Kevin J. Rehnberg, Argo Group

Kevin J. Rehnberg

Providing Expertise

Editors’ Note

Previously, Kevin Rehnberg served as Executive Vice President for specialty lines at OneBeacon Insurance where he oversaw its existing specialty underwriting operations while acquiring and developing new lines of specialty business. He held similar senior executive positions at The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Liberty International, and The Chubb Corporation. Rehnberg also served as CEO of Consultants in Laboratory Medicine of Greater Toledo, Inc.

Would you provide an overview of Argo’s U.S.-based businesses?

Our business in the U.S. is comprised of three segments, each of which approaches the market in a different way. The first is our Excess and Surplus Lines (E&S) business, which operates under the Colony Specialty brand. Here the business is brought to us by the wholesale market and each of our underwriting units is focused around a single product line that we deliver to the clients and the wholesale world.

The second is our commercial specialty business. In this segment, we offer multiple lines of insurance coverage, predominantly through retail brokers.

Our third segment is an Argo-owned managing general agent (MGA), called Alteris, where we underwrite insurance primarily on behalf of other carriers.

All three segments serve different parts of the market and each component of each business has a specialty focus.

Is it challenging to differentiate within the space?

It varies by segment. What we provide and what our customers value is expertise, which could be in the form of underwriting, risk management, and/or claims. We have different customer bases that value each of these.

At Argo Insurance, for example, we are known for our excellent claims people. Our knowledge and ability to deal with claims quickly is the clear differentiator between us and the other competitors in this space.

Another area of differentiation is providing superior service. Service expectations are defined by the customer. There are areas of the excess and surplus lines market where service, turnaround, and responsiveness matters and differentiates us; there are other places where it’s our underwriting expertise that brings service value.

We specialize in those businesses where we have the expertise and can offer what matters most to the client.

Is there close coordination between the U.S. and the international parts of the business?

There is more cooperation here than at many other global companies, and part of it has to do with the size but also how the executive team has been constructed so there is a significant level of trust and understanding, and a collegial effort.

The business that we underwrite through our operations in Bermuda and with Lloyd’s both carry a lot of U.S.-based risk. We underwrite certain types of risk in the U.S. that are similar to those in Brazil or Dubai, and even small businesses in the U.S. are affected by changes in the global economy. So it’s important that we share the knowledge and expertise that we have in one geographic area across all of Argo. Having a Group Chief Underwriting Officer helps to facilitate that transfer of knowledge. In addition to Mark’s executive team meetings, we bring a large cross-section of leaders from across the group together twice a year to have a chance to work in functional and cross-functional teams, and gather and share knowledge.