Catlin Group, a property/casualty insurer and reinsurer, has appointed Peter Schmidt as CEO of European Reinsurance, effective August 1.

Mr SchmidtHe will also serve as CEO of Catlin Re Switzerland, which subject to regulatory approval will begin writing specialty classes of reinsurance for European clients later this year.

Mr Schmidt will report to Paul Brand, group chief underwriting officer and CEO of Catlin’s European operations.

Mr Schmidt joins Catlin from Atradius, where he was chief market officer and a member of the group management board. Before joining Atradius in 2008, he held various senior management positions at Swiss Reinsurance, including head of credit and surety reinsurance and head of credit solutions. He has also held executive positions at General & Cologne Re and Union Re.

This June Catlin had applied to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to establish Catlin Re Switzerland. The formation of Catlin Re Switzerland will allow Catlin to write classes of European reinsurance business that are not currently underwritten elsewhere within the Catlin Group, focusing on classes where underwriting conditions are favorable.

As is Catlin’s established practice, Catlin Re Switzerland will expand primarily through the targeted recruitment of local underwriting teams. Catlin Re Switzerland will also build on the established book of reinsurance business that has been developed and underwritten by Catlin’s European offices.

As previously announced, Martin Hochstrasser and Markus Eugster have also joined Catlin Re Switzerland as underwriting directors and will manage the trade credit, political risk and surety reinsurance portfolio that the company will initially underwrite.

Mr Hochstrasser was most recently executive director at EFG Financial Products in Zurich and was previously a managing director at Swiss Re.

Mr Eugster most recently was the principal of MA Eugster Consulting, which held mandates for Atradius Italy and UK investment management firm Channel Capital Advisors. He had previously held managing director positions with Swiss Re.

Catlin Re Switzerland will be established as a subsidiary of Catlin Bermuda (Catlin Insurance Company) and will be capitalised at approximately $1bn. Much of that capital will be allocated to a Bermuda branch of Catlin Re Switzerland, which will be established upon authorization by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

Catlin added that the Bermuda branch will initially underwrite reinsurance of various Catlin Group subsidiaries, which is currently written by Catlin Bermuda. This structure is expected to provide the group with increased capital flexibility.

Mr Brand said: “Peter will have the responsibility of leading Catlin’s reinsurance operations in Europe, including the formation of Catlin Re Switzerland. Catlin sees good profitable growth opportunities in the European reinsurance market, and I am confident that Peter will establish Catlin Re Switzerland as a leading source of specialty reinsurance.”