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Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty launches U.S. cyber unit


December 15, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter


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One year after Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) offered cyber security coverage in Canada, the specialist corporate insurer announced on Tuesday that it is launching a dedicated cyber unit in the United States as part of its Financial Lines portfolio.

Emy R. Donavan and Jenny Soubra have been named national practice leaders, effective immediately, reporting to Paul Schiavone, regional head of Financial Lines, North America

AGCS said in a media release that Emy R. Donavan and Jenny Soubra have been named national practice leaders, effective immediately, reporting to Paul Schiavone, regional head of Financial Lines, North America.

Based in San Francisco, both Donavan and Soubra will lead an experienced team tasked with developing and placing AGCS’s first-ever, tailor-made U.S. Cyber and Specialty Professional Indemnity (PI) policy. AGCS has been offering a dedicated cyber product in Asia and Europe since 2013, followed by Canada in 2014.

“I am truly pleased to have these accomplished professionals join our growing Financial Lines team here in the U.S., as they bring the expertise necessary to help our clients face and manage this ever-growing, ever-changing threat – head on,” said Schiavone in the release. “The recent flurry of publicized attacks is only the tip of the iceberg, and the interruption of critical systems may severely affect a company’s business continuity, causing irreparable damage to their overall brand and reputation.”

Related: Global annual tab for cyber crime US$445 billion, cyber insurance market forecast to grow to US$20 billion-plus by 2025: AGCS

According to a report issued by AGCS in September, titled A Guide to Cyber Risk: Managing the Impact of Increasing Interconnectivity, cyber risk is costing the global economy US$445 billion annually, US$108 billion of which comes from the U.S. With fewer than 10% of companies currently purchasing cyber-specific policies, AGCS forecasts that cyber insurance premiums will grow globally from US$2 billion per annum today to more than US$20 billion over the next decade, a compound annual growth rate above 20%.

“The corporate cyber risk of today is one that cannot be ignored and deserves the immediate attention of the C-Suite,” Schiavone added in the release. “Companies increasingly face new exposures, including first and third party damage, as well as regulatory consequences.”

As one of the leaders of the cyber unit, Donovan’s experience includes more than a decade of cyber, technology and specialty errors & omissions (E&O) underwriting. She most recently served as vice president of underwriting at AXIS Pro, handling Fortune 1000 business for the Central and Western regions, with heavy emphasis on cyber and technology placements. Prior to this, Donavan held senior roles developing the specified professions and technology division at Zurich North America. She began her insurance career as an underwriter for ACE Group. Donavan earned a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkley and is a licensed CA surplus lines broker.

Related: Allianz launches coverage to help Canadian companies defend against rising cyber threat

Soubra is a seasoned insurance professional with more than 15 years of experience in financial lines. Before joining AGCS, she was an assistant vice president for professional liability and cyber at ACE Group, with a focus on Fortune 1000 accounts in the Western zone, including primary placement for large retail, healthcare and cloud providers. Prior to this, she served in a variety of leadership and underwriting positions at both CNA and Zurich North America handling management and professional liability. Soubra earned a BA in Mass Communication/Broadcasting from California State at Hayward and is a licensed CA fire and casualty broker.

As the Allianz Group’s dedicated carrier for corporate and specialty insurance business, AGCS provides insurance and risk consultancy across the whole spectrum of specialty, alternative risk transfer and corporate business: marine, aviation (incl. space), energy, engineering, entertainment, financial Lines (including D&O), liability, mid-corporate and property insurance (including international insurance programs).