Ramsey Joins Catalytic, Builds Wind Underwriting Team, Capacity

Ramsey Joins Catalytic, Builds Wind Underwriting Team, Capacity

Specialist property catastrophe underwriting manager, Catalytic Holdings has hired industry veteran Sam Ramsey to lead its newly-formed wind underwriting business.

Ramsey joins Catalytic from All-Risks Ltd. where he headed the broker’s Lloyd’s of London underwriting facilities business. Before that, he led the commercial wind underwriting group at ICAT Insurance Managers, according to the announcement.

Since joining the company, Ramsey has assembled a team of underwriters and support staff to execute the company’s wind business plan. The team includes Shannon Johnson and Lindsay Duvall, who previously worked in Catalytic’s Earthquake Underwriting Division; Brian Elliott, who joined from ACE Westchester; Tom Olcott from RT Specialty and Dawn Egidy who joins from Rockhill Underwriting Management.

The company says its plan is to become one of the largest players in the U.S. property catastrophe marketplace and currently offers up to $35 million in limits to its wholesale broker partners.

Catalytic said it is deploying its capacity to write wind-exposed property risks in Florida, Texas and the Gulf, the Carolinas and on the Eastern seaboard.

The company said it expects to increase its available per-risk limit to $50 million by July 1, 2015 to become one of the largest primary capacity providers in the wind marketplace.

Kieran Sweeney, CEO of Catalytic, said the company believes there is a real need in the wind marketplace for a sophisticated property underwriting manager.

Ramsey said Catalytic “has already demonstrated its ability to build capacity and quickly ascend to a leadership position in the Earthquake DIC [Difference in Conditions] space.”

Catalytic was founded in 2013 by Align Financial Group, a Delaware domiciled insurance holding company headquartered in San Diego.

Catalytic acquired the stock of Western RE Managers, a writer of Earthquake DIC risks in December 2013 and merged the western business with the property cat division of Align. It writes earthquake coverage for all of the Northwest including Washington, California, Oregon and the Mississippi basin.

In 2015, the company entered the U.S. wind underwriting marketplace.

Catalytic also writes stand-alone terrorism, flood and all other peril property risks.

Catalytic has offices in San Diego and Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois and Baltimore, Maryland.

CEO Sweeney began his insurance career in 1987 at Lloyd’s of London. Before establishing Align, Sweeney was president and CEO of Arrowhead General Insurance Agency in San Diego, one of the largest general insurance agencies in the U.S.

Sweeney established Align Financial Group in 2003.

The board of directors is chaired by Pat Denzer, who was formerly CEO of Collins Associates and chairman of Guy Carpenter Americas.

Catalytic’s senior management team is comprised of Sweeney, CEO; Ian Fitt, vice chairman; John Johnson, chief underwriting officer; Jon Knouse, executive vice president; Ramsey, executive vice president and John Sauder, executive vice president.