The acquisition spree continues at pace for Aston Lark.
Today, the Chartered Insurance broker has announced a swoop for MS Amlin’s £10 million GWP marine pleasure craft book of business – the deal is set to be formally completed in January with terms having been agreed.
The move follows on from MS Amlin’s decision in 2019 to move away from nine classes of business that were no longer part of its strategic direction – these included UK Yacht (previously Haven). It noted that it would find long-term solutions where possible and would continue to provide underwriting support for high-quality MGAs and intermediaries.
Haven was itself formed back in 1986, merging with Knox-Johnston Insurance Brokers in 1992. Collectively they formed Haven Knox-Johnston as part of the Amlin group – before taking on the MS Amlin name in 2016.
Now, thanks to the Aston Lark acquisition the Haven Knox-Johnston name will set sail again – it will be rebranded to its former name in January, 2021. The existing team of 30 are set to stay on with MS Amlin providing underwriting capacity.
“I’m delighted that Aston Lark will be reviving the historic Haven Knox-Johnston brand and I’m looking forward to developing the business significantly over the coming months, including the launch of an online broker portal, while ensuring a continuation of the high level of service brokers and customers have come to expect,” said Aston Lark CEO Peter Blanc. “I’m pleased that MS Amlin have demonstrated their confidence in the business by agreeing to a long-term underwriting commitment.”
The move wasn’t just welcomed by Blanc, however. Founding family member Sir Robin Knox-Johnston noted his own delight at its return, as did the son of the late founder Chris Knox-Johnston, Paul Knox-Johnston, who is now a business development manager.
“We are excited to be part of the Aston Lark group and look forward to working together with shared ambitions to bring about a new chapter in boat insurance,” said Paul Knox-Johnston. “So many of our loyal customers still think of us as Haven Knox-Johnston and it is great that Aston Lark recognises the strength of the brand. A new owner means a fresh start and the opportunity to innovate, acting upon customer feedback and new ideas, which will set us apart from others.”