Arch Insurance Europe has snapped up the UK commercial lines business owned by The Ardonagh Group, and part of its Geo Underwriting operating segment, it has been revealed.
The asset-only deal includes the renewal rights for Fusion, Arista and Towergate Commercial Underwriting, which generated more than £150 million (around AU$269 million) of GWP in 2017 and is focused on writing commercial property, casualty, motor, professional liability, personal accident and travel.
Approximately 250 employees will move to Arch as a result of the transaction.
Arch said the move will give it a “meaningful presence” and an extended office network across the UK that will complement its existing London Market business, which is focused on wholesale distribution and delegated authority business, the group said in a statement.
It is part of a wider strategy by Arch to grow its regional UK presence and deliver underwriting expertise and a strong customer value proposition through an expanded retail distribution network.
Matt Shulman, president and CEO of Arch Insurance Europe, said that Arch has a “clearly stated strategy” to build out its distribution capabilities across the UK and Europe.
“The acquisition of Geo’s commercial lines business represents an important step in this process, building upon the success of the earlier acquisition of Axiom Underwriting,” he continued.
“By expanding our regional presence with the addition of nine offices we immediately gain scale and presence in our target markets and we can deliver a broader range of specialist insurance solutions through a network of over 2,000 brokers,” he said. “We are gaining a well-respected and highly experienced team of underwriting and distribution professionals who are perfectly placed to help us build a significant and sustainable business that can meet the growing needs of its clients.”
Shulman said that Arch looked forward to welcoming the new team.
“Our balance sheet strength and underwriting track record make us a natural home for them, and we are excited about taking the businesses forward together, under the Arch banner,” he added.
David Ross, CEO of The Ardonagh Group, commented: “In Arch, our general commercial MGA has found a perfect home and will thrive as part of a blue-chip insurer firmly focused on growth and committed to serving UK brokers. Today’s news is a testament to all the work done to improve the commercial underwriting brands over the last 18 months and a credit to the dedication of the teams that will join Arch.”