Insurance Executive

Ironshore’s Kelley Enthused by Liberty Acquisition

Combining Liberty Mutual’s standard line depth and Ironshore’s underwriting expertise bodes well, he says.
By: | May 5, 2017 • 3 min read

Ironshore CEO Kevin Kelley said this week that he views the combination of specialty carrier Liberty International Underwriters, a Liberty Mutual subsidiary, with the U.S. operations of Ironshore as a “phenomenal opportunity” that should advance the fortunes of both Ironshore and its new parent company.

“What I think is interesting and positive is that we now become a US insurer and that fundamentally  means we can cross-sell all of our products to our US customer base,” Kelley said.

On May 1, Liberty Mutual announced that it closed on the acquisition of Ironshore, a specialty carrier that has been in existence since 2006.  Lexington veteran Shaun Kelly, who came over to the Bermuda-based Ironshore with Kevin Kelley in 2008, is CEO of Ironshore US and reports directly to Mr. Kelley.


The new Ironshore unit will become the sixth largest E&S writer in the country based on 2016 direct written premium, according to Liberty Mutual.

For Kelley, the merger means he can leverage his team’s underwriting experience and begin working with standard commercial lines like workers’ compensation, general liability, and commercial auto that Ironshore wasn’t involved with previously.

“I think by joining a firm such as Liberty that has very, very strong ratings and a desire to be an even stronger commercial alternative we have really entered into the next phase in Ironshore’s evolution,” Kelley said.

“We will see more activity and that is fundamental to selection.”– Kevin Kelley, the CEO of Ironshore

“The combination of our two operations will create a top-tier U.S. specialty insurer with a broad and deep set of solutions for clients and brokers,” said Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long in a company press release.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Liberty Mutual is the fourth largest property and casualty insurance carrier in the U.S. based on 2016 direct written premiums.

The scale of the Liberty Mutual balance sheet, the amount of capital it can deploy against risk, and the sheer number of customers Liberty Mutual serves are assets Kelley said he is happy to align himself with.

“It enhances our looks,” he said, meaning the scope of risks and customers Ironshore can now potentially underwrite.

“We will see more activity and that is fundamental to selection,” Kelley said.

“We just see a phenomenal opportunity to build on the activity we currently have. Through the integration of LIU U.S. and Ironshore U.S., we will be in excess of a $2 billion company in the U.S. and over $3 billion under the Ironshore global brand,” Kelley said. “Scale matters.”

Liberty Mutual Chairman and CEO David Long

In a career at AIG that spanned three decades, Kelley rose to lead specialty carrier Lexington, which is still the biggest U.S.-based carrier in the specialty insurance space.

Since its origins in 2006, Ironshore grew to become a specialist in environmental, professional liability and health care, among other disciplines.

Kelley said this week he is confident the combined LIU and Ironshore specialty underwriting teams will thrive.

“I think what we bring to the table is a fundamental concept of ownership of our performance with creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit,” Kelley said.

“Believe me, that’s in our DNA so we are going to continue to embrace that approach and will be a positive influence on Liberty Mutual’s already strong, reputable culture,” he added.

Ironshore has its own presence at Lloyd’s, Pembroke, and Liberty Mutual also has a strong London presence and a strong surety business, he added.

“I think Liberty brings an awful lot of resources to the market now,” Kelley said.

“With us being a part of the Liberty family we hope that we can help them achieve new heights,” he said.

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected]

More from Risk & Insurance

More from Risk & Insurance

Risk Management

The Profession

Janet Sheiner, VP of risk management and real estate at AMN Healthcare Services Inc., sees innovation as an answer to fast-evolving and emerging risks.
By: | March 5, 2018 • 4 min read

R&I: What was your first job?

As a kid, bagging groceries. My first job out of school, part-time temp secretary.

R&I: How did you come to work in risk management?

