News release

HDI Global takes over shareholding in HDI Global Specialty from Hannover Re and ap-points new Members to the Management Board

  • HDI Global SE further expands specialty lines as a strategic growth segment
  • David Hullin takes over international markets
  • Claire McDonald will be the Chief Underwriting Officer for Property lines in future
  • Ralph Beutter will be responsible for Specialty
  • Yves Betz leaves for personal reasons and takes on a new challenge outside the Talanx Group

HDI Global SE acquires from Hannover Re its 49.8% stake in the joint venture HDI Global Specialty SE with effect from 31 December 2021. HDI Global SE will then hold 100 % of the shares. Following the takeover of the shares, Ralph Beutter (56), CEO of HDI Global Specialty, will also be appointed as a Board Member of HDI Global SE. Furthermore, Claire McDonald (52), currently Managing Director of the branches in the United Kingdom & Ireland, will be appointed as a new Board Member.

Through this acquisition HDI Global is expanding its specialty insurance business and at the same time reducing complexity in this strategic growth segment. Since the launch of the joint venture in 2019 the premium volume booked by HDI Global Specialty has grown from more than EUR 1 billion in 2018 to currently EUR 2.5 billion.

In reaching this agreement Hannover Re is underscoring its strategic positioning as a pure reinsurer. In addition, the transaction frees up previously committed risk capital that will be available for future growth in the company's core business.

"With our acquisition of the remaining shares we are another step closer to achieving our goal of building one of the best and most profitable specialty insurers on the world market," said Dr Edgar Puls, a member of the Board of Management of the Talanx Group and Chief Executive Officer of HDI Global SE. "Going forward, as the sole shareholder of HDI Global Specialty we will be better able to act on our opportunities in this promising market than was previously the case. Amongst other things, we will be very flexible in our ability to decide on potential M&A projects and take appropriate action."

"The reinsurance market continues to see improved prices and conditions. By selling our stake we are freeing up capital for profitable growth in our core business," said Jean-Jacques Henchoz, Chief Executive Officer of Hannover Re. "Under our cooperation agreement we shall continue to support HDI Global Specialty with our expertise as a long-term reinsurance partner, which also means that we can still share substantially in the growth of the portfolio through our participation in the reinsurance programme."

HDI Global Specialty SE writes agency and specialty insurance business including financial & professional lines, D&O, legal expenses, sport and entertainment, aviation, offshore energy and animal insurance.

Changed responsibilities in the Management Board

The appointment of Claire McDonald and Ralph Beutter to the Management Board of HDI Global SE will take effect from 1 January 2022. Starting on that date, Claire McDonald will be responsible as Chief Underwriting Officer for the Property, Engineering and Marine portfolios and HDI Risk Consulting. Ralph Beutter as CEO of HDI Global Specialty SE will be responsible for Specialty on the Board of Management of HDI Global SE. At the same time, David Hullin (53), who has been responsible on the Board of Management to date for the Property classes, will take over the management of the company’s international markets together with Jens Wohlthat. Dr Mukadder Erdönmez will take over responsibility for the motor fleet business in addition to third-party liability and cyber insurance.

Claire McDonald is currently the highly successful Managing Director of HDI Global SE’s UK and Ireland branches. Amongst other things, she has steered the branch through Brexit and successfully implemented the reorganisation and restructuring of the local portfolio. Before that, she was with the Allianz Group for over thirty years in a variety of Underwriting and Operations roles most recently as Global Head of Operations at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE.

Ralph Beutter has many years’ experience of industrial insurance and the reinsurance business. He has worked as an underwriter at the Talanx Group since 1987, occupying a number of management positions at Hannover Re since 1994. He was named CEO of Inter Hannover (International Insurance Company of Hannover SE) in 2015 and has been CEO of HDI Global Specialty SE since 2019. HDI Global Specialty was formed in 2019 as a joint venture between Hannover Re and HDI Global SE. It currently generates approximately EUR 2.5 billion in premiums and aims to lift this figure to EUR 3.7 billion by 2025. As from 1 January, HDI Global Specialty will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of HDI Global SE.

