UK specialist insurer ERS plans Bermuda reinsurer, ILS manager
A UK-based specialist motorist insurer which has already backed a Lloyd’s of London syndicate plans to launch a Bermuda-based vehicle and an insurance linked securities manager on the island.
ERS announced a $350 million capital raise led by Abry Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm. Alongside Abry, an Aquiline-led investor group will also be participating in the capital raise.
Aquiline Capital Partners, founded by veteran insurance executive Jeff Greenberg, has backed Bermuda insurers Validus and Armour, and also has supported TigerRisk.
A statement said the capital raise will support ERS as it becomes a diversified, specialist reinsurer and builds on its recent backing of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1856.
It added: “The financing will accelerate ERS’ growth strategy and expansion into specialty reinsurance business lines, allowing it to take advantage of the attractive market opportunity, subject to Lloyd’s business plan approval.
“In addition to the specialty business written out of Lloyd’s Syndicates 218 and 1856, ERS will launch a Bermuda-based specialty reinsurance vehicle and an ILS manager over the coming months, both subject to Bermuda Monetary Authority approval.”
Bermuda-based Ironshore founder Kevin Kelley is also joining ERS as non-executive chairman. Mr Kelley joined Aquiline in February after retiring from Liberty Mutual, which bought Ironshore.
Peter Bilsby, chief executive officer of ERS, said: “Over the past months, we have been able to add Syndicate 1856 to the portfolio and attract some of the leading talent in the industry to drive growth. This capital raise will provide further support for our transition into a specialty (re)insurer, driven by an experienced management team, strong underwriting talent and the deployment of technology to enhance the client and broker experience. We look forward to working with Abry and continuing our partnership with Aquiline”.
Brent Stone, Partner at Abry, said: “We have been very impressed with the ERS team and believe it is set to take advantage of the highly attractive market outlook. This is a unique opportunity to support a great company in its next chapter of growth and development and we are excited to make ERS our first investment at the world’s leading insurance market, Lloyd’s. We are equally as excited to be partnering with Aquiline, one of the pre-eminent investors in the insurance sector.”
Mr Greenberg said: “Aquiline, Abry and management share a clear vision for the future of the company. We are excited to partner with Abry and to support ERS in its growth and initiatives in this next chapter.”