Aquiline Capital Partners Completes Acquisition of Equity Insurance Group
NEW YORK, N.Y. and BRENTWOOD, U.K., April 22, 2013 – Aquiline Capital Partners (“Aquiline”), a New York-based private equity firm investing in financial services, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Equity Insurance Group (“the Company”), a market-leading specialist motor insurer based in the United Kingdom. It was purchased from Insurance Australia Group (ASX: IAG). Equity Insurance Group includes motor insurer Equity Red Star and Equity Syndicate Management Ltd. (“ESML”), with its associated Syndicate 218 at Lloyd’s, as well as the broking business Equity Direct Broking Limited.
The largest motor insurance syndicate at Lloyd’s, the Company is one of the ten largest motor insurers in the U.K. and has been insuring commercial and individual customers for more than 60 years.
Aquiline announced that Ian Parker has become Chief Executive Officer of Equity Insurance Group. The Company has also announced a new board for the managing agency, which includes Patrick O’Sullivan as Chairman of ESML. Veterans in the insurance industry, Messrs. Parker and O’Sullivan will lead the Company’s senior leadership team in redirecting the emphasis of the business to its core specialty motor insurance lines.
“Equity Insurance Group has been a leading underwriter in the specialty motor space,” said Jeff Greenberg, Chief Executive of Aquiline. “Ian and Patrick are great additions to the team and their leadership will be integral in building the Company’s reputation for market-leading underwriting profitability and customer service over the coming years. We look forward to working with Ian and Patrick and the rest of the senior leadership team.”
“I am pleased to be joining the Equity Insurance Group management team and look forward to growing our strongest business – specialty motor insurance,” said Mr. Parker. “With Aquiline’s financial support and operational expertise, we will strengthen the business and our position as the leading specialty motor underwriter in the United Kingdom.”
Mr. Parker joins Equity Insurance Group from specialist insurer and reinsurer Hardy Underwriting, where he was Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he served as Zurich Financial Services’ Chief Executive of Direct & Partnership European General Insurance and Chairman of Zuritel S.p.A and Deutsche Allgemeiner Versicherung.
Mr. O’Sullivan brings to the Company decades of experience in insurance and financial services. Most recently, he served as Vice Chairman of Zurich Financial Services. He is the Chairman of Old Mutual and a non-executive director of Man Group plc and Bank of Ireland.
Macquarie Capital (Europe) Limited acted as sole financial adviser to Aquiline on the transaction.
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About Equity Insurance Group
Equity Insurance Group provides insurance to more than one million policyholders through its diverse divisions. These include Equity Red Star, the Lloyd’s underwriting business based around Syndicate 218, which has been a leading motor insurer for more than 60 years. Equity Red Star now offers a diverse range of insurance for private cars, classic cars, vans, motorcycles, taxis, minibuses, fleets, haulage and agricultural vehicles, households and personal accidents.
Equity Insurance Partnerships (the trading name for Equity Direct Broking Limited) is one of the UK’s leading affinity brokerage businesses, working with a host of leading brands such as Banco Santander, HSBC, First Direct, Renault and Honda. With UK-only based customer contact centres and innovative web-based services, Equity delivers exceptional product and service solutions across car, home and motorbike insurance. In addition to affinity partnerships they also provide outsourcing for brokers and insurers seeking to exit personal lines administration.
About Aquiline Capital Partners LLC
Aquiline is a private equity firm based in New York investing in financial services enterprises in industries such as property and casualty insurance, banking, securities, asset management, life insurance and financial technology. Aquiline seeks to add value to its portfolio companies through strategic, operational, and financial guidance.