Optio Group, the specialty MGA, today announces the expansion of its US operations with the promotion of Chris Kirby to global head of political violence and terrorism (PVT), and his relocation to establish Optio’s PVT underwriting capabilities in the US.
The move, effective immediately, follows growth in Optio’s US PVT portfolio due to a significant increase in civil disturbance, riots and active shooter events, which caused considerable damage and disruption for many US businesses, particularly SMEs.
Kirby will provide a point of access for US retail and wholesale brokers, in addition to Optio’s proprietary online trading portal Optio Connect. He will also lead the creation and development of new and existing products, while continuing to oversee the strategic growth of Optio’s PVT division. Kirby joined Optio early in 2020 as head of political violence and terrorism, following the acquisition of specialist political-violence and terrorism MGA Newbridge Risk Partners, which he founded.
Kirby said: “This year has been the most active on record for civil disturbances, with many widely-reported incidents occurring in the US. SMEs are particularly vulnerable in these circumstances and the persistent underlying volatility propelling these events is challenging the PVT insurance market. By establishing PVT underwriting operations in the US, Optio is moving closer to our broker partners to support them and insureds in meeting the challenges posed by the dynamic and shifting PVT risk environment.”
Todd Germano, managing director North America said: “I am delighted to welcome Chris to the US. His expertise will be a huge support in further building our US product offering as an important part of Optio’s global proposition. I greatly look forward to working with him as we strive to reach Optio’s full potential in the US.”