Marine insurance broking specialist Latitude Brokers, the Asian subsidiary of Filhet-Allard Maritime, has expanded its team with the hiring of James Gargrave as its protection and indemnity director.

Gargrave who has been with the Shipowners’ Club in London since 2016, latterly as an underwriter in the European Syndicate, having previously held underwriting roles at MS Amlin and Standard Club, is to be based in the company’s Singapore office.

At the same time, Latitude revealed that it had recruited veteran superyacht P&I broker Kevin Overton to head up its new superyacht division in Hong Kong.

Commenting on Gargrave’s appointment, Latitude’s Singapore managing director Matt Cannock told TradeWinds on Monday that he will support the company’s existing P&I and charterer’s liability portfolio, which has grown significantly, particularly in collaboration with Filhet-Allard Maritime.

“We are very excited to have James joining the team. As our portfolio expands, we want to continually enhance our P&I client experience and James is absolutely the right person to lead that,” Cannock said.

Gargrave’s joining will boost the Latitude team in Singapore to three brokers.

Superyacht move

Latitude’s recent expansion moves include the establishment of a superyacht division, headed by Kevin Overton, whose recent recruitment boosts the company’s Hong Kong team to eight brokers.

Overton is described as having over 30 years of experience in Asia and has built a book of superyachts from across the region, which is set to grow with Latitude’s regional presence.

Veteran superyacht insurance broker Kevin Overton has joined Latitude Brokers to head its new superyacht division in Hong Kong. Photo: Latitude Brokers

Rising disposable incomes in Asia have led to significant growth in the region’s luxury yacht market, with the market expected to increase in value from $1.5bn in 2022 to $2.6bn in 2018, an average growth rate of 9.5%, according to Imac data.

“There is nothing more personal than the yacht business so Kevin joining us is a natural fit and an exciting expansion of our product range,” said Andrew Brooker, Latitude’s Hong Kong managing director in Hong Kong.

Brooker also noted that Latitude has relaunched an upgraded version of PILOT, its online P&I free-to-use comparison portal that provides real-time data and updates on P&I club performance and P&I general increase announcements for 2024 as they are made.