This list is a snapshot of the most influential professionals in the Latin American insurance sector who are driving the continued development of the LatAm market. LatAm Insurance Review readers pick the leading industry figures across the whole risk transfer chain, from underwriters to lawyers, who demonstrate innovation, passion and service excellence.
Alex, why has the Latin American region become such an area of primary emphasis for insurance-focused firms such as Kennedys?
Because Latin America is big growing area for our clients, international insurance and reinsurance carriers, and they need specialized insurance legal advice with a Latin American know-how and bilingual teams, and that´s exactly what we are at Kennedys Latin America & Caribbean.
Why is Miami such a vital component in a credible Latin American practice?
Because Miami is the Latin America Reinsurance Hub with more of two decades of established brokers and carriers. Kennedys Latin America office is based in the heart of the reinsurance district in Brickell.
How did the firm come to identify Miami as the principal location for its Latin American practice?
After many years attending large Latin American claims from Kennedys´ London and Madrid offices, we decided to open a local office in Miami for approachability, responsiveness and locality reasons.
Given your extensive travels in the Latin American region, how well does Miami serve you as an air travel hub?
Miami airport has multiple day to day connections to all Latin America countries. By using these connections Kennedys Latin America has a very close relationship with all clients and cases. Our team can be onsite or at clients’ offices within the day.
How has the financial services and insurance sector developed in Miami in recent years?
Responded per above, but would add that given that there is plenty of reinsurance capacity willing to get closer to Latin America and the Caribbean and opening a regional hub in Miami is certainly a way to increase premium revenue, as that makes it easier for international carriers to meet local cedants and brokers and Latin Americans are more likely to do business with people they have met, as they like the personal approach.
What sort of clients do you represent in Miami?
Our established clients are international insurance and reinsurance carriers and we like to be loyal to them. Occasionally we act for energy companies and their captives, banks, and other large corporate entities, as long as there is no conflict with our established clients.
What is your view on how Kennedy’s Latin America insurance practice has developed in recent times?
Kennedys Latin America has grown its team of qualified lawyers and office staff naturally as clients have been increasingly sending us more work. Key to the big success is the tremendous contribution at associate level with lawyers qualified in many Latin American jurisdictions.
What have been the primary areas of activity for the practice?
Insurance and reinsurance claims on areas like directors and officers professional indemnity, contractors all risk, energy, financial institutions, environmental and natural disasters, product liability, etc. We also have quite a large regulatory, compliance, and auditing (of local brokers and cedants on behalf of international insurers and reinsurers) practice.
What is your approach to having further offices in Latin America?
Kennedys has a network of correspondents including long-standing relationship with law firms in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, etc. We are always looking for growing opportunities in order to improve service to our clients. If our clients need a new office in one specific country, we will open it for sure.
Which Latin American jurisdictions represent the biggest opportunities for your practice and why?
As service providers we do not have a mind of our own about this but are constantly adapting to the needs of our clients. Seemingly unstable jurisdictions such as Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela are amongst the top concerns for our clients and consequently we find ourselves doing quite a bit of work there.
What has been your most interesting or exciting experience since launching the Latin America practice?
We lawyers also have our little heart so those cases in which one is able to see the immediate positive impact of reinsurance and insurance in general members of the public are most rewarding. It will be hard to forget the appreciation of the peoples of Haiti and Chile (after the earthquakes) or Argentina and Colombia (after floods) Ecuador and Peru (after environmental disasters) etc after their lives were put back on track thanks to insurers and reinsurers´ rapid response, and we were privileged to be part of the adjusting team making that happen.