Review of the year: January

Review of the Year 2017 - January

2018 started off with a bang with FCA fines and some big ticket M&A involving Markerstudy and A-Plan.

We take a look at the top five stories that set 2018 off to a flyer.

  1. One Call faces £4.6m hit on top of £1m+ FCA fines 
    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fined One Call Insurance Services and its CEO John Lawrence Radford £684,000 and £468,000 respectively for breaching rules around handling of client money. One Call was also restricted for 121 days from the date the Final Notice was issued from charging renewal fees to its customers, a move which was anticipated to cost the firm approximately £4.6m.
     
  2. A-Plan buys Endsleigh 
    The deal, for an undisclosed sum, saw Zurich sell Endsleigh to High St broker A-Plan. At the time of the sale it was announced that Endsleigh would continue to operate as a separate entity. A-Plan CEO, Carl Shuker, commented at the time: ““Endsleigh was established in 1965, originally by the NUS, and has a very long heritage in the student market, with unique insights and data – it is a business that we have known well for many years and for which we have huge admiration.”
     
  3. Markerstudy sold to Qatar Re 
    Qatar Reinsurance signed an agreement to buy Markerstudy. The price of the deal, which completed in the first half of 2018 following regulatory approval, was not disclosed. The takeover included the Gibraltar-based insurance companies: Markerstudy Insurance, Zenith Insurance, St Julians Insurance and Ultimate Insurance.
     
  4. Markerstudy keeps brand after insurance company sales – Gary Humphreys interview
    The deal to sell Markerstudy’s insurance companies to Qatar Re is “really positive” and good news for brokers and staff alike, Gary Humphreys told Insurance Age. The group underwriting director revealed the business, which has been at the centre of sale rumours for some time, had started working on its options early last year at which point it had “no hard and fast ideas about end results”. He commented: “This deal takes that headache away from the Markerstudy Group and gives us a long term commitment with strong capital support.”
     
  5. £500,000 Gallagher fraudster jailed for 34 months 
    A former employee of Arthur J Gallagher who was convicted of stealing £500,000 from the broker was sentenced to 34 months in prison. A Gallagher spokesperson confirmed that James Cunnington, who was found guilty in November 2017, had been jailed earlier in January. The spokesperson stated: “Suspicious claims payments made by James Cunnington, a former employee of Gallagher, were uncovered during a routine audit and swiftly escalated through our enhanced governance and control procedures.”

Take another look back tomorrow when we outline the key moments impacting on the insurance sector in February 2018. 

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