A Specialty Insurance Specialist. How Westfield’s Jack Kuhn Parses the Markets

Jack Kuhn has been at the forefront of Westfield’s new specialty business, which recently culminated in the acquisition of Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 1200 from the Argo Group.
By: | November 14, 2022

Drawing on his decades of experience at Chubb, Axis Capital and Vantage Group, as well as a stint in Bermuda, Jack Kuhn is focused as president on growing Westfield Specialty’s new geographies and lines of business.

Under Kuhn’s management, the company is active in five key lines: E&S property, E&S casualty, E&O and cyber, commercial directors and officers, and financial institutions.

“My role is very exciting, because no two days are the same,” said Kuhn. “I’m always looking for new capabilities in the marketplace that I can add to enhance our platform.

“There are many opportunities out there, but it’s making sure that we capitalize on the ones that make sense. That means we have to ensure they’re a good fit strategically for the business, both in terms of our portfolio and culturally.”

One opportunity Kuhn has taken advantage of is the acquisition of Argo’s Syndicate 1200 this past September, which markedly increases Westfield’s global footprint. The Syndicate has an estimated $650 million book of business focused on various lines of specialty insurance, and it will provide a host of opportunities to strengthen Westfield’s existing relationships and win new customers, as well as to diversify the company’s property and casualty portfolio.

“We’ve had our sights set on the international specialty market since launching our specialty business a year ago, so this is Westfield executing on our original strategy,” said Kuhn.

“We considered multiple pathways, but acquiring Syndicate 1200 emerged as a unique opportunity, because it gets us into the international specialty market quickly with an established platform while capitalizing on current market dynamics.”

While Kuhn cites his analytical outlook as a key strength, he also has a track record of building well-connected teams made up of inquiring minds that aren’t afraid to ask pertinent questions and present different views. That’s vital in a hard and uncertain market where maintaining a competitive edge makes a huge difference.

“The most important thing to remember in this role is that there’s no set blueprint,” said Kuhn. “You just have to see where the opportunities are and make sure that you are adding value to your portfolio and enhancing the scope and capability within your market.”

Kuhn said of the five lines Westfield provides, E&S property is the most challenging, both for the reinsurer and the insured, particularly given recent catastrophe events such as Hurricane Ian.

On the flip side, he said, cyber remains an ever-evolving growth area ripe with opportunity.

Throughout his career, Kuhn has successfully built and scaled businesses multiple times, managing U.S. and global portfolios worth more than $6 billion in premiums across the executive leadership roles he has held. That’s something he now looks to continue with Westfield. &

Jack Kuhn has been selected as a 2023 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.

Alex Wright is a UK-based business journalist, who previously was deputy business editor at The Royal Gazette in Bermuda. You can reach him at [email protected].

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