Hamilton bounds into Lloyd’s top 15
Hamilton Insurance Group Ltd has jumped into the top 15 syndicates at Lloyd’s of London after completing its acquisition of Pembroke Managing Agency Limited.
The transaction and the acquisition of Ironshore Europe DAC, both from Liberty Mutual Group Inc, were completed on Tuesday.
It brought a boost to the size of Bermudian-based Hamilton, which was founded in 2013, doubling its gross written premiums on a pro forma basis to $1.1 billion. It also added 200 employees, enlarging the group to more than 350 staff.
While the numbers are important, Pina Albo, chief executive officer, said expanding the group’s global footprint and diversity was as significant.
“This acquisition was the perfect expression of the execution of our strategy, which is to build a global diversified speciality insurance and reinsurance company,” she said.
“This acquisition fits squarely in there and does a number of things to advance us in the further achievement of this strategy.”
Speaking to The Royal Gazette, she said the closing of the acquisitions “vaulted us in the Lloyd’s market to one of the top 15 syndicates”.
At Lloyd’s, Pembroke Management Agency manages a portfolio of specialty insurance products through syndicate 4000, while Hamilton Underwriting Ltd is managing agency for syndicate 3334, acquired by Hamilton in 2015.
“The Pembroke Management Agency is a very strong, speciality insurance franchise, and this fits very squarely in our further development of our speciality insurance business, so it catapults us in the speciality space much higher, and allows us to build our reinsurance franchise,” said Ms Albo.
Hamilton had also been looking for a non-Lloyd’s platform, and fulfilled that with the acquisition of Ironshore Dublin, giving it passporting rights to write business throughout the European Economic Area and to provide capacity in the US.
“That platform allows us to expand our reinsurance franchise throughout the EU and the US. From that extent it is incredibly strategic and gives amazing optionality, particularly as the US E&S licences are going to allow us to expand our speciality insurance offering,” Ms Albo said.
“And we have a one-third interest in an MGA called Attune, and it now writes small commercial business in the US. With our own E&S licensing capabilities, we are going to look at ways of expanding our collaboration with this very capable insurtech platform.”
Hamilton now has operations in Dubai, London, Dublin, Shanghai, Bermuda, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Its strategy remains to build a global, diversified insurance and reinsurance platform.
“We have three businesses, essentially the speciality insurance business, which has been catapulted significantly with this acquisition; we have a strong reinsurance franchise through Hamilton Re, which we are going to continue to expand; and we also have a new unit which we formulated called Strategic Partnerships, and that is the one that Jonathan Reiss will be heading when Tony Ursano takes over as the group CFO,” Ms Albo said.
Mr Reiss, one of the founding members of Hamilton Insurance Group, has been appointed to head the new business unit Strategic Partnerships. He will continue in his role as chief financial officer until Mr Ursano takes on that role next month.
Ms Albo said: “That platform is a fee-generating platform. We have some fee-generating in our group all ready through our ownership of Attune, and some of the things we were all ready doing in the ILS space through Hamilton Capital Partners.
“But with this acquisition and the management of third-party syndicates, it made sense to make a unit out of that dedicated to fee business.”
She said Mr Reiss knows Hamilton’s business inside out, and also the wider insurance and reinsurance world and developments that are taking place.
“When we did this acquisition it was like the stars aligned. There was a perfect opportunity for Jonathan to leverage his skill set, knowledge and market access, to build a new platform for us. I’m excited and so is he.”
Ms Albo said the timing could also not have been better as Mr Ursano had decided to leave TigerRisk Partners LLC, where he was president.
“I have known Tony and worked with him very closely since my inception at Hamilton. He has a very longstanding insurance industry experience, and also in the banking world.
“We are incredibly happy to have Tony with his contacts and strategic vision on board to help us as we continue to execute our strategy.”
Ms Albo said that going forward Hamilton sees its growth in Lloyd’s as being primarily organic, and while she is not excluding further acquisitions she does not see any more this year.
Speaking about the insurance and reinsurance market in general, she said: “We are seeing an uptick in both insurance and reinsurance rates in the lines that we are in, and certainly an uptick that has been more sustainable, and we believe it will be more sustainable going forward.
“So having this acquisition and being a much larger player, it feels as if the wind is at our back as we are now at a market cycle that is more beneficial to grow and write new business.”
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