Management team

Steve Hearn
Chief Executive Officer, Corant

Andrew Wallin
President, Corant

Steven Beard
Executive Director, Corant

Neil Perry
Strategy & Development Director, Corant

Sam Hovey
Group Chief Operating Officer, Corant

Jonathan Prinn
Chief Digital Officer, Corant

Robert Dowman
Joint CEO of Besso Group and Besso Limited, Managing Director of Casualty Division

Russ Nichols
Joint CEO of Besso Group and Besso Limited, Managing Director of Property Division

Frédéric Chappaz
CEO, Cooper Gay

Stephen Britten
CEO, Ed Asia Pacific & MENA

Chris Bonard
CEO, Ed Bermuda

Minesh Jani
CEO, Ed Dubai

Agustin de Freitas
CEO, Ed Latin America

Andrew Draycott
CEO, Ed London

Morgan Long
CEO, Epsilon Underwriting

Olaf Fölsch
CEO, Junge

Philip Smaje
CEO, Piiq Risk Partners

Steve Hearn

Formed Corant following the successful completion of the sale of the Ed Broking Group to BGC Partners Inc. where he was CEO since November 2015.

Prior to this he was Group Chief Executive of the Ed Broking Group where he had been since November 2015. Previously, Steve served as Deputy CEO of Willis Group Holdings. He joined Willis in 2008 as a result of its acquisition of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) and held a number of senior roles including Chairman and CEO of Willis Global, CEO of Willis Re and CEO of Willis Limited, the Group’s principal UK regulated entity. Prior to its acquisition by HRH, Steve was Chairman and CEO of privately owned London wholesale insurance broker, Glencairn Limited.

Earlier in his career, Steve was President and CEO of Marsh Affinity Europe, having previously held a number of positions at Marsh and Sedgwick Limited. He has served as Chairman of both the London Market Group (LMG) and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) and as a Vice President of the Insurance Institute of London.

Steve is Vice Chairman of global broking group Brokerslink.

Andrew Wallin

Founded Corant following the successful completion of the sale of the Ed Broking Group to BGC Partners Inc. where he had been Group Commercial Director and a member of the executive board since May 2016.

Prior to joining Ed in May 2016, Andy was Group Chief Executive Officer of Brightside Insurance Services, the UK online insurance intermediary. Previous positions include Group Commercial Director of Arthur J Gallagher International and Managing Director of Robertson Taylor, part of the Oxygen Holdings group, where he was also Managing Director of Oxygen Partners. He began his insurance career at Willis Limited, having graduated in Economics and Politics from the University of Manchester.

Steven Beard

Joined Corant in early 2021 as Executive Director.

Prior to joining Corant, Steven was CEO of RFIB a position he had held since 2018, where he led the successful sale of the business to Tysers. Prior to that Steven was the CFO of RFIB.

Steven has over two decades experience in senior leadership positions. His previous roles include CEO of Agilisys, an IT and business services company, where he had also served as CFO and a number of senior positions at Xchanging plc including President of the Americas, Managing Director of the insurance sector and a member of the plc management board.

Earlier in his career Steven held senior roles in Finance and Operations for London Market insurers.

Steven is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Darryl Denyssen

Darryl joined Corant in 2020 and manages the Finance Function of the BGC Insurance division centrally as Group CFO. Prior to this, he acted as CFO for the BGC EMEA region and oversaw the acquisition and integration of both Ed Broking and Besso. Previous roles include Finance Director of EMEA at GFI Group, and various accountancy roles at GFI & JP Morgan Chase.

Darryl served his audit and accountancy training at BDO and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He has an Honours Degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa.

Neil Perry

Neil is the Strategy and Business Development Director of BGC Insurance Group.

Prior to that he was the CFO of BGC Insurance Group following the acquisition of Ed Broking Group by BGC Partners in January 2019. He was previously Group CFO of Ed from May 2017. Before then he was at Willis Towers Watson where he had most recently held the position of Finance Director for Willis Limited. Previous positions include Finance Director of Willis UK Retail, Finance Director – Latin America at Royal Sun Alliance and Head of Financial Planning & Analysis at AXA Insurance. Neil started his career at Ernst & Young.

