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Willis Re to Broker Life Reinsurance Business

Posted on 17 May 2011

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In response to the growing capital needs of the Life insurance and Annuity industry, Willis Re, one of the world's leading reinsurance advisors, has established a Life Solutions Group to provide the market with advice on risk mitigation and financial leverage. Willis Re, part of Willis Group, a global insurance broker, has appointed Rick Hodgdon, Mike Kaster and Brian Holland three highly respected reinsurance and risk management experts in New York to lead the new team.

The Willis Re Life Solutions Group will initially focus on North America, providing capital management, structuring and advisory, and program enhancement solutions for the Life insurance and Annuity marketplace.

Commenting on the move into the Life reinsurance space, Mark Hvidsten, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Willis Re, said, “Industry capital pressures and the demands for enhanced capital efficiency in the Life and Annuity marketplace have created an opportunity for Willis Re to establish a unique platform that will help clients improve their capital efficiency. Willis Re has a deep knowledge of the market issues and opportunities, and the analytical and transactional skills to frame advice and deliver on-point execution.”

The three founding members of the Willis Re Life Solutions Group include:

Rick Hodgdon, Senior Vice President, brings over 30 years experience in reinsurance, business development and capital management to his new role at Willis Re. Mr. Hodgdon joins from Fortegra Financial where he was President of the Life Solutions Group. In his career, he has held senior management positions with some of the largest financial services organizations, both domestic and international, including most recently Imagine Advisors Inc., Navigant Consulting Inc. and Transamerica.

Mike Kaster, FSA, Senior Vice President, has over 25 years experience in insurance and has served as Chief Actuary, Corporate Actuary and Chief Product Actuary for major insurance organizations, including Conseco, Irish Life of NA, and Allstate International.

He joins from Kaster Actuarial Resources. Mr. Kaster has also held a senior consulting position with Watson Wyatt, as well as other Life insurance company roles. Mr. Kaster currently chairs the Marketing and Distribution Section for the Society of Actuaries.

Brian Holland, Senior Vice President, brings 30 years experience in reinsurance marketing and risk management. Mr. Holland has held Chief Marketing Officer and Board Level positions for several domestic and international reinsurance organizations, including amongst others Annuity & Life Re America,

ING Re and Transamerica Reinsurance. He joins Willis Re from Mann Conroy Eisenberg & Associates, an international risk advisory firm where he was a Principal. Mr. Holland is also a listed inventor on multiple patents for risk management techniques, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Welcoming the team to Willis Re, Mr. Hvidsten said, “Working closely with the non-life side of Willis Re, this highly skilled and experienced team will provide a deep foundation for our new offering.”