TD Banknorth, Boothby & Bartlett
TD Banknorth Inc. is expanding its insurance presence in central Maine by purchasing Boothby & Bartlett Company, a community insurance agency in Waterville, Maine. The acquisition is scheduled to close in December. The insurance firm will become part of TD Banknorth Insurance Group, which currently operates four branches in Southern and Coastal Maine. It also has offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Boothby & Bartlett has been in business since 1859 and provides personal, commercial and employee benefit coverage. Owner Daniel J. O’Halloran, CPCU, and the Boothby & Bartlett team will remain and join TD Banknorth Insurance Group.
Aon Corp. reported that it is exploring strategic alternatives relating to the ownership of its property/casualty underwriting, warranty and credit insurance businesses. “By exploring alternatives, we expect to determine if the potential of our warranty, credit and property/casualty businesses can be more fully realized under different ownership,” Greg Case, Aon’s president and CEO, said.
At the same time, Aon announced the completion of the sale of its U.S.-based wholesale broking operation, Swett & Crawford, to an investor group including Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Inc. and Banc of America Capital Investors. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Bermuda-based Alea Group Holdings Ltd. has agreed to sell the renewal rights to certain portions of its U.S. primary program business written by Alea Alternative Risk to subsidiaries of AmTrust Group, a privately held, New York-based insurance and financial services company. The terms of the agreement include an initial advance payment of $12 million in cash at closing; additional cash payments of 3 percent of gross premiums written in the five years from closing (to be offset against the $12 million advance payment). The consideration to the Alea Group over the five-year period is estimated between $20 million to $40 million and is capped at $75 million.
Alea Group retains ownership of Alea North America Insurance Company and Alea North America Specialty Insurance Company along with their admitted and their excess and surplus licenses. It is anticipated that a substantial number of the 110 AAR employees will be offered employment by AmTrust.
For the full year 2004, the book of business being sold generated $216.3 million in gross premiums written and underwriting profit of $11.2 million. The sale is subject to regulatory approval. Alea will continue to manage net claims in the period prior to completion. The remainder of AAR’s portfolio will be placed into run-off. Alea estimates savings $6 million from the transaction.
AmTrust is headquartered in New York, and its operations center is in Beachwood, Ohio. It has an A- rating from A.M. Best.
Integro, Humphreys Haggas & Sutton
New York- based Integro Ltd. announced the acquisition of Humphreys, Haggas, Sutton & Co. Ltd., a Lloyd’s broker founded in 1994 by its three principals, Toby Humphreys, Simon Haggas and John Sutton. The acquisition enables Integro to establish its presence within the London marketplace. Integro has received regulatory approval from the Financial Services Authority for the change in control. The name of the firm is to be changed to Integro Insurance Brokers Limited. The Integro office will be located at 81 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0AU.
The Chubb Corporation, based in Warren, N.J., expects to open a commercial insurance policy processing center in Baltimore by the end of 2006, bringing up to some 200 jobs to the state. Maryland was chosen after two years of discussions and ultimately involved the Baltimore Development Corporation and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.
BB&T, Bergen Capital
BB&T Corporation in Winston-Salem, N.C., is acquiring brokerage and investment banking firm Bergen Capital Inc. Bergen Capital will become part of Richmond, Va.-based Scott & Stringfellow, a wholly owned brokerage and investment banking subsidiary of BB&T Corp. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter. Bergen Capital specializes in underwriting debt securities for private clients, small businesses, institutions, nonprofits and corporations. It is based in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.
Kingsway, The Robert Plan
Kingsway Financial Services Inc. of Toronto has entered into a program management agreement with The Robert Plan Corporation to have RPC service its U.S. assigned risk automobile accounts. The agreement is effective for new and renewal business on and after Jan. 1, 2006.
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