Pen Underwriting onboards new marine business

CEO points to "superb platform" for further international expansion

Pen Underwriting onboards new marine business


By Mia Wallace

The news keeps coming in for Pen Underwriting’s marine division which has today announced its further expansion with the acquisition of Fender Marine AS (Fender). The underwriting business has acquired the specialist Norwegian MGA for an undisclosed sum in a bid to further broaden and deepen its marine specialism.

Founded in 2005 by chairman and director Tore Høisæther and director Christian Lien, Fender – which is a Lloyd’s coverholder and is backed by long-term A-rated capacity – brings onboard a 17-strong team and £14 million in GWP. The MGA is led by CEO Ola Skauge and will become part of Pen’s international & financial lines division.

Headquartered in Bergen, with an office in Oslo, Fender specialises in providing marine hull and protection & indemnity (P&I) coverage for smaller fleets and specialist working vessels as well as insurance for larger yachts and pleasure craft; and cargo and subsea equipment.

Commenting on the deal, Tom Downey, CEO of Pen Underwriting, said: “Fender is a fantastic fit for Pen, offering complementary capabilities to our newly established, internationally focused, marine specialism. That means we can already offer even more risk solutions to our brokers and their clients operating in this industry and we couldn’t be happier that Tore, Christian, Ola and their colleagues have chosen to join the Pen family.”

Downey added that the deal creates a “superb platform” for Pen’s wider international expansion. Having a physical presence in Continental Europe will enable the business to accelerate its growth in underwriting worldwide business, he said, having steadily invested in increasing the proportion and range of risks it writes from outside the UK in recent years.

Skauge added: “There’s a real dynamism about the marine market right now. A favourable rating environment, coupled with transactional innovation, increased digitalisation and alternative distribution in a very traditional market, have made MGAs like ours not only attract long-term, committed capacity but entrepreneurial underwriting talent.

“That’s why it makes sense for Fender to become part of a larger, like-minded business such as Pen, equally committed to underwriting expertise and specialist claims handling, as we look to broaden our own range of risk solutions for our brokers and their clients. We are looking forward to exploring all the opportunities for our colleagues, capacity and clients that being part of a larger MGA and global group offers.”

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