Specialty MGA UK swoops for ForestRe

Deal supports the expansion of its specialist offering

Specialty MGA UK swoops for ForestRe

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

Specialty MGA UK, a recently formed managing general agent that focuses on providing additional capacity for specialty lines of business, has announced the acquisition of the ForestRe team.

ForestRe is a global leader in specialist services for commercial forests and plantations. It provides insurance services for clients including independent forestry owners, commercial forest enterprises, timber merchants and saw log producers.

“As part of Specialty MGA UK, ForestRe’s clients will get the benefit of enhanced underwriting capacity as well as continued investment in the latest products and services – including parametric insurance products – making its expertise even more accessible and giving its global clients access to the Lloyd’s market,” said Manoj Kumar, group chairman of Specialty MGA UK.

ForestRe founder Phil Cottle (pictured above left) will join Specialty MGA UK as part of the transaction. Cottle has three decades of experience in forestry and crop insurance risk and is a recognized global expert in plantation management. With the ForestRe team in place, Specialty MGA UK is one of only a few companies that specifically provide services in the forestry sector, with a portfolio of 30 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, Latin America and many US states.

Cottle joins a team of engineering, financial and investment experts, including Daniel Longden (pictured above centre), who has worked in forestry underwriting since 2015. Longden manages the daily operations of the business and develops relationships with brokers globally.

Longden works alongside Yuming Zhi (pictured above right), underwriter and data analyst. Through his leadership in the EarthBlox program, the organisation has the most comprehensive and widely accepted tools for global fire and wind scar mapping to generate independent data for underwriting.

“Specialty MGA UK has a great vision for the future,” Cottle said. “The company’s strong, collaborative culture makes it a natural home for us, and its worldwide network of clients in key African, Latin American and European markets will extend our reach and capacity. Specialty MGA UK is one of the very few companies within the forestry industry with access to Lloyd’s and markets worldwide, providing clients with the global coverage they need.

“The launch of the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership at COP27 demonstrated the vital role specialist insurers can play. We are working on a number of projects with investors and major brokers involving forestry investment for carbon sequestration and reduced emissions, to help protect forests worldwide.”

“It’s very exciting to add the forestry sector to our expertise,” said Philippe Bara, chief underwriting officer at Specialty MGA UK. “With an increase in the challenges facing plantation owners and commercial forestry from climate change, we offer a world-beating service to clients.

“Phil and his team are at the cutting edge of new research, working on the latest fire, storm and wind modelling. They are globally acknowledged for what they do, providing the most comprehensive expertise on the latest forest management techniques and giving clients access to the very latest innovations.”

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