BREAKING NEWS: Major insurer announces another acquisition

A major Australian insurer has upped its ownership stake in a leading specialist underwriter, taking full ownership of the company.

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

CGU has announced that they have taken on 100% ownership of specialist underwriting agency, Accident & Health International (AHI).

The insurer acquired a 50% stake in AHI in 2010 and has been the sole underwriting partner of the company since January 2011.

In a statement revealing the news, CGU said that the revised stake will help the company to continue “its drive to grow its Agencies business,” as the insurer has exercised a call option issued at the time of the initial purchase.

AHI provides general and highly personalised accident, medical and travel insurance both in Australia and overseas and Ben Bessell, chief executive of IAG Commercial Insurance (to which CGU belongs), said the move made sense for the company.

“We have worked closely with AHI and its management team for five years and fully understand and appreciate the business and the great products and services it provides,” Bessell said.

“For us, it was just a matter of time, and we exercised our option to move to full ownership of AHI at the earliest opportunity.”

AHI founder and former CEO, David Epper, has sold his 50% holding in the company but will remain on the AHI board with former deputy CEO of the company, Peter Banks, moving into the CEO role.

Epper said that he is proud of the development of the company which he founded in 1998 and believes the future is bright for AHI.

“CGU will provide AHI with exciting and wide-ranging opportunities for the future,” Epper said.

“AHI is a wonderful company with a wonderful team of people. While I will greatly miss the day-to-day involvement, I know the company is in great shape. The staff are dedicated and enthusiastic and they’re in great hands with Peter running the business.”

Executive general manager Agencies at CGU, Phuong Ly, said the AHI move compliments the earlier announced deal to acquire global risk and emergency management group, Dynamiq, as both companies work in alongside one another.

Dynamiq is a key supplier to AHI’s corporate travel insurance offer so it’s great to have full ownership of both these businesses within our Agencies division,” Ly said.
“In practically all ways it’s business as usual at AHI but it does mean CGU can now look to help AHI expand more aggressively.”

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