Welcome to Vario Partners
Connecting insurance and capital markets
About us

About us

Vario transforms underwriting risk into capital markets securities.

  • Vario Partners LLP

    We are a team of finance and (re)insurance industry specialists with over 100 years combined practical experience and who are targeting new ways to improve capital efficiency for (re)insurers.

    We have developed new approaches to the structuring of the capital backing (re)insurance portfolios into an asset class whose default risk relates solely to insurance claims events and largely uncorrelated to financial markets risks.

  • Vario Group Ltd.

    Vario Group Ltd. is headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda and has operating subsidiaries both in Bermuda and the London Market.

  • Vario Global Capital Ltd.

    Vario Global Capital Ltd is the Vario Group's UK operating arm, focused on promoting ideas in transforming insurance risk. We work with our strategic partners to deliver solutions to clients seeking to optimise the way they capitalise risk.

    Client portfolios that can benefit from our approach range from the small to the large, from niche to multi-line and from mutual to proprietary. Through our strategic partners, including MMC Securities LLC, we can provide a one-stop-shop for clients, liaising directly with actuaries, auditors, regulators and rating agencies.

  • Vario Market Services Ltd.

    Vario Market Services Ltd. is the Vario Group's Bermuda operating arm. We work with carefully chosen specialists to execute and manage transactions.

    Vario's innovative technology, analytical expertise, accounting, structuring and securities experience and its strategic relationships with leading industry participants, will serve the needs of (re)insurers for more efficient capital and the increasing appetite amongst sophisticated long-term investors to invest in insurance risk.


We promote a new source of cost effective capital to insurers.

We originate and structure insurance backed securities to investors.

Diversified ILS Bonds

Vario developed DIBS - diversified insurance backed securities, allowing insurers to reduce their cost of capital.

Transforming Insurance Risk

Vario engages with insurers and investors to develop the ILS market beyond natural catastrophe bonds.

Return on Equity - The efficient frontier

Insurers use many forms of capital, such as equity, reinsurance, debt, and catastrophe bonds to fund their underwriting business. Vario helps insurers optimise their capitalisation.

News …

… and in the press

PwC Trio Launch New Capital Structuring Firm Vario

Launch of Vario

Appointment of Chief Financial Officer

Rebecca Elliott

Vario appoints heads of research and of investment

Markus Gesmann, Michael Kontaratos

Michael Watson joins Vario Partners

Michael Watson

Our team

We are specialists in transforming underwriting risk into capital markets securities.

Bryan Joseph

Bryan Joseph

ILS structuring & Actuarial

Bryan has over thirty years experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry globally.

His experience has spanned the development of capital market solutions, underwriting, pricing and balance sheet restructuring. He has worked with some of the world's largest insurers and reinsurers and assisted them in all aspects of risk management and capital.

He has led the PwC actuarial practice in both the UK and globally. He was designated actuary on a number of the very early ILS transactions.

Bryan is also a non-exec director of XL Catlin UK Ltd.

James McPherson

James McPherson


James is one of the three founding partners of Vario.

Before Vario he was a PwC Partner for 10 years and a qualified Actuary for over 20 years assisting insurers and reinsurers with reserving, pricing, capital efficiency and M&A. At PwC he lead the London Market Actuarial practice.

Whilst in industry with Travelers (previously St Paul), James was a Director of the Lloyd's Managing Agency which grew from less than $100m of premium to over $1bn in seven years.

Quentin Moore

Quentin Moore


Quentin has worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years both as principal and consultant.

He founded CityPlace Analysis Ltd, a leading independent analysis company. He was the inaugrial Head of Research at Lloyd’s leading the creation of Lloyd’s own well-regarded analytic framework.

Quentin set up a previous insurance linked security business with Lehman Brothers and subsequently advised a number of Private Equity funds on their acquisition of insurance companies.

Quentin is the third founding partner of Vario.

Rebecca Elliott

Rebecca Elliott

Finance & Accounting

Rebecca has over 10 years experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry as a financial accountant, leading audit and consulting teams as a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Zurich.

She has led some of the largest global audit teams in the insurance industry, managing all aspects including co-ordination of actuarial, tax and asset management. Her role has also encompassed analysing the accounting treatment of complex transactions both on the asset and liability side.

Rebecca is accredited for a variety of accounting bases including US GAAP, IFRS and local and regulatory reporting, with her industry knowledge recognised by the Swiss Regulator, FINMA.

Markus Gesmann

Markus Gesmann

Portfolio structuring

Markus is responsible for research and modelling at Vario.

Prior to Vario, he headed up the Analysis function at Lloyd's of London for eight years, where he was responsible for market-wide analytical research and development.

Before Lloyd's, he was responsible for pricing at Libero Ventures, a start-up backed by Lehman Brothers. There he developed new technology to transfer underwriting risk into capital markets.

Markus is the maintainer of the claims reserving ChainLadder package and he is the founder of the R in Insurance conference. He is a regular speaker at industry conferences.

Michael Kontaratos

Michael Kontaratos


Michael has over a decade of experience in fixed income markets with deep expertise in securitisation and CDO structuring.

Prior to joining Vario, Michael worked at J.P. Morgan where he was responsible for the origination, data analysis, financial modelling and structuring of ABS transactions for banks and financial institutions across numerous jurisdictions.

In 2009, he was also involved in the structuring of a hedge fund investing in actively managed and diversified portfolios of insurance risks.

Michael holds a degree in Engineering, Economics and Management from the university of Oxford.

Michael Watson

Michael Watson

Non-executive Partner

Michael is a well-known and highly experienced insurance industry figure, who led the management buy-out of Canopius, developing it into a leading Lloyd's managing agency. The business was successfully sold to Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance in December 2013. He remains chairman of Sompo Canopius.

Michael is also a member of the Council of Lloyd's and a Boardmember of the Lloyd's Market Association.

Contact us

Feel free to contact us. Our email addresses are firstname.surname@variopartners.com, or send an email to info@variopartners.com