Maven £55m insurance buy-and-build investment in Global Risk Partners

Maven is pleased to announce that it has participated in the £55 million investment in Global Risk Partners (GRP), led by Penta Capital LLP (Penta). Maven is providing £5 million of the aggregate funding to GRP.

This deal represents another opportunity for Maven client funds to invest in high quality private equity transactions led by Glasgow-based Penta, having previously invested as part of a syndicate in the 2010 acquisition of leading online insurance provider esure, which earlier this year undertook a successful IPO; and the 2011 buy-and-build platform Six Degrees Group.

GRP has been set up by CEO David Margrett who had a series of senior roles at Willis including CEO of Willis International, where he was responsible for 5,000 staff; CEO of global specialties; and CEO of UK-regulated entity Willis Limited. He is joined by former Deloitte partner Stephen Ross, as the company’s COO, and Chairman Peter Cullum, the founder of insurance broker Towergate which became the UK’s largest independently owned insurance broker, with a turnover of £400 million. The new business will be a buy-and-build acquisition vehicle targeting the global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets, and intends to pursue the same successful strategy employed by Towergate.

GRP will focus on the Lloyd’s market, where David and Peter have spent the past 12 months building a strong pipeline of businesses which are at various stages in the acquisition process. The aim is to acquire a broad mix of accredited brokers and Managing General Agents in order to offer an unrivalled concentration of specialist underwriting expertise and knowledge. The first acquisition has already been made with the £9.25 million purchase of Towergate Commercial Property Underwriting Ltd, which underwrites large UK and European property risks.

Lloyd’s is the acknowledged global centre for specialty insurance and reinsurance of risk, writing gross annual premiums of £25 billion. Although Lloyd’s has delivered strong growth and significantly outperformed the general insurance sector in recent years, there is a need for consolidation in the market, which remains highly fragmented below the three main brokerages.

Andrew Ferguson, Partner at Maven said: “We are delighted to be part of the syndicate backing David, Stephen and Peter. They are an exceptional management team, with an in-depth knowledge of the insurance sector and an unrivalled track record of acquiring and integrating businesses.”

David Margrett, CEO of Global Risk Partners commented: “The trading environment in terms of the controls and capital and regulatory requirements mean that it's quite difficult to pass businesses from one generation to another or to set up a new business, so it seemed to me there was an opportunity for a well-capitalised properly constructed business of this sort.”

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