Broker Schnorr quits Aon to take top Torus role - 23/07/2014

Former Marsh and Benfield broker Simon Schnorr to become global marine leader at Enstar-controlled insurance group

Another top broker is leaving Aon to head the marine underwriting operation of the Torus group.

Aon’s London-based protection-and-indemnity (P&I) chief Simon Schnorr is to be global marine leader for Torus, an international insurance group whose operations include Lloyd’s of London syndicate 1301.

Schnorr (39) was still at work at Aon this week with a date for his move, expected to be in the autumn, yet to be set.

As he is moving into underwriting rather than switching to a rival broking group, there is not the competitive tension that leads to resigning staff being sent on gardening leave.

At Torus, Schnorr is set to replace Demian Smith, who has been promoted to chief executive of the group’s international business operations.

Torus is part of the business portfolio of Bermuda-based but Nasdaq-quoted Enstar, which also controls Atrium Underwriting operating syndicate 609 at Lloyd’s and Arden Reinsurance.

Schnorr is a former Marsh broker who was in a large team that moved to Benfield as this reinsurance broker diversified into direct marine business a decade ago.

He became part of the Aon team through the 2008 acquisition of Benfield and spent 18 months building the megabroker’s Dubai-based marine operation.

Schnorr returned to London to take on the top P&I role in 2011 after Steve Griffiths moved to the UK Club and Stephen Hawke to PL Ferrari.

Schnorr is a career insurance broker but started his working life with top mutual manager Thomas Miller and has been a Through Transport Club underwriter.

Aon’s London-based P&I operation places $170m of premium with International Group clubs and fixed-premium schemes for clients that include the top cruise operators Carnival and Royal Caribbean as well as leading cargo fleets. But the megabroker appears to have a history of difficulty in hanging on to leading brokers.

The Besso broking group, meanwhile, appears have overcome the loss of a well-regarded, six-strong team led by its marine chief, David Smith, to Lloyd & Partners (See Costa Concordia, page 26).

John Hudson appears to have led a Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) team to Besso.

Hudson, who had partner status, and a number of other brokers joined JLT as part of the 2009 acquisition of niche broker Craven & Partners.

The moves amount to a circular game of musical chairs as Lloyd & Partners is part of the JLT group.

in 18/07/2014