The 2021 Executives to Watch: Allianz’s Grant Maxwell
Every year, Executives to Watch share their goals and anticipated challenges for the upcoming year. Undoubtedly, 2021 will be tinged with a greater degree of uncertainty than years past, presenting new trials — and new opportunities as well. If any sector of the insurance industry was made for an environment of heightened uncertainty, it’s alternative risk transfer.
“The key challenges we face reflect the challenges facing our clients,” said Grant Maxwell, global head of alternative risk transfer for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).
Maxwell took on his position in February, managing a team of 60 professionals based in multiple regional hubs around the world, just before the pandemic turned it upside down. Financial stress stemming from COVID-19 combined with the ongoing hardening market constitute two of the greatest stressors for most companies right now.
“Rates are going up, and availability of coverage is going down, so clients are looking for alternatives to existing covers that are now much more expensive or for solutions that no longer exist in the traditional marketplace,” Maxwell said.
“We also expect some clients to experience decreased revenue and squeezed margins related to the impacts of the pandemic. So, while they would like to spend less on their insurance, they will also have less of a buffer to absorb losses on their own. We have to be ready to help our customers as they face unique challenges … but unique challenges have always fallen into the realm of the alternative risk transfer market,” he said.
Maxwell’s transition to global head is preceded by 22 years of experience in alternative risk transfer, most recently overseeing the alternative risk underwriting and portfolio management process atAGCS. Before that, he spent time in actuarial, underwriting and management roles on both the insurance and reinsurance sides of the industry.
Deep technical expertise and knowledge of alternative structures built over the course of his career make Maxwell well-equipped to guide clients through this period of uncertainty.
“The key is helping companies manage volatility over time without taking on too much risk themselves, and there are several ways we can approach that. We offer multinational fronting services, captive stop loss solutions, multiyear and multiline packages that spread out risk more effectively, and parametric policies with triggers designed to address specific exposures within a given risk appetite,” he said.
”As companies re-evaluate their insurance buying strategies facing new financial pressures, we’ll look to devise creative structures and custom solutions that meet risk mitigation needs within stricter budgets.”
The need for innovation, creativity and adaptability is exactly what drew Maxwell to the alternative risk space in the first place. To him, every unpredictable challenge represents an opportunity to do something new.
“We get to work with all types of clients, all over the world, on a broad range of issues. That variety keeps me engaged,” he said.&
For the full list of Insurance Executives to Watch in 2021, view here.