LONDON, Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Markel, the insurance operation within Markel Group Inc. (NYSE: MKL), announced it has hired an in-country leader and will open three new offices in Australia in September 2023. These offices, in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, will be led by Rory Morison, who has been appointed as managing director of Markel’s Australia operation.
Markel Australia will focus on providing underwriting solutions to businesses that traditionally purchase insurance in the domestic Australian market. This approach will complement existing support through Markel’s significant London capacity, as well as industry and product specialists from across its wholesale international business in London and Asia.
Demand is growing across Australia for specialty commercial insurance, particularly in casualty and financial lines, driven in part by the growth of the digital economy alongside traditional industries. Markel intends to introduce new products to the local market, including its leading Fintech and CommTech insurance solutions, designed to protect fast-growing technology businesses from a range of risks such as professional indemnity, general liability, directors and officers (D&O) liability, and cyber. Markel will also continue to support Australian brokers and commercial customers with its broad range of specialist insurance products.
Morison joins Markel from AXA XL where he has worked since 2002, most recently as head of long tail lines. He is a proven local leader in casualty and financial lines – a key initial focus area for Markel in Australia – and he combines this with a deep understanding of Lloyd’s, having spent eight years in the London Market. This will ensure even closer connectivity with the existing underwriting support and capacity from London.
By establishing new offices, assembling an experienced leadership team under Morison, and ramping up its investment in local underwriting talent, Markel hopes to build on its long-standing commitment to the Australian market. A core foundation of Markel’s international growth strategy is the commitment to strong local underwriting presence and capabilities. Having an appropriate on-the-ground presence means that underwriters can respond more quickly and adapt products to onshore clients’ needs and the nuances of a particular risk environment. This is especially important given the speed at which many businesses operate today.
Christian Stobbs, managing director, Asia Pacific, at Markel, said: “Australia is the world’s tenth largest insurance market, and it’s growing. Specialist commercial insurance forms a significant portion of this premium. We know that local underwriters understand local conditions and are uniquely focused on the needs of local clients. By establishing a strong underwriting presence in Australia under Rory’s leadership, we are well-positioned to serve our clients as part of the domestic market, raise our game, and further Markel’s international vision.”
Andrew McMellin, managing director of wholesale at Markel, added: “Markel has a solid track record of building businesses in international markets, having successfully established onshore operations in Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia over the past decade. In each case, we have committed to hiring high-quality talent and empowering them with underwriting and claims authority, underpinned by Markel’s highly collaborative and entrepreneurial culture.”
Rory Morison, managing director of Australia at Markel, said: “I am looking forward to leading the Markel team in Australia and expanding our presence in the local market. We see significant opportunity for Markel within Australia as businesses adjust to the changing landscape, including the rise of the digital economy, increased scrutiny on director liability, and a spate of high-profile cyber breaches. Markel’s dedication to a strong local presence and on-the-ground capabilities will ensure that we are best placed to support our new and existing Australian brokers and customers.”
We are Markel, a leading global specialty insurer with a truly people-first approach. As the insurance operations within Markel Group Inc. (NYSE: MKL), we operate the Markel Specialty, Markel International, and Markel Global Reinsurance divisions, as well as State National, our portfolio protection and program services operations, and Nephila, our insurance-linked securities operations. Our broad array of capabilities and expertise allow us to create intelligent solutions for the most complex risk management needs. However, it is our people – and the deep, valued relationships they develop with colleagues, brokers and clients – that differentiates us worldwide.
PTI Secures €1.2 Billion Multi-Jurisdiction Transaction
NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Phoenix Tower International, LLC (“PTI”), through its Spanish subsidiary (PTI Iberica V, S.A.) announced today that it has closed a new €1.2 billion senior credit facility in Europe to consolidate its existing loans and provide substantial additional capacity to support further growth both in existing and new markets in Europe.
The transaction comprised of the following senior secured facilities: (i) a €700 million term loan, (ii) a €400 million delayed draw term loan, (iii) a €50 million revolving credit facility, and (iv) a €50 million debt service reserve facility, all of which are due in September 2030 (7 years). Proceeds from the facilities will be used to: (i) repay existing indebtedness including related fees and expenses, (ii) fund capital expenditure requirements and acquisitions, including the recent acquisition of the French portfolio of wireless tower assets from Cellnex (1,226 sites hosting SFR), and (iii) fund working capital requirements.
“The multi-jurisdiction loan provides PTI with the flexibility to continue to grow our business across Europe with incremental liquidity available at our disposal. The financing will allow us to strengthen our commitment to the region, as we continue to construct and invest in digital infrastructure in markets that are experiencing a rising demand for connectivity and technological upgrades. We are excited to continue to expand our presence in Europe and deliver value-add infrastructure solutions to our customers”, said Dagan Kasavana, Chief Executive Officer of PTI.
“By providing a flexible financing covering multiple jurisdictions, PTI was able to simplify its capital structure, reduce pricing, and access incremental funds to support future growth. Raising €1.2 billion in the current market environment speaks to the strength of PTI’s business model and underscores the lender community’s appetite to support the expansion of digital connectivity. We are pleased to partner with such a strong lender group in this landmark transaction”, said Michael Bremer, Chief Financial Officer of PTI.
Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking (“Natixis”) acted as Structuring Bank. Natixis and Deutsche Bank AG acted as Lead Bookrunners and Mandated Lead Arrangers, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., ING Bank N.V., and Scotiabank (Ireland) Designated Activity Company acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, BNP Paribas and MUFG Bank acted as Mandated Lead Arrangers, and Citibank Europe PLC Dublin, Mizuho Bank Europe, and Toronto Dominion Bank acted as Participants. Natixis also acted as Facility Agent, Security Agent and Financial Modelling Bank, while ING Bank N.V. has been appointed as Sustainability Coordinator.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted as external legal counsel of the company, and Allen & Overy acted as external legal counsel of the lenders.
