* To hire staff in Dublin for insurance business
* Full year profit $293 mln vs consensus estimates $243 mln
* Sees growth opportunities in the U.S, outside London
* Shares jump over 10 pct
(Adds CEO comments, details, share movement)
By Noor Zainab Hussain
Feb 3 Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley Plc
will hire additional staff in Ireland to establish a
European insurance company in Dublin after the Brexit vote, its
chief executive told Reuters.
The underwriter, which provides marine, casualty and
property insurance and reinsurance, also reported a 3 percent
rise in full-year pretax profit, defying analyst estimates for a
It pointed to "significant" growth opportunities in the
United States and other markets outside London amid a
challenging environment for insurers.
Shares in Beazley surged as much as 10 percent on Friday,
making the stock the top performer on the FTSE Midcap Index
and the pan-European Stoxx 600 Index.
Higher investment returns and a strong underwriting
performance helped to lift profit, the company said.
Beazley has been working to get European insurance licences
for its existing Irish reinsurance business to allow it to
operate on a broader basis throughout the EU.
Many London-listed insurers are drawing up plans to set up
regulated subsidiaries in the EU due to the expected loss of
rights to sell products across the bloc after Brexit and Beazley
appears to be in the vanguard.
The insurer, which has offices in Oslo, Munich and Paris,
said it applied to set up an insurance subsidiary in Dublin in
November and regulators were reviewing its application .
"We're hopeful because we've been in Ireland for seven
years... We hope we're are at the front of the queue," CEO
Andrew Horton told Reuters.
"We are establishing our insurance company (in Dublin)
irrespective of when the Brexit application goes in. We were
already starting to do that even before we had the referendum in
June," Horton said
He added Beazley chose Dublin as it was easier to make
changes to an already existing business.
Industry observers say all insurers looking to set up EU
subsidiaries have included Dublin among their options, attracted
by its language, location and tax and regulatory systems.
Lloyd's of London's, Neon Underwriting Ltd and
Admiral have pointed to Ireland as a possible new
Horton said that the insurer was not planning to move jobs
from Britain or anywhere else to Ireland but would hire locally.
"We're expecting to add jobs in Dublin because it will need
more people to manage a live insurance company than a
reinsurance company," he said, without specifying how many new
jobs could be created.
Beazley's pretax profit rose 3 percent to $293.2 million for
the year ended Dec. 31, higher than the $243 million expected by
analysts according to company-supplied consensus estimates.
(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by
Amrutha Gayathri/Keith Weir)