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Hughes bullish on Club’s future, and that of the International Group

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Joe Hughes




NEW YORK, JUNE 1, 2017: New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR) recently hosted the annual meeting of its members in New York.  NYMAR represents the many maritime service related businesses in New York, and seeks to promote the city as a leading global maritime cluster.

The keynote speech at the meeting was delivered by Joe Hughes, chairman and CEO of the managers of the American Club and a director of NYMAR.  Entitled Celebrating the American Club’s Centennial: Reflecting on the past to gain perspectives for the future, his speech reviewed the first 100 years of American Club history and the changes in the P & I world which had taken place over the last 40 years; made predictions as to what the future might hold, both for P & I insurers in general and for the American Club itself; and assessed what the Club and its managers had learned from their experience of recent years, including what perspectives that experience had provided for the future.

Hughes’ address contained a positive message in regard to the future of both the International Group and the American Club.  In regard to the former he said:

“The International Group will maintain its basic shape; the cooperative deployment of Group resources will strengthen; there will be a growing emphasis on financial and risk modeling; Group market share will be maintained; regionalization of service delivery will expand; there will be continuing product diversification by the clubs; and specialist, fixed-premium insurers will continue to have a respectable role in the market.”

Hughes emphasized the importance of the American Club, and the development of its business globally over recent years, in promoting the New York maritime community.  This development had seen the Club not only becoming more international in its reach for membership, but also diversifying its product lines into the fixed premium P & I sector through Eagle Ocean Marine, and the market for hull insurance in the form of American Hellenic in Cyprus.  He commented:

“We are proud to fly the US flag as the only mutual P & I insurer domiciled in the Americas.  The Club’s future is a bright one, and its interests will continue to be pursued with energy over the years ahead.”

Looking back over his 40-year experience in the sector, Hughes noted the many changes which had taken place over the period since the late 1970s.  They were of both a quantitative and qualitative nature – the size of club retentions and pooling exposures, broker involvement, rating agency presence in the market, and the scale of reinsurance coverages being a few of the many areas of change to which he referred.

In considering the lessons learned from the development of the American Club over the previous 20 years, Hughes observed:

“Perseverance is the most basic resource upon which the American Club has relied in developing its position in the global market.  The decline of its traditional markets forced the Club to develop internationally.  This required hard work in taking an organization that was exclusively an American operation in decline to a confident player on the world stage.  But it had to be done for survival’s sake.”

Acknowledging the importance of New York as a dynamic maritime cluster, Hughes concluded by saying:

“As the American Club celebrates its centennial, let us equally celebrate the distinctions of its hometown of which it is proud to be centenarian daughter.  New York has always celebrated its strivers, and the American Club will continue to strive, in that worthy tradition, over the years to come, flying the flag of both the city of its birth and the nation of whose principles and deep entrepreneurial instincts it seeks to remain an example for all to see.”

A full copy of Mr. Hughes’ speech accompanies this press release. 

The American Club

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club) was established in New York in 1917. It is the only mutual Protection and Indemnity Club domiciled in the entire Americas and its headquarters are in New York, USA.

The American Club has been successful in recent years in building on its US heritage to create a truly international insurer with a global reach second-to-none in the industry. Day to day management of the American Club is provided by Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. also headquartered in New York.

The Club is able to provide local service for its members across all time zones, communicating in eleven languages, and has subsidiary offices located in London, Houston, Piraeus, Hong Kong and Shanghai, plus a worldwide network of correspondents.
The Club is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs, a collective of thirteen mutuals which together provide Protection and Indemnity insurance for some 90% of all world shipping.

For more information, please visit the Club’s website http://www.american-club.com/
P&I Insurance

Protection and Indemnity insurance (commonly referred to as “P&I”) provides cover to shipowners and charterers against third-party liabilities encountered in their commercial operations; typical exposures include damage to cargo, pollution, death/injury or illness of passengers or crew or damage to docks and other installations.
Running in parallel with a ship’s hull and machinery cover, traditional P&I cover distinguishes itself from usual forms of marine insurance by being based on the not-for-profit principle of mutuality where Members of the Club are both the insurers and the assureds.

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