PTI, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates over 22,000 telecom towers throughout Europe, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. In Europe, PTI is present in several countries including France, Italy, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus.
PTI was founded in 2013 with a mission to be a premier site provider to wireless operators across the world in high-growth markets. PTI’s investors include funds managed by Blackstone, Wren House and various members of the management team and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. For more information, please visit www.phoenixintnl.com
BranchOut Food Inc. Expands Partnership with EnWave Corporation. Increasing Manufacturing Capacity by an Additional ~$15mm Annually & Secures Additional Product Exclusivities.
BEND, Ore, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — BranchOut Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: BOF), the global trailblazer in GentleDried natural snacks and superfood ingredients, is proud to announce a significant expansion of its partnership with EnWave Corporation (TSX-V: ENW | FSE: E4U). BranchOut has agreed to purchase a second large-scale, continuous throughput dehydration machine from Enwave. Under the terms of the new Equipment Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”), the 120kW REV™ machine is slated for delivery to BranchOut in late calendar 2024 and will add an additional $15mm in estimated topline capacity.
Eric Healy, CEO of BranchOut Food Inc., emphasized, “We are confident that this increased capacity will align perfectly with our growth trajectory, especially in light of our recent commitments from major retailers and the substantial sales pipeline we have established.”
Enwave’s Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV™) technology and associated patent portfolio was previously licensed to BranchOut along with exclusivity for its original core products. Under the new Agreement, the product exclusives have been significantly expanded to encompass the new and innovative products BranchOut has recently developed and will be launching in the very near future.
About BranchOut Food Inc.: BranchOut is an international food-tech company delivering truly great natural snacks and real superfood ingredients enabled by their licensed dehydration technology. BranchOut Food is a leading provider of high-quality dehydrated fruit and vegetable-based products and its commitment to quality and innovation sets it apart as a trusted brand and private label supplier. For more information about BranchOut Food Inc. and its products, please visit www.branchoutfood.com.
About EnWave: EnWave Corporation stands as a global leader in vacuum microwave dehydration innovation and application. Operating from its headquarters in Vancouver, BC, EnWave boasts an impressive intellectual property portfolio and has refined its Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV™) technology into a proven, consistent, and scalable drying solution. This revolutionary technology outperforms traditional drying methods in terms of efficiency, capacity, product quality, and cost.
BranchOut Food Inc.
Email: [email protected]
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SIGMA Financial AI unveils Akili-AI: Cutting-Edge, AI-based, no-code suite of tools for traders
– Augments trader’s interactions and transforms decision-making capabilities
– Handles the full extent of structured to unstructured financial data
– Mitigates portfolio exposure risk and accelerates speed to market
LONDON, Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — SIGMA Financial AI, an innovator in developing AI-driven trading solutions, launches Akili-AI*, a sophisticated suite of enterprise-ready trading strategy tools. Akili-AI is a cutting-edge, no-code solution enabling data-driven insights to support the specialist needs of the global financial services trading community.
Akili-AI incorporates machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to deliver agile tools which are more intelligent, faster and easier to use, enabling traders to create strategies at a scale and speed unachievable without AI support. Completely asset-class and instrument-agnostic, the Akili-AI system streams real-time trading data, allowing users to screen, test and design complex trading strategies promptly.
Their SaaS-based Pattern matching platform (Patterns as a Service) helps traders monitor thousands of instruments in real-time, scanning charts for momentum changes, technical signals, support, and resistance zones. The NLP research function supports fundamental and technical qualifications from thousands of news, social media and traders’ data. Akili-AI’s flexible modular architecture, built using modern protocols, is cloud-based and scales to support the largest trading enterprises.
Andy Simpson, Co-founder and CEO, commented, “Traders are having to cope with a constant squeeze on their book; this, combined with a huge increase in data volumes, has created the need for transformative solutions which can help them find an edge. They need the ability to find new liquidity fast, enhance their trade execution capabilities, and reduce portfolio risk; Akili-AI can deliver all this at a lower cost point and faster than ever.”
“Akili-AI transforms market interaction and improves productivity by liberating traders from the constraints imposed by long-established, outdated working practices and legacy technology infrastructures. Accelerated speed to market is crucial in an industry where every second counts. Our mission is to provide AI-based solutions which enhance the human experience – not replace them – helping to generate more revenue and increased profitability,” Andy continued.
Rob Maunder, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer, said, “Our pioneering and creative team is an unusual blend of deep financial services experience, phenomenal engineering and world-class AI technologists who bring an unrivalled track record of developing new platforms at pace. We break the mould by delivering incredible engineering of low-latency, highly scalable systems drawing on more than a decade of generative AI experience in the social media and music industries.”
Andy concluded, “Akili-AI is the start of a refreshingly different journey of technological change; watch this space. There is much more to come.”
*Akili is the Swahili word for intelligence.
About SIGMA Financial AI:
We provide traders with a set of tools that are faster, smarter and easier to use. Our AI machine learning product suite unlocks trading opportunities through real-time analytics underpinned by world-leading, scalable, ultra-low latency architecture.
Note to Editors: For more information about SIGMA Financial AI, please visit www.sigmafinancial.ai.
- PTI Secures €1.2 Billion Multi-Jurisdiction Transaction
- BranchOut Food Inc. Expands Partnership with EnWave Corporation. Increasing Manufacturing Capacity by an Additional ~$15mm Annually & Secures Additional Product Exclusivities.
- SIGMA Financial AI unveils Akili-AI: Cutting-Edge, AI-based, no-code suite of tools for traders
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