Das posts loss again but COR improves to 95.4%


GWP also increased for the legal expenses provider as the business reveals a number of management changes.

Das UK Group has reported a comprehensive loss, but also a growing gross written premium (GWP) and an improved combined operating ratio (COR), for the year ending 31 December 2018.

According to its financial results, published on Companies House, the firm had a GWP of £117.9m in 2018 and the COR was 95.4%, something it pledged to achieve last October. In 2017 GWP was reported as £111.5m and COR was 101.7%.

However, the business also reported that it made a comprehensive loss of £10.6m compared to £5.2m last year. Losses in 2016 were £13.8m.

In a separate press release Das detailed the impact of a quota share arrangement with its parent firm which impacted the numbers.

It said: “The impact of a 90% quota share reinsurance arrangement with Ergo (Das UK’s parent company), is that the £2.3m profit gross of the quota share, is reported as a £10m loss net of the quota share.”

Andrew Burke, chief executive officer, Das UK Group, said:  “It is no secret that over the last few years we have had to work very hard to turnaround the performance of Das UK. There is still so much more we can do and I’m genuinely excited about realising the enormous potential.

“We will aim to focus even more closely on our customers – be they corporate business partners, brokers, solicitors or policyholders – ensuring we clearly provide them all the best outcomes possible.”

A spokesperson from Das UK Group said: “Our Ergo quota share reinsurance arrangement was renewed such that business ceded increased from 70% to 90% from 1 October 2017, and the previous sliding scale of commission was replaced by a flat commission rate from 1 January 2018. To properly account for these changes in the quota share, a significant one-off adjustment was included in Das UK’s 2018 result, which is the main driver of the impact of the quota share on Das UK’s 2018 profit.” 

They continued: “However, as the quota share has no impact on the consolidated parent group results, Das UK’s gross-of-quota share performance – i.e. its contribution to the parent group’s result - may be considered a far better measure of its underlying performance than its local statutory result.

“Also, we note that Das UK’s 2018 loss ratio, gross of reinsurance, of 69.1% represents an improvement on the prior year loss ratio of 72.5%. The 2018 results reflect the growth phase of the business transformation plan and the company’s return to profitability.

“Das UK aims to further reduce the loss ratio and improve operational efficiency by rationalising operational expenses and by optimising claims handling expenses going forward. These measures, together with broader market penetration and new propositions, will enable Das to retain its position as the UK’s leading LEI provider.”

The firm has also announced several management changes alongside the release of its results.

Tony Coram, previously group director of customer operations and IT, will move into the new role of chief customer officer and will focus on improving the experience and outcomes for policyholders, integrating all areas of the customer journey. Coram will also join the Das UK Board as an executive director.

David Swigciski has been appointed to the newly created role of director of client services, moving on from his role as head of corporate, Das UK Group.  Swigciski will be responsible for the design, underwriting and distribution of insurance products and services offered to Das UK’s broker, corporate and solicitor business partners.

Thomas Biermann has been moved on from his position as head of controlling, Ergo International to become the company’s new chief financial officer following the retirement of Gerry Cox. 

And Matt Allam will become part of the executive management committee as director of technology, data and strategic change from his position as head of internal audit, Das UK Group. 

Burke commented: “I am delighted that in Tony, David and Matt we have been able to promote talent from within Das UK and that we are able to welcome Thomas from our parent company Ergo. I look forward to working with them all.”

James Henderson, CEO of global legal protection at Ergo, said of the results: “We look forward to them [Das] delivering an increasingly significant contribution to Global LPI and Ergo as a whole”

This is the company’s first set of results since the business revealed it had completed a transformation plan.

In the results period Das was also embroiled in a trial with former CEO Paul Asplin.

In July 2018 Asplin was found guilty on fraud charges at Southwark Crown Court. Fellow defendants David Kearns, ex claims director at Das, and Sally Jones, Asplin’s former wife, were also found guilty on fraud charges.

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