers and partners. "The Nearmap acquisition of Betterview is transformative for the industry," said Andy Watt, CEO of Nearmap. Integrating the Betterview platform and AI solutions into the Nearmap technology stack will enable better visualization of the truth on the ground with a richer, more powerful set of AI capabilities that combine the best of both companies. This is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to innovate solutions for insurance carriers, and expand our presence within the property and casualty space. [Source -PR Newswire] Betterview is an established and trusted source of property intelligence and risk management for the insurance industry, applying artificial intelligence and computer vision to help identify and mitigate property risk, improve and automate underwriting and inspection workflows, and provide a more productive, seamless customer experience. "Combining the offerings of two best-in-class providers will deliver greater impact for insurers," said Betterview Co-Founder and CEO David Lyman. "The acquisition of Betterview by Nearmap will increase access to premium imagery and cutting-edge, scalable property intelligence solutions for the insurance industry." "We are optimistic about the outcomes this acquisition will bring to our customers, the potential for developing even greater products together, and the impact it will have on the future of the insurance industry," said Betterview Co-Founder and COO Dave Tobias. Nearmap and Betterview will harness the power of the leading image intelligence and property risk-management technology solutions — including a historical archive for change analysis, comprehensive post-catastrophe imagery, and AI attributes — to provide customers and partners with greater certainty and clarity, through More efficient development of insurance solutions and capabilities Faster and more accurate underwriting, property condition identification, and overall mitigation of risk Enhanced visualization and interpretation of over 100 AI-powered property attributes Deeper analytics, with more recency, and regularity through insights easily accessible within a browser, via API or business intelligence tools, or seamlessly integrated with existing underwriting or claims core systems From imagery to insights to answers, this acquisition aligns with the Nearmap long-term global vision to be the source of truth that shapes our livable world. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Jefferies served as exclusive financial advisor to Betterview. About Nearmap Nearmap provides easy, instant access to high-resolution aerial imagery, city-scale 3D content, AI data sets, and geospatial tools. Using its own patented camera systems and processing software, Nearmap captures wide-scale urban areas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand several times each year, making current content instantly available in the cloud via web app or API integration. Every day, Nearmap helps thousands of users conduct virtual site visits for deep, data-driven insights—enabling informed decisions, streamlined operations, and better financial performance. Founded in Australia in 2007, Nearmap is one of the largest aerial survey companies in the world. About Betterview Betterview is the Property Intelligence & Risk Management Solution the insurance industry depends on to identify and mitigate property risk, improve underwriting and inspection efficiency, and build a more transparent customer experience. Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer vision to aerial imagery and geospatial data, Betterview generates the most accurate property information insurers trust to automate pricing, underwriting, and renewals while focusing strategic action on critical properties, helping transform property insurance from Repair and Replace to Predict and Prevent.

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Annuities

Bow River Advisers Partners with New York Life Investment Management to Expand Private Equity Access Through Evergreen Fund

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

New York Life Investment Management ("NYLIM") today announced a strategic partnership with Bow River Advisers, a subsidiary of Bow River Capital. The partnership combines NYLIM's distribution and client service strengths, with Bow River Advisers' expertise in private markets investing and portfolio management. With this new agreement, NYLIM will take a minority interest in Bow River Advisers and serve as distribution partner for the Bow River Capital Evergreen Fund ("EVERX" or "the Fund"), a fund that provides access to a diversified portfolio of private equity investments. "New York Life Investment Management has been committed to providing quality alternative investment solutions to our clients for more than two decades," said New York Life Investment Management Chief Operating Officer Kirk Lehneis. "This partnership with Bow River Advisers, an innovator in providing high-quality private equity exposure in an investor-friendly structure, will allow us to provide a more differentiated product offering to our clients, while providing additional support to the Fund's existing client base." The Bow River Capital Evergreen Fund was launched in May 2020, and provides access to a broad range of private equity investments across sector, sponsor, geography and size. The Fund's combination of immediate investment exposure, broad diversification and low investment minimums ($50,000 for accredited investors) has attracted interest from a wide range of investors, particularly those interested in diversifying their traditional stock and bond portfolios. "We built the Bow River Capital Evergreen Fund to provide investors with what we believe is an easily accessible private equity portfolio," said Jeremy Held, Managing Director, Bow River Advisers and President of the Evergreen Fund. "Our partnership with New York Life Investment Management provides significant resources that will allow us to broaden the Fund's investor base while remaining focused on portfolio management and the Fund's day-to-day operations. As one of the largest and most well-respected institutional investors in the world, New York Life Investment Management will bring expertise that can enhance the reach of the Fund going forward." NYLIM will provide distribution and marketing support to the Fund, and Bow River Capital Evergreen's investment strategy, team and day-to-day operations will remain unchanged. About New York Life Investments With over $687 billion in Assets Under Management as of September 30, 2023, New York Life Investments, Pensions and Investments' 25th Largest Money Manager, is comprised of the affiliated global asset management businesses of its parent company, New York Life Insurance Company, and offers clients access to specialized, independent investment teams through its family of affiliated boutiques. New York Life Investments remains committed to clients through a combination of the diverse perspectives of its boutiques and a long-lasting focus on sustainable relationships. "New York Life Investments" is both a service mark, and the common trade name, of certain investment advisors affiliated with New York Life Insurance Company. About Bow River Capital Bow River Capital is a private alternative asset manager based in Denver, Colorado, focused on investing in the lower and middle market in four asset classes: private credit, private equity, real estate, and software growth equity. Through its subsidiary Bow River Advisers, LLC, Bow River Capital also offers a registered interval fund – Bow River Capital Evergreen Fund (EVERX) – designed to provide private market access to a broader set of investors. Collectively, the Bow River Capital team has deployed capital into diverse industries, asset classes and across the capital structure.

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