The ‘A' rated North P&I Club is at the top table of P&I Clubs in terms of financial strength according to chairman Albert Engelsman of Dutch shipping group Wagenborg.
Engelsman confirmed that the Club's focus on quality and prudent underwriting had given it ‘immense financial strength'. He highlighted the fact that free reserves reached a record US$312 million at renewal, premium income is projected to reach US$350 million in the current policy year and the combined ratio has dropped to 78% - the lowest of any Club. The Club's regulatory capital is more than twice the FSA solvency requirement and is assessed at AAA using Standard & Poor's capital model. ‘North is undoubtedly one of the financially strongest clubs in the International Group,' he concluded.
Speaking to 250 guests from the international shipping community at the official opening ceremony of the Club's newly enlarged UK headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England last week (23 June 2011), he confirmed that owned tonnage now stood at over 111 million GT - equivalent to 12.1% of International Group owned tonnage.
‘While financial strength is more important to us than growth, we are nevertheless now well on course to achieving our strategic objective of gaining a minimum market share of 12.5% of International Group owned tonnage,' he said. Together with over 40 million GT of chartered tonnage, the Club's total entry now exceeds 150 million GT.
Engelsman also said that North remained a ‘true members' Club' with a strong service ethic and high level of member support. ‘The fantastic team of people led by joint managing directors Alan Wilson and Paul Jennings are in my opinion without doubt the best in the industry. I also have no doubt that with this fabulous investment by North in this new building, the team will become stronger and the Club will prosper further.'
The newly enlarged headquarters on the historic Quayside area of Newcastle will enable the Club to employ up to 125 more head office staff. North also has regional offices in Hong Kong, Piraeus and Singapore and currently employs 210 people worldwide.