Ariel Re to be acquired from Argo Group
Reinsurance franchise Ariel Re is being bought from Argo Group for an undisclosed sum.
Private equity investors Pelican Ventures and JC Flowers have agreed to acquire Ariel Re from Bermudian-based Argo Group. Ariel Re was founded by Don Kramer in 2005, and was bought by Argo three years ago.
Ariel Re is a global underwriter of property and casualty reinsurance operating through Lloyd’s Syndicate 1910.
Pelican Ventures and JC Flowers also announced that they have agreed on terms for an operational partnership with Apollo Syndicate Management Limited to further develop SPA 6133, a Lloyd’s special purpose arrangement focused on property catastrophe reinsurance. Under the partnership, Pelican Ventures and JC Flowers will provide additional capital, operational support and distribution.
Ryan Mather, Ariel Re’s former chief executive officer, will return to Ariel Re to run the business and oversee underwriting for both syndicates.
He said: “Our vision is to make Ariel Re the premier manager of reinsurance risk. Our ability to act independently will enable us to provide greater value to customers, bring fresh capital to the marketplace and enable third-party capital providers to benefit from our team’s industry expertise.
“Pairing Ariel Re with SPA 6133 will create significant growth and economies of scale for our franchise, allowing us to be more efficient for our capital providers and effective to our clients. We will continue to work closely with our clients and business partners to offer solutions in these challenging markets.”
Pelican Ventures, an investment firm with a sole focus on the insurance industry, includes RenaissanceRe founder and former TigerRisk Partners chairman and co-founder Jim Stanard, as well as catastrophe modelling pioneer Jayant Khadilkar.
Mr Stanard will become Ariel’s non-executive chairman, while Mr Khadilkar will act as a special adviser focusing on modelling, analytics and technology.
Mr Stanard said: “Pelican Ventures is excited to be investing in Ariel Re and SPA 6133 and bringing together talented professionals with unparalleled reinsurance market underwriting expertise and risk management analysis skills. With the financial strength and insights of our new ownership group and under the leadership of Ryan Mather, we will pursue our ambition of building a world-class manager of reinsurance risk.
Eric Rahe, managing director of JC Flowers, said: “We look forward to partnering with Jim, Ryan, Jayant and the rest of the Ariel Re team to continue to build on its outstanding track record and take advantage of the exciting opportunities in the P&C market today.”
TigerRisk Capital Markets and Advisory is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Pelican Ventures and JC Flowers in this transaction. DLA Piper is acting as legal adviser.