Specialist insurance and reinsurance broker, Miller, is set to be acquired from its partners and corporate member, Willis Towers Watson (WTW), by global private equity firm, Cinven and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
Miller, which employs over 640 people through its offices across the world’s major insurance hubs, is a specialist re/insurance brokerage firm operating in the UK, Lloyd’s of London and internationally.
The company operates across numerous specialist areas, including marine, energy, credit and political risks, delegated authorities, professional risks, property, casualty, sports and entertainment and re/insurance.
For Cinven, the acquisition of Miller represents the first investment from its new financial services sector-focused strategy, which will be exploring similar long-term opportunities across Europe. Cinven Funds’ prior investments in the European insurance space include Guardian Financial Services in the UK, Eurovita in Italy, and Viridium in Germany.
Furthermore, co-investor GIC has previously invested in firms such as Rothesay and RAC in the UK, Mass Mutual Asia in Hong Kong, and China Pacific Insurance Group in China.
An announcement on the deal states that both Cinven and GIC see Miller as an attractive investment opportunity based on numerous factors.
This includes Miller’s high-quality, cash-generative business model, with strong brand equity; its solid position in the wholesale insurance markets with a long-standing client base, strong management team and deep pool of talent with significant expertise; and also Miller’s proven track record of steady and consistent growth in recent years, including its robust performance through COVID-19.
Additionally, Cinven and GIC believe that the business has an opportunity to benefit significantly from independent ownership, highlighting the ability to accelerate its long-term growth profile through both organic growth in a specialist arena, its ambitious recruitment plans, and selective incremental bolt-on M&A in the future.
The pair also view Miller as an attractive investment because of the expectation that the underlying insurance market is projected to keep growing in-line with GDP, with potential for additional upside for specialty carriers, further supported by short-term rate hardening.
Luigi Sbrozzi, Partner of Cinven, said: “Cinven is delighted to be making this investment in Miller alongside GIC. Miller is a highly attractive, resilient specialist insurance business with strong long-term growth opportunities across all of its segments and a history of consistent growth through various economic cycles. We see opportunities both organically, by recruiting new specialist brokers, and through incremental M&A over time. Miller also offers a scalable platform, particularly internationally, with associated benefits for clients as the business develops and expands over the long-term. We believe that independent ownership is the right model to really accelerate the company’s growth.”
Yong Cheen Choo, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of Private Equity at GIC, commented: “Miller is one of the top and most established wholesale brokers with highly respected franchises in areas such as marine & energy, sports & entertainment, and cargo. We are pleased to partner with Cinven and look forward to supporting Greg Collins and his team to seize future expansion opportunities for Miller. As a long-term investor, we are confident in the growth potential of the specialty insurance sector, and of Miller within it.”
While Greg Collins, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Miller, added: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Cinven and GIC, whose knowledge and insurance investment expertise will enormously support our business as we enter this important next phase of growth. We are excited about bringing together our combined expertise to bolster our best in class client service and solutions and strengthen Miller’s position in our core activities. This includes making incremental targeted, strategic investments as we look to realise our ambition of becoming the leading independent specialist (re)insurance broking firm. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank WTW for their support over the last five years.”
The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Subject to regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in the first-quarter of 2021.
Barclays, Clifford Chance, Bain, PwC, Deloitte, Marsh, and FTI Consulting acted as advisors to Cinven and GIC. While Goldman Sachs International, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Addleshaw Goddard LLP and Jamieson Corporate Financial LLP acted as advisors to the sellers.