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Global commercial insurance

Liberty increases financing team to launch new real estate commodity

Liberty Specialty Markets (LSM) has appointed senior underwriters Steve Lawrence and Andrew Whittaker to support the launch of a real estate insurance product. 

Based in London, Lawrence (pictured left) and Whittaker (pictured right) report to Dermot Walsh, head of property. They will write a retail estate product within LSM’s property team, focusing on larger clients such as property investors, asset managers, managing agents and pensions funds.

The new product is targeted at offices, retail premises including shopping centres, hospitality and leisure facilities and warehouses.
“The real estate market has been through a challenging period with capacity in short supply and a shortage of really experienced and talented underwriters. There are real opportunities for the right team with the right product to service this market,” Walsh said. “Steve and Andrew know this sector exceptionally well and are highly respected figures in the market. By bringing them on board, we can leverage the strengths of our property team while developing a new underwriting specialism.”

Before joining LSM, both Lawrence and Whittaker spent 22 years at MGA European Property Underwriting Limited (EPUL). Whittaker began his insurance career in 1985 and brings wide industry experience from a range of insurers. He joined EPUL in 2013, becoming the MGA’s managing director in 2016. Lawrence began his insurance career in 1991 and has underwritten for several insurers. Most recently, he was business development director at EPUB.

“Our objective is to become a leader in mid-market property, growing a book primarily in the UK but with some European business that will make Liberty a very credible alternative to existing players,” Walsh said.

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