Catlin Group, a Bermuda-based property and casualty insurer and reinsurer, has applied to Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for the formation of a new reinsurance company Catlin Re Switzerland, with a capital of at least $1bn in Switzerland.

Catlin has said that following regulatory approval, which is anticipated in the second half of 2010, Zurich-based Catlin Re Switzerland will commence writing a portfolio of European reinsurance risks that are generally not underwritten by its existing underwriting teams.

The initial classes of business to be underwritten by Catlin Re Switzerland will include trade credit reinsurance, political risk reinsurance and surety reinsurance.

According to the Catlin, it will also apply to the Bermuda Monetary Authority to establish a Bermuda-based branch of Catlin Re Switzerland, which will initially underwrite reinsurance of various Catlin Group subsidiaries, business that is currently written by Catlin Insurance (Catlin Bermuda). However, the existing Bermuda portfolio of open market insurance and reinsurance will continue to be underwritten by Catlin Bermuda.

Catlin has added that Paul Brand, chief underwriting officer of the Catlin Group, will assume the additional role of CEO of Catlin’s European operations. Ralf Tillenburg, currently CEO of Catlin’s European hub in Cologne, will report to Mr Brand. Mr Tillenburg will be appointed as CEO-European Direct, as well as a CEO-European Reinsurance.

Catlin’s European insurance operations will report to Ralf Tillenburg in Cologne, whilst the CEO European Reinsurance, who will be based in Zurich, will be responsible for Catlin Re Switzerland as well as the existing reinsurance operations of Catlin’s European offices.

In addition, Martin Hochstrasser and Markus Eugster will also join the Catlin Re Switzerland. Mr Hochstrasser was most recently executive director at EFG Financial Products in Zurich. Mr Eugster most recently was the principal of MA Eugster Consulting.

Stephen Catlin, CEO of Catlin Group, said: “The specialist classes of business to be initially underwritten by Catlin Re Switzerland will expand the portfolio of similar business now written by Catlin by focusing on high-quality European risks at a time when market conditions are favorable for these business classes.

“The formation of Catlin Re Switzerland will complement existing Catlin-owned insurance carriers in the UK, Bermuda and the US and will offer the group additional capital flexibility.”