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Markel to combine surplus lines, complex risk units

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Markel Corp. plans to merge its excess and surplus lines division with its complex, risk-managed accounts division, the Richmond, Virginia-based insurer announced Wednesday.

The combined division, which is expected to be in place by Jan. 1, 2018, will be named Markel Assurance and will be headed by Bryan Sanders, who is currently president of Markel Wholesale, the surplus lines division.

Britt Glisson, president of Markel Global Insurance, the complex risk division, will retire next year, a Markel statement said.

The combined division will write gross written premiums of about $1.8 billion, according to the statement. Markel is the fourth-largest surplus lines insurer in the United States with about $1.2 billion in nonadmitted direct premiums, according to Business Insurance’s most recent ranking.

Markel Assurance will concentrate on three product lines — casualty, professional liability and property/marine — the Markel statement said. It will operate out of 10 offices in six U.S. regions and will also have offices in Bermuda, Dublin and London.

The division merger “aligns our structure more closely with both production partners and customers,” said Richard R. Whitt, co-CEO of Markel.

Markel’s other operating divisions are Markel Specialty, Markel International and Markel Global Reinsurance.

A Markel spokesman did not immediately return calls seeking comment.