2016 At A Glance
We’ve committed to becoming a high-performing company through continuous improvement, and it’s paying off.
Gross Written Premiums in billions
Our gross written premiums were up 7.6% to $2.16 billion from $2.01 billion in 2015.
Total Assets in billions
From $6.63 to $7.21 over the last year.
From 95.0% to 96.2% over the last year.
Book Value Per Share
From $54.31 to $59.73 over the last year.
Our A.M. Best Rating |
A Year of Innovation and Achievement
In 2016 we won awards, launched exciting new products, announced a new racing sponsorship and grew our team around the world.
in which our employees work. Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, France, Italy, Malta, Singapore, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States
spoken by Argo employees. English, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Maltese, Tamil, Malay, Standard Mandarin, Romansh, Arabic, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tagalog, Chinese and Malayalam
Seconds from 0 to 60 mph
for the Faraday Future Dragon Racing Formula E car we’re sponsoring in 2017.
hired in 2016. including 109 employees in underwriting and 43 in claims.
in which we underwrite risk.
We made Advisen’s list of top 10 companies for product innovation.
Forbes in August named us one of America’s 50 most trustworthy financial companies.
Insurance for drones
We launched Insure4Drones in March, an online portal to buy drone insurance in the United Kingdom.
ArgoGlobal started a cyber division in September led by cyber expert Russell Heaton as underwriter.
Most transformational CEO
Mark E. Watson III won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Central Texas, Transformational CEO category.
Racing toward the future
We’re sponsoring team Faraday Future Dragon Racing in the Formula E racing circuit for electric cars.
Excess & Surplus Lines
Our Excess & Surplus Lines segment insures risks typically not underwritten by the standard market. Colony Specialty underwrites property and casualty risks.
Our commitment to technology has paid off. We make decisions faster now.
We knew going into 2016 that it was time to prove our commitment to technology. Focusing first on casualty and contract binding, our Excess & Surplus Lines teams took great effort to make our submissions process smarter, faster and easier for producers to use. Then we went further. Our underwriting, engineering and data-science teams found ways to accelerate many repetitive functions while giving underwriters the time and the real-world data they need to accurately assess the complex risks that make specialty insurance unique.
We reduced cycle times substantially through automation, exponentially increasing the number of submissions we can respond to and freeing us to give key clients our full attention. The response was immediate. As we tightened our processes, our rate of securing business rose, as did the volume of new submissions we received from our producers. Our deepened actuarial, operational and underwriting expertise is an enduring competitive advantage in a time when even standard-market carriers are eyeing the specialty market with some envy.
As always, collaboration has been key. Teams across the United States and around the world now interact every day. New tools for sharing best practices and innovations among units and segments have changed the way we do business, and the way we think about it.
Commercial Specialty serves niche industries and businesses through seven risk-bearing divisions: Argo Insurance, Argo Surety, Argo Pro, ARIS, Commercial Programs, Rockwood and Trident Public Risk Solutions. In addition, our Alteris division operates non–risk-bearing agency and brokerage businesses.
We made it easier for retail agents to do business with Argo. They liked it.
Last year we retooled our Commercial Specialty segment to drive collaboration between a variety of businesses with different markets and diverse products, yet all with similar distribution models and growth potential. We improved our processes. We brought more great people onto our teams. We exited lines that were distracting us, and aggressively sought new markets.
All units in this segment have direct relationships with retail agents. Their common goal last year was to make it easier for those agents to work with Argo. They succeeded. In 2016, we saw gains across the segment.
Our public-entity business, Trident Public Risk Solutions, logged great success this year, growing gross written premium and earning its highest operating income in 10 years. Our Surety operation continued to bolster its mining and engineering teams, differentiating Argo from the competition and attracting new business because of it. Our Argo Pro professional lines grew well, in part by attracting additional, well-respected staff with great reputations in the industry. Within Commercial Programs, we bolstered our Alteris Property Program with good effect on gross written premium. Our Risk Bearing Program too had great success by securing an opportunity that will bind more premium in its first year than any before.
With these gains and a deepened spirit of collaboration, Commercial Specialty now generates more written premium than any other segment. All eyes now are on new markets and opportunities.
International Specialty underwrites property catastrophe reinsurance and other risks worldwide from offices in Bermuda, Dubai and Malta. Argo Seguros underwrites cargo and marine, property and engineering, and financial lines in Brazil and other Latin American markets.
With our solid reputation and strong brand, we can drive business around the world.
To be relevant globally, we must be relevant locally wherever we do business. Our thrust within our international segment is to enter new markets with strong cultural knowledge and close relationships.
Last year, our international platforms covered risks situated in a diverse array of environments, from mega-cities to rural villages, from miles below sea level to miles above it. Our underwriters in ArgoGlobal turned to our Lloyd’s syndicate to cover some of the world’s most complex risks against nature’s perils, while our operations in Malta, Dubai, Singapore and Brazil offered specialized cover to their regional exposures.
In Bermuda, we proved that despite the degree of competition in both the insurance and reinsurance markets, international customers still value financial stability and depth of relationship. We worked hard to maintain both. Our combination of innovation and experience has been rewarded, with customers responding well to the bespoke products we created for them through such incubators as our structured risk department.
Notably, our investment in innovation in Brazil began to realize its potential this year. Many of our forward-looking brokers there are now building their businesses quickly and efficiently through our online Protector platform, enabling them to grow.
Syndicate 1200 underwrites worldwide property, specialty and non-U.S. liability insurance within the Lloyd’s of London global franchise. It operates through four divisions: property, liability, marine and energy, and specialty.
Syndicate 1200 continues to navigate through fierce competition.
In just its eighth year as a member of Argo Group, Syndicate 1200 last year solidified its position as a core contributor to Argo results. Operating in one of the insurance industry’s most competitive markets, Syndicate 1200’s divisions wrote more premium in 2016 than they had before. The growth of the business has been driven by the new classes and geographies in which the Syndicate has invested. Coupled with the development of leadership skills in wordings and claims, this added breadth makes a real difference to our supporting brokers and clients.
In line with Argo’s overall commitment to continuous improvement, Syndicate 1200 sought to strengthen and broaden its already strong relationships with London brokers and to support the Lloyd’s platform in London and around the world. We exited the aerospace business due to the ongoing competitive environment, and we worked to expand profitable lines of business while establishing new products in areas where we believe the group’s strengths will serve us well.
The Syndicate continued to develop long-term relationships with Trade Capital Partners as part of the strategy of working collaboratively with overseas partners to generate new opportunities in other geographies. Syndicate 1200 teams partnered with colleagues in other Argo business segments to meet customer needs with new products, leveraging the benefits of operating within a multiplatform group. They also continued development of a data warehouse that will allow us to meet the reporting requirements of the European Union’s Solvency II Directive.