Risk management picks you; you don’t necessarily pick it. I came into it from a regulatory compliance angle. There’s a natural evolution because a lot of your compliance activities also have the effect of managing your risk.

R&I: What is the risk management community doing right?


There’s much benefit to grounding strategic planning in an ERM framework. That’s a great innovation in the industry, to have more emphasis on ERM. I also think that risk management thought leaders are casting themselves more as enablers of business, not deterrents, a move in the right direction.

R&I: What could the risk management community be doing a better job of?

Justified or not, risk management functions are often viewed as the “Department of No.” We’ve worked hard to cultivate a reputation as the “Department of Maybe,” so partners across the organization see us as business enablers. That reputation has meant entertaining some pretty crazy ideas, but our willingness to try and find a way to “yes” tempered with good risk management has made all the difference.

Janet Sheiner, VP, Risk Management & Real Estate, AMN Healthcare Services Inc.

R&I: What was the best location and year for the RIMS conference and why?

San Diego, of course!  America’s Finest City has the infrastructure, Convention Center, hotels, airport and public transportation — plus you can’t beat our great weather! The restaurant scene is great, not to mention those beautiful coastal views.

R&I: What’s been the biggest change in the risk management and insurance industry since you’ve been in it?

The emergence of risk management as a distinct profession, with four-year degree programs and specific academic curriculum. Now I have people on my team who say their goal is to be a risk manager. I said before that risk management picks you, but we’re getting to a point where people pick it.

R&I: What emerging commercial risk most concerns you?


The commercial insurance market’s ability to innovate to meet customer demand. Businesses need to innovate to stay relevant, and the commercial market needs to innovate with us.  Carriers have to be willing to take on more risk and potentially take a loss to meet the unique and evolving risks companies are facing.

R&I: Of which insurance carrier do you have the highest opinion?

Beazley. They have been an outstanding partner to AMN. They are responsive, flexible and reasonable.  They have evolved with us. They have an appreciation for risk management practices we’ve organically woven into our business, and by extension, this makes them more comfortable with taking on new risks with us.

R&I: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the U.S. health care industry and why?

I am very optimistic about the health care industry. We have an aging population with burgeoning health care needs, coupled with a decreasing supply of health care providers — that means we have to get smarter about how we manage health care. There’s a lot of opportunity for thought leaders to fill that gap.

R&I: Who is your mentor and why?

Professionally, AMN Healthcare General Counsel, Denise Jackson, has enabled me to do the best work I’ve ever done, and better than I thought I could do.  Personally, my husband Andrew, a second-grade teacher, who has a way of putting things into a human perspective.

R&I: What have you accomplished that you are proudest of?

In my early 20s, I set a goal for the “corner office.” I achieved that when I became vice president.  I received a ‘Values in Practice’ award for trust at AMN. The nomination came from team members I work with every day, and I was incredibly humbled and honored.

R&I: What is your favorite book or movie?

The noir genre, so anything by Raymond Chandler in books. For movies,  “Double Indemnity,” the 1944 Billy Wilder classic, with insurance at the heart of it!

R&I: What is your favorite drink?


Clean water. Check out for how to help people enjoy clean, safe water.

R&I: What’s the best restaurant at which you’ve eaten?

Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant in Beijing.

R&I: What is the most unusual/interesting place you have ever visited?

China. See favorite restaurant above. This restaurant had been open for 100 years in that location. It didn’t exactly have an “A” rating, and it was probably not a place most risk managers would go to.

R&I: What is the riskiest activity you ever engaged in?

Eating that duck at Liqun!

R&I: If the world has a modern hero, who is it and why?

Dr. Seuss who, in response to a 1954 report in Life magazine, worked to reduce illiteracy among school children by making children’s books more interesting. His work continues to educate and entertain children worldwide.

R&I: What do your friends and family think you do?

They’re not really sure!

Katie Dwyer is an associate editor at Risk & Insurance®. She can be reached at [email protected]