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Hiscox Ltd, the owners of the managing agency of Hiscox syndicate 33 and SPA 6104, has announced the appointment of Joanne Musselle as its new group chief underwriting officer, after concluding a thorough internal and external search. Musselle is currently chief underwriting officer for Hiscox Retail, the group’s largest division. She will step into the role at the end of the year following Richard Watson’s retirement which was announced in June, and join the Hiscox Ltd Board as an executive director in February 2020, subject to regulatory consent.

Musselle has been with Hiscox for 17 years, having joined the UK business in 2002 as technical underwriting manager for professions and specialty commercial lines. Since then she has held a variety of senior roles including head of UK claims and chief underwriting officer for Hiscox UK and Ireland before taking on the newly-created position of chief underwriting officer for Hiscox Retail in 2018. Prior to Hiscox, Joanne spent almost 10 years working in a variety of actuarial, pricing and reserving roles at AXA and Aviva in both the UK and Asian markets.

In her current role, Joanne is responsible for all retail underwriting across the Hiscox group, including Hiscox UK, Hiscox Europe, Hiscox USA, Hiscox Special Risks and Hiscox Asia. In the last two years, she has overseen profitable growth in gross written premium of almost 25% across the retail portfolio and helped the retail businesses to navigate increased volumes of regulatory change. She already sits on a number of subsidiary boards in the Hiscox Group, as well as being active underwriter for Hiscox syndicate 3624 and a Hiscox partner. In addition, Musselle is actively involved in industry initiatives, having been an ABI industry forum member since 2013 and serving as a workstream chair of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s Insuring Women’s Futures initiative since 2017.

Bronek Masojada, Hiscox Group CEO, said: “After a thorough search where we considered a number of strong internal and external candidates, I am pleased to appoint Joanne as our next Group Chief Underwriting Officer. Joanne’s deep understanding of our business and experience of managing underwriting portfolios in our key markets will be critical for our next stage of growth. She has overseen strong, profitable growth in our retail casualty and property portfolios and has confidently led the business through a number of changes in course when market conditions have been tough. Joanne’s commerciality, long-term view and ability to challenge will make her a valuable member of our Executive team.”

Musselle added: “Profitable underwriting is the backbone of Hiscox and I could not be more delighted to serve the Group in this broader role. Being part of the evolution of Hiscox over the last 17 years has given me many experiences and opportunities across the whole of our business and I am excited to be taking up this next challenge.”

Alpha comment: we have yet meet Joanne Musselle, however her track record and executive experience across the Hiscox group suggests she is ideally suited to this important market role. We look forward to meeting with her in due course.