Joanne Merrick

Joanne was part of the leadership team that successfully completed the sale of Ed Broking Group to BGC Partners in 2019. Prior to joining Ed in June 2017, Jo served as regional general counsel at Gen Re and Faraday for 15 years where she was responsible for managing legal and compliance risk for Gen Re’s UK and Africa platforms, as well as providing legal support to Gen Re’s offices worldwide.

Prior to this Joanne served as head of legal, compliance and company secretary at Syndicate 839, Trenwick International and Sorema (UK). She began her career as an insurance, shipping and trade solicitor at Hogan Lovells.

Sam Hovey

Sam is Group COO of Corant and CFO of Besso Group. She has over 15 years of financial management experience within the insurance sector. She joined Besso in 2014, transitioning from her role as CEO of Cooper Gay & Co Ltd. She had also previously held positions of CFO and Group Financial Controller within the Cooper Gay Group.

Prior to this, Sam served as Deputy Finance Director at HSBC Insurance Brokers. She began her career at Rattner Mackenzie working as a Financial Controller, having trained as an insurance specialist at Mazars.

Jonathan Prinn

Jonathan Prinn joined the insurance industry in 1989 when he joined Bowring Ltd (now part of Marsh & McLennan) from Rea Brothers Bank. He assumed a number of varied roles during his time at Marsh & McLennan, initially wholesale broking of both property and casualty lines. In 1993 Jonathan was seconded for 4 years to set up and run the Marsh Global Broking office in Zurich where he concentrated on fortune 500 client work, and pioneered the Marsh centralised placement model.

Returning to the UK, Jonathan lead the creation of a Marsh proprietary electronic trading system (Marsh Express) and following this became eBusiness Leader for Marsh Europe. In 2004 Jonathan moved to the Marsh Global Placement division as international Chief Operating Officer (COO). In 2006 Jonathan moved to be COO of MMC sister company Guy Carpenter Facultative (GCFac).

In 2008 Jonathan was recruited to Willis, and become COO of Willis Global Placement led the creation and implementation of the industry leading Broking system WillPLACE, and was globally responsible for such. In 2015 Jonathan became Deputy Chief Broking officer for Willis GB, encompassing all of the Willis GB based broking from UK retail to the global specialty businesses.

Jonathan joined Ed. as Group Head of Broking in September 2016 and as part of the Group Executive helped lead the turnaround of the business. The core aspect of his work was focused around the digitalization of the business, notably the build and launch of TradEd.

Ed Group was sold to BGC Partners in January 2019 and Jonathan moved to the parent company BGCP, as a Managing Director tasked with building an electronic broker to mirror BGC’s electronic initiatives in the capital markets. In January 2020 Jonathan became the Chief Digital Officer of Corant Global, the new brand for BGC’s insurance interests.

Russ Nichols

Russ joined Besso in 1999 as Divisional Director and was appointed to the Besso Board in 2001.

Russ is joint CEO of the Besso Group and Besso Limited. As Managing Director of the North American Property Division, he manages a talented team that generates some $350,000,000 of premium into the London Market each year.

Russ began his career in 1982 as a treaty statistician with Golding Collins, and moved to Marsh & McClennan in 1984. In 1989 he joined Steel Burrill Jones as a Divisional Director, and was part of a large team that left Marsh to set up a North American Property Division. Russ spent 2 years in Chicago before returning to London and joining Besso.

Robert Dowman

Rob has been Managing Director of Global Casualty at Besso Limited since 2007. Robert is Joint CEO of Besso Group and Besso Limited.

Rob and his team of seasoned market professionals pride themselves in being one of the market’s prominent problem solvers specializing in the larger more complex liability placements, whether that be on a facultative or program basis.

Rob has over 30 years’ experience in the market, starting his career in 1989 within the claims department of Lloyd’s Broker Gallagher Plumer. During his six years at Gallagher, he moved to the placing and client development side of the business, and he gained further experience at Jardine Insurance Brokers, as well as five years working in the United States, before joining Besso’s Casualty Division in 2000.

Frédéric Chappaz

Frédéric is CEO of Cooper Gay, responsible for the overall European operations and strategy including the origination of European investments and M&A.

