XL Group hires David Guest to assist companies expanding into “complex, and sometime hostile, operating environments”.

XL Group has appointed the former global product head, war, terrorism and political violence at international specialist insurer Hiscox as the underwriting manager of its new Asian Crisis Management Unit.

David Guest is the latest in a string of new hires for XL, and the appointment comes only four months after the company restructured its insurance operations in the region.

A long-standing member of the Lloyd’s Market Association Terrorism and Political Violence Panel, Guest said that companies had more than just terrorism to consider when looking at risk-management measures. “The impact of strikes, riots, civil commotion and other political violence perils to operations can be just as grave,” he said.

Guest will report to XL chief underwriting officer, Crisis Management, Stephen Ashwell, who himself joined XL recently to head up its new crisis-management team. Ashwell said that Guest’s experience would help clients understand and identify the risks their businesses faced. “He has real expertise in assisting clients in making decisions about how to best manage, mitigate and insure these risks,” he said.

Go east
Guest said that the risk landscape for clients was changing across Asia as “the axis of economic activity moved east”. “At a time when economies in the West are struggling, companies from Asia are growing and expanding to find new opportunities – both domestically and internationally,” he said.

Guest said that this exposed assets and people to new challenges and threats. “We see Asian companies expanding into complex, and sometime hostile, operating environments,” he said. “They are becoming more sophisticated about their assessment and management of risk – and want to partner with a credible, global insurer with a strong local presence to provide them with peace of mind.”

New products
XL Group’s Crisis Management team offers Product Recall and War, Terrorism and Political Violence insurance cover and will be developing Kidnap and Ransom and Personal Accident products for corporate clients. These products will be available globally and will be written out of London, Singapore and New York.

The XL Asia Pacific insurance region integrates its operations in Australia, Singapore, Labuan, Hong Kong and China. Craig Langham leads the Asia Pacific team and Andrew Vigar is regional manager.