Lloyd’s of London insurer secures Irish licence as Brexit looms

Chaucer was acquired by US group Hanover Insurance in 2011 in £292m deal

Central Bank has given approval to Chaucer to set up a Dublin subsidiary. Photograph:  Matt Kavanagh

Central Bank has given approval to Chaucer to set up a Dublin subsidiary. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

Lloyd’s of London insurer Chaucer has secured approval from the Central Bank to set up a Dublin subsidiary as the company seeks to protect its access to the European Union after Brexit.

The company, which was acquired by US group Hanover Insurance in 2011 for almost £292 million (€332 million), said on Wednesday the authorisation gives Chaucer a new platform to “better serve our partners and customers”.

“The formation of Chaucer Dublin is a win for brokers and clients,” said John Fowle, chief executive at the firm. “We look forward to providing new and innovative insurance solutions, benefiting from our established expertise and the strength of Ireland’s financial services capabilities, international outlook, regulatory capabilities and proximity to London.”

Michelle Moore, former managing director of specialist insurer Markel Europe, will lead Chaucer Dublin. The company’s business lines include marine, property and energy insurance.

Win for Dublin

The approval will be seen as a win for Dublin against the backdrop of a number of major insurers, including AIG, the Lloyd’s of London group, Hiscox and FM Global, opting in recent months to set up EU hubs in Luxembourg and Brussels as they prepare for Brexit.

A spokeswoman for Hanover Insurance couldn’t immediately say on Wednesday evening how many jobs would be involved in the development.

Separately, Bloomberg has reported that JPMorgan is seeking additional office space in Dublin, having agreed last month to pay about €125 million for a building under construction that could accommodate more than 1,000 workers, or twice the level of its current staff in Ireland.

The US’s largest bank may lease or acquire about 100,000sq ft (9,290sq m) of extra office space in Dublin, capable of accommodating about 720 people, based on typical modern office use, according to the report.