“Yves Betz made a considerable contribution to growing the profitability of the international business”

Yves Betz, who is currently responsible for Europe (without Germany), Americas and Global Marketing, is leaving the company for personal reasons to take up a new professional challenge. “I would like to thank Yves Betz for his very good work over the past years. He made a considerable contribution to growing the profitability of the international business. I wish him all the best for the future”, said Torsten Leue, Chairman of Talanx AG’s Board of Management and Supervisory Board Chairman at HDI Global SE. “I am delighted that two outstanding executives are joining HDI Global’s Board of Management in the form of Claire McDonald and Ralph Beutter. They will help achieve the goals we have set for our industrial insurance business. I also wish David Hullin and Mukadder Erdönmez every success in their new roles.”

Dr. Edgar Puls, who is responsible for Industrial Lines on the Talanx Group’s Board of Management and chairs the Board of Management of HDI Global SE, added: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Yves Betz over the past years. In addition to his operational successes, he has made clear contributions to HDI Global’s strategy and to enhancing its culture. I would like to wish him all the best for the future. I am delighted that I will be working even more closely with Claire McDonald und Ralph Beutter in the future. And I am looking forward to seeing David Hullin and Mukadder Erdönmez continue their successful work in their new roles. Together, we will maintain the company’s profitable growth trajectory.”

Further announcements will follow in the near future with regard to the leadership of HDI Global UK and Ireland, in the meantime HDI Global UK & I remains under the leadership of Claire McDonald.

With effect from 1 January 2022, HDI Global SE’s Board of Management will consist of the following people: Dr. Edgar Puls (CEO), Ralph Beutter (Specialty), Dr. Mukadder Erdönmez (Third-party Liability, Cyber Insurance, Motor), Dr. Christian Hermelingmeier (CFO), David Hullin (region Americas, Europe (without Germany)), Dr. Thomas Kuhnt (COO, IT and Group Accident), Andreas Luberichs (region Germany), Claire McDonald (Property Insurance, Engineering Insurance, Marine Insurance, HDI Risk Consulting) and Jens Wohlthat (region Asean, South Africa, Middle East, Russia).

As always, the new appointments to board of management positions are subject to approval by BaFin, the German supervisory authority.

About HDI Global SE (HDI)

As an industrial lines insurer, HDI Global SE (HDI) meets the needs of SMEs, industrial companies and corporate customers with insurance solutions that are specifically tailored to their requirements. In addition to HDI's prominent position in the German and broader European market, the company also has operations in more than 150 countries through foreign branch offices, subsidiary and peer companies, and network partners. The company is thus able to offer its customers local policies for their global operations, which ensure that the established service and insurance protection is extended for all covered risks worldwide.

HDI Global SE is a company in the Industrial Lines Division of the Talanx Group. Approximately 3.700 employees in this division generated gross written premiums of approx. EUR 6.7 billion in the year 2020.

The rating agency Standard & Poor’s has given the Talanx Primary Group a financial strength rating of A+/stable (strong). Talanx AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the MDAX.

Forward-looking statements

This news release may include forward-looking statements which are based on certain assumptions, expectations and opinions of the management of Talanx AG and/or HDI Global SE. These statements are, therefore, subject to certain known or unknown risks and uncertainties. A variety of factors, many of which are beyond Talanx AG’s and/or HDI Global SE’s control, affect our business activities, business strategy, results, performance and achievements. Should one or more of these factors or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results, performance or achievements of Talanx AG and/or HDI Global SE may vary materially from those expressed or implied in the relevant forward-looking statement. Talanx AG and HDI Global SE do not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor do Talanx AG and/or HDI Global SE accept any responsibility for the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. Talanx AG and HDI Global SE neither intend, nor assume any obligation, to update or revise these forward-looking statements in light of developments which differ from those anticipated.