He joined Cooper Gay in 2006 to set up the MGA operations and was subsequently promoted to Chief Underwriting Officer until 2018 when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Previously, Frédéric was Commercial Director of QBE France. Prior to its acquisition by QBE, Frédéric was CEO of Greenhill Sturge Underwriting France and Baia Underwriting Gmbh, responsible for the French and German operations. Earlier in his career, he held a number of underwriting positions at CTR/Odyssey Re, DIAC and Generali.

Frédéric is a graduate of ENASS and CHEA, French Insurance Management Schools, and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Paris.

Andrew Draycott

Andrew’s insurance career began in 1990 as an energy broker at Jenner Fenton Slade. He joined Newman Martin and Buchan in 2002 where he became the Managing Director of the Energy Division. Andrew was part of the team that launched Ed Broking in September 2016 and was appointed CEO of the Energy, Marine and Construction Division, his overall responsibility at Ed was expanded in 2018 to become the Global Head of Sales and Client Retention. Andrew was appointed CEO of Ed Broking in London in 2019.

Chris Bonard

Chris became CEO of Ed Broking in Bermuda in June 2019. Prior to this he was President & CEO, Group Production at Ed and an Executive Director of Ed Broking LLP. He was part of the Executive Team that launched Ed into the market in September 2016.

Chris started his career in 1986 at Guy Carpenter in the North American Treaty Department. He then joined R K Carvill’s Reinsurance Division which included an extended period working for G J Sullivan and Associates in the US. Chris subsequently moved to the Program Division of Carvill in the late 1990s and was appointed to the main board of R K Carvill and Company Limited in early 2003. Chris left Carvill to join NMB in August 2005 as the Managing Director of NMB Specialty.

Stephen Britten

Stephen has been with Ed since August 2008. He has over 35 years of experience in the International and Asian insurance and reinsurance markets and placements. He has spent the last 21 years in Asia, first Kuala Lumpur and now Singapore.

Stephen joined Ed Broking (Asia) Pte Limited (f.k.a. Cooper Gay (Asia) Pte Ltd) as Regional Managing Director and held various senior positions with the Aon Group.

Agustin de Freitas

Agustin has over 20 years of reinsurance experience in the Latin American and Caribbean regions.

Prior to joining Ed in 2014, Agustin was Head of Business Development at Redbridge. Previous positions include AVP Facultative Business Latin American at Gallagher Re and at International Reinsurance Managers he was AVP responsible for business operations in Latin America.

He began his insurance career in 1994 as a P&C broker with De Freitas Insurance Brokers in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Minesh Jani

Minesh is CEO of Ed Dubai, and is responsible for Middle East, North Africa and India & Indian Subcontinent territories. He has over 25 years of international reinsurance experience, and prior to joining Ed was President at Almondz Reinsurance working on developing overall company strategy. Previous positions also include President at Willis Re in 2006, and Director at BMS India.

He began his career in 1995 working as a manager at J.B.Boda, working within reinsurance with a specific focus on South East Africa.

Morgan Long

Bio to come soon

Olaf Fölsch

Olaf is CEO of Junge, a role he took on in 2017 after joining the company as Managing Director in 2015. He has over 20 years’ experience in marine insurance.

Olaf’s career began with an apprenticeship as a ship’s mechanic in 1984. He graduated from the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg in Nautical Sciences and Industrial Engineering. After his active seafaring career, which he completed as a Captain (Master Mariner), Olaf worked as a marine surveyor and consultant ashore for around five years before moving to Allianz, where he became Head of Marine Hull Claims. In 2006, Olaf returned to his former employer Hapag-Lloyd AG, but in the role of Risk and General Manager for Marine & Aviation of the company’s inhouse broker TUI Insurance Services (TIS). Following the acquisition of TIS by Aon in 2010, Olaf became Head of Specialty Marine in Germany and a member of Aon’s Global Marine Executive Committee.

Philip Smaje

Phil joined Piiq Risk Partners from Willis Towers Watson where he began his career in 1988 in the Aviation Division. He went on to hold various senior roles including CEO for Willis Towers Watson’s Global Aviation Practice and was most recently Global Head of Broking.

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