North is based on Newcastle’s Quayside in its iconic building adjacent to the Millennium Bridge and the group has grown rapidly in recent years and now has an annual premium income of over US$500 million (£385 million). The last financial year was exceptionally good for the North Group and produced an overall surplus of US$90 million (£70 million) which boosted the free reserves of the group to their highest ever level of US$428 million (£330 million).
Commenting on the strong financial results, joint managing director Alan Wilson said “This is due to a number of factors, including the steps we have taken over the last 4 or 5 years to improve the quality and underwriting performance of our book of business. Last year we also experienced an unusually low number of claims.”
North is now the 2nd largest global mutual marine liability insurer with over a 10% share of the world’s merchant shipping fleet. At its Quayside headquarters, North employs over 270 people and a further 130 people in its regional offices in Greece, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. In February 2014 North acquired Durham-based Sunderland Marine, a leading insurer of fishing vessels, small craft and aquaculture risks, and at the same time acquired a number of Sunderland Marine overseas offices.
North traces its roots back to 1860 when the company was founded by local North East shipowners and the original offices were also based on Newcastle’s Quayside. North now has a customer base of truly international shipowners and competes globally with other insurers to attract and retain its diversified customer base. Joint managing director Paul Jennings believes that the Newcastle base has been a key factor in the continued growth of the company “we have been based in Newcastle for over 155 years now and our friendly approach sets us apart from our competition. Doing things the “North Way” has been a key differentiator and contributed to our success. It means delivering service excellence and ensuring a strong financial position. We are proud to be a world leading company based in the north-east of England.”
A copy of the Management Report is available to view or download from North’s Website: 2016 Management Report and Financial Statements