Westfield Specialty, a U.S. property and casualty insurer, has accelerated its “rapid growth” with the acquisition of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 from Argo Group International Holdings, marking its entry into the international specialty market.
The deal remains subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close in the first half of next year for a purchase price of approximately $125 million.
Syndicate 1200 has a book of business sized at an estimated $650 million and is focused on numerous lines of specialty insurance.
Westfield notes that it brings “deep expertise and experience” to the global specialty market. President of Westfield Specialty and industry veteran, Jack Kuhn, has a proven track record of success leading global, multi-billion-dollar specialty businesses and emphasized Westfield’s commitment to international expansion.
“We’ve had our sights set on the international specialty market since launching our specialty business a year ago, so this is Westfield executing on our original strategy,” said Kuhn.
“We considered multiple pathways but acquiring Syndicate 1200 emerged as a unique opportunity because it gets us into the international specialty market quickly with an established platform while capitalizing on current market dynamics,” he added.
Ed Largent, Westfield President, CEO, and Board Chair, commented: “This acquisition is our first step in establishing a global franchise for Westfield. The international specialty market fits well with our growth ambitions and the opportunity with Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 jump-starts our entry into this market.”
Alongside the acquisition, the firm has also announced the addition of Graham Evans to the Westfield Specialty executive management team as Executive Vice President, Head of International Insurance.
He brings international specialty experience to the firm having served in leadership roles at Chubb, CNA, AXIS, and his most recent role leading Endurance/Sompo’s European operations. Evans will be tasked with developing the company’s international strategy and will lead the integration of Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200.
“Jack and Graham have enjoyed a long professional relationship spanning more than 20 years in the international specialty market. Together, they will shape the business and build an even stronger portfolio of international business,” said Largent.
The new, global operation will reside within Westfield Specialty, which currently writes specialty business in the U.S. Under Kuhn’s leadership, the team is targeted to write $250 million of premium in its first full year of operation.
“This is Westfield acting on a timely, strategic opportunity; investing in our business and deploying capital to create value for our customers. Like Lloyd’s, Westfield has a long history — approaching 175 years in business — and we couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter and working with the Syndicate 1200 team,” concluded Largent.