A new player is on the block and the P&C industry may never look the same. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has added another weapon to its already powering arsenal with the opening of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty (BHS).
The new insurer will be led by Peter Eastwood formerly of American International Group (AIG). Eastwood spent over 20 years at AIG and was the CEO of the property-casualty division in America. Eastwood attended Ohio Wesleyan University to earn a degree in economics and continued to NYU’s Stern School of Business for his MBA. He made the move to AIG from Lexington Insurance out of Boston and was President and CEO at both companies.
According to the Insurance Journal, BHS will have staff in Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta with staff coming primarily from AIG & CAN Financial Corp. Along with Eastwood, the company brings along:
David Bresnahan was President of Lexington Insurance Company out of Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his undergrad at Boston College in economics and continued on to earn his MBA at Boston University in 1999. David is the Executive Vice President overseeing casualty, health, professional and executive liability.
Sanjay Godhwani attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and studied actuarial science. He worked with Eastwood at AIG and will be the Executive Vice President of property & programs at BHS.
David Fields, also formerly of AIG, headed the global casualty department out of New York City. After earning a bachelors in physics at Rutgers University in 1977 he continued to become an actuarial assistant at ISO. David worked his way through the ranks at AIG and will assume the Executive Vice President position overseeing underwriting, actuarial finance and reinsurance.
David Crowe leaves Chartis Insurance out of Boston, Massachusetts to become the Sr. VP of Claims with BHS. He was the head of Commercial Property claims at Chartis for just under two years before making the move in April.
Although BHS has yet to announce products yet alone release a website, it is believed that they will target larger classes of P&C business similar to that of which Eastwood was familiar with at AIG. A few of those products include Coastal Condo/Hotel/Motel program, a wide appetite for commercial transportation, a program design for the Firearms Industry, and a program for recycling businesses. These lines of business may transfer over to BHS due to their leadership’s experience for the respected niches.
As a large account P&C carrier, BHS is poised to be the perfect complement to Berkshire Hathaway’s other growing company, United States Liability Insurance (USLI). Automation, quick turnaround and competitive coverage is what has propelled USLI into the position they are in today. With a sister company such as BHS, producers could have market access for the risks that do not fit USLI’s “box” qualification.
Larger accounts certainly need more underwriting, but with the technology already in place at USLI and Geico, this new Buffet company could redefine the mid-large size business insurance market.
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- Buffett: “It’s Official,” Berkshire’s Moving Into Specialty Insurance (fool.com)
- Berkshire Hathaway’s Eastwood Hiring Specialty Team to Vie with Ex-Employer AIG (insurancejournal.com)
- Berkshire’s Eastwood Builds Staff, Takes On AIG – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)