Aspen published its first set of results last week since beginning a formal sale process which ensured even greater scrutiny than usual on its turn-around plans.


Dubbed internally as Aspen 2.0, CEO Chris O’Kane said Aspen continues to implement its “operational effectiveness and efficiency program”.

One notable feature of the results was the significant de-risking that had taken place since 2017’s outsized losses which led to a full year operating loss of $355.7mn.

In its first quarter results the carrier said it had rapidly increased its reinsurance buying to “control volatility”.

The carrier considerably upped reinsurance spend, retaining only 42.7 percent of reinsurance risks, down from 55 percent during the same period in 2017, and 68.2 percent of reinsurance premium, down from 79.3 percent.

Another feature of Aspen 2.0 is the repositioning of the company’s underwriting and senior management which has led to notable departures and office closures.

The Singapore office is understood to be one of the focal points of the turnaround, with the carrier no longer believed to be writing property fac business out of the region.

Last month CEO of the Singapore business, Yann Marmonier, and Paul Hackett - head or marine for the region - were said to be leaving Aspen’s regional office for Canopius.

There have also been a number of departures in London where the carrier’s head of aviation Martin Jackson was let go as part of the restructure at the end of last year.

Richard Frost and Richard Loader also left toward the end of 2017, jumping ship to join Lloyd’s third party and employers’ liability insurer Dale Underwriting.

Frost previously headed up the liability division, while Loader led Aspen’s casualty underwriting business in London.

Aspen is also understood to have lost cyber underwriter Nick Lang to WR Berkley. Cyber underwriting is a notoriously hard sector to recruit in owing to the limited talent in the burgeoning market.

In addition to that, and following energy market veteran Chris Wildee’s move to Oman Insurance last year. The move threatens Aspen’s leading position in the energy sector.

In Bermuda, Aspen parted ways with Natasha Pethick when it closed its US property insurance unit on the island. She was followed to the exit by her team members Stephanie Law and Allison Bassett.

It is also understood that there have been redundancies at the carrier’s reinsurance offices in Paris and Cologne, which are also closing.

At the top, Aspen Re chairman Brian Boornazian and Aspen Insurance CEO Stephen Postlewhite have both parted ways with the firm. Postlewhite stepped down from the firm at the turn of the year.

In the wake of the departures, talent will be a central focus for bidders interested in Aspen as the sales process moves forward while the turn-around plan is put into action.

Aspen confirmed that the individuals mentioned in this story had either departed or were working notice and pointed to a number of internal promotions and external hires but declined to comment further.

Aspen departures
NameRole at AspenDeparture dateMove
Yann Marmonier CEO Singapore Apr-18 Canopius
Paul Hackett  Head of marine, Singapore  Apr-18 Canopius
Nick Lang Cyber underwriter, London Apr-18 WRB
Brian Boornazian Aspen Re chairman Mar-18 Unknown
Richard Frost Head of liability insurance, London Mar-18 Dale Underwriting
Richard Loader Head of casualty insurance, London Mar-18 Dale Underwriting
Natasha Pethick Vice President property, Bermuda Feb-18 Markel
Stephanie Law Property underwriter, Bermuda Feb-18 Chubb
Allison Bassett Property underwriting assistant, Bermuda Feb-18 Unknown
Stephen Postlewhite Aspen Insurance CEO Jan-18 Unknown
Martin Jackson Head of aviation, London Dec-17 Unknown
Chris Wildee Head of international marine and international upstream energy  Sep-17 Oman Insurance