Cover stories

Markel opens for business in Shanghai

This is the fourth year that Markel has had a presence in China. It opened a representative office in Beijing in 2011 and earlier this year obtained approval to join the Lloyd's China platform.

Markel will now be able to offer a local solution for Chinese insurers seeking to purchase treaty and facultative reinsurance. Capacity will be provided by Markel's Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd's and written through the Lloyd's China platform.

Matthew Cannock, Markel's managing director for Asia, said: “We are very pleased to announce the opening of the Markel underwriting division of Lloyd's China.

Based in Shanghai we'll now be able to write reinsurance business as an onshore reinsurer as opposed to our previous offshore status. This is particularly important as with effect from 2016 the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) will be introducing new capital requirements for all domestic Chinese insurers that will require additional capital to be held in respect of offshore reinsurance. This will undoubtedly change insurers' buying strategies and has the potential to move considerable volumes of business away from the traditional offshore reinsurance markets”

Steven Zhang, who has been chief representative in Markel's Beijing office and who has been responsible for establishing the office in Shanghai will be leaving the company.

Matthew Cannock added: “Having played a pivotal role in establishing Markel in the PRC, both in its initial office in Beijing and now in Shanghai as part of the Lloyd's platform Steven has decided that he needs to be closer to his family in Canada.

“As a result, he'll be leaving us once the transition from representative office to underwriting division has been completed and we'd like to thank Steven for all his hard work and commitment to Markel and to wish him the very best in the future.”

“We are now actively involved in a recruitment process for the appointment of a new representative, who will have the task of building on the foundations Steven has put in place, to create a significant and growing business for us in China.”