AXA XL has announced that its reinsurance operation has acquired all third-party ownership interests in New Ocean Capital Management Limited, its majority-owned ILS fund management platform.
XL Group founded New Ocean in July 2013 in partnership with private equity fund Stone Point Capital, and later with Japanese conglomerate, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Having now acquired full ownership of the firm, AXA XL says that New Ocean will become a wholly-owned subsidiary within its Alternative Capital business, under the leadership of Daniel Brookman, AXA XL’s Head of Alternative Capital.
Brookman joined AXA XL in early 2016 as Senior Vice President of Alternative Capital and was promoted to lead the team in 2017.
Chris McKeown, who was the founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Ocean, will continue to act as an advisor to AXA XL’s Alternative Capital business for a transitionary period, in addition to serving as a Director of certain New Ocean managed funds.
New Ocean was established as a platform for institutional investors looking to access opportunities across the reinsurance industry, and has been successful in attracting capital for products aligned with AXA XL’s global underwriting franchise, the company said.
In particular, New Ocean has focused on deals in the property catastrophe, specialty and whole account lines of business.
“Alternative capital is a core component of our strategy, as we seek to create strategic partnerships matching the risks we initiate with third party capital alongside our own,” said Greg Hendrick, CEO of AXA XL.
“Our decision to acquire the outstanding shares of New Ocean demonstrates our strategic commitment to the alternative capital space and represents the latest step towards becoming the partner of choice for investors seeking to access (re)insurance risk globally,” Hendrick continued.
“We’d especially like to thank Chris whose dedication and 30 years of experience helped launch and grow New Ocean and bring it to this point where we can start our next chapter in alternative capital management.”
Charles Cooper, Head of AXA XL’s global reinsurance operations, also commented: “Under this consolidated structure, the Alternative Capital business will offer investors a full suite of underwriting, that will leverage AXA XL’s world-class risk origination and underwriting franchise: ILS asset management, utilizing New Ocean’s proven track record and fiduciary experience; and fronting activities/insurance management services for transacting business through AXA XL’s balance sheet, directly supported by our experienced risk and structured finance experts.”
“As a key source of risk origination for our Alternative Capital activities lie within our Reinsurance operations, Dan will join our global Reinsurance Leadership Team,” Cooper added. “The new alignment will help accelerate our alternative capital activity and provide greater flexibility for our underwriters and ultimately our brokers and clients.”