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North P&I, Standard Club want to merge

North P&I, Standard Club want to merge | Insurance Business UK

North P&I, Standard Club want to merge

If North P&I and Standard Club have their way, they would merge to form one of the biggest mutual cover providers in the maritime world.

The two marine insurers have entered formal discussions for a proposed merger, following the proposal’s approval by their respective boards, as well as the notification to regulators of the intention to combine. For the merger to push through, the go-ahead of the clubs’ mutual membership is needed.

“With a number of successful mergers in its recent history, North has a full understanding of the range of benefits available to members from a well-planned and well-executed union,” said North chief executive Paul Jennings.

“With histories which in 2022 add up to 300 years, the combination of these two unique advocates of mutuality, with their complementary cultures, ambitions, and approaches, would build on the strengths of each club.”

Jennings stressed: “The alliance of North and the Standard Club would deliver a compelling value proposition to take advantage of the opportunities and meet the challenges of digitalisation, recruitment, regulation, and sustainability.”

Meanwhile a newly formed joint North and Standard Club working group will be in charge of evaluating how a combined entity would maximise value for members. The goal is to allow both clubs to make an objective assessment.

Commenting on the merger plan, Standard Club chair Cesare d’Amico said: “The ambition behind the merger is to deliver tangible benefits to shipowners. The boards of both clubs have played a key role in guiding and shaping the proposal.

“Combining will provide greater financial resilience, efficiency, and an even deeper pool of talent to maintain and strengthen the focus on service excellence and close member relationships for which both clubs are renowned.”

It was highlighted that the capital strength of the combined entity would drive significant reinvestment in enriching member services, innovative technology, as well as more tailored and sustainable solutions for the longer term.

“With stronger financial resilience,” stated North chair James Tyrrell, “the newly created club would be well-positioned to thrive in all conditions. In a changing and sometimes volatile maritime sector, North’s board has long recognised the potential value arising from considered and balanced consolidation in P&I (protection and indemnity). Choosing the right partner is the first critical step towards success.”

Also keen to move the combination forward is Standard Club CEO Jeremy Grose.

He declared: “Standard Club and North now have the opportunity to create one of the world’s leading and most influential P&I clubs, founded on exceptional service and innovation, a broader diversified product range, scale economies, and global reach.

“The merged club would maintain an unwavering commitment both to member service and to the International Group system and offer marine insurance products, services, and solutions relevant to the broadest range of shipowners worldwide.”

“Acting as a powerful voice for shipowners and their best interests,” he added, “the merged club’s market-leading knowledge and deep technical insight would focus on supporting the changing needs of shipowners.”

The member voting process is expected to conclude by the end of May. If approved, the merger is likely to be finalised in February 2023.