Willis, International Insurance Brokers
Willis Group Holdings Limited, the global insurance broker, has acquired International Insurance Brokers Inc. Located in Staten Island, N.Y., International Insurance Brokers is a specialized broker serving the armored car and check-cashing industries. Its annualized revenues were approximately $2 million. The transaction is expected to close in January 2006. “The acquisition of International Insurance Brokers underscores our strategy of reinforcing our position in existing businesses in order to foster continued growth,” said Joe Plumeri, chairman of Willis.
Despite a petition from the state attorney general, the state’s top insurance regulator has conditionally approved Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s plan to create a for-profit subsidiary. Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher Koller ruled that the insurer can establish a Wellness Institute once it proves the venture complies with the insurer’s nonprofit charter. Blue Cross spokeswoman Kim Keough said the insurer was “extremely pleased” with the ruling. The insurer already has a wellness division that offers services like smoking cessation and diet classes to customers. The for-profit institute would offer similar services to companies that do not use Blue Cross.
Rockhill Holding Company has raised $145 million and completed the acquisition of United Coastal Insurance Company, an excess and surplus lines company authorized in most U.S. jurisdictions. United Coastal Insurance Company has been renamed Rockhill Insurance Company and has obtained an “A-” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best.
Rockhill Insurance intends to focus on six key lines of commercial property and casualty E&S lines insurance business: professional liability, umbrella, general liability, wind, primary property and excess property.
Investors including funds advised by HBK Investments L.P. and Northaven Management Inc. and certain members of Rockhill’s senior management team have capitalized the company. All institutional investor groups will have representation on Rockhill’s board of directors.
Terry Younghanz, previously chief underwriting officer of RLI Insurance Group and GE Commercial Insurance, will serve as chairman and chief executive officer. Colin Mayo, also most recently with GE Insurance Solutions, will serve as senior vice president of property underwriting. Richard T. Parks, who has been named senior vice president and chief marketing officer, was most recently with American Safety Insurance in Atlanta.
XL Capital Ltd. in London has created a new excess and surplus lines unit. According to Clive Tobin, chief executive officer, the new unit will be dedicated to providing casualty coverages to mid-size and large businesses. E&S policies will be underwritten through Indian Harbor Insurance Company. John M. DiBiasi will join the company as E&S president. DiBiasi comes to the XL Insurance companies from Nautilus Insurance Company in Arizona.
National Atlantic, The Hartford
National Atlantic Holdings Corp., a provider of specialized property and casualty insurance in New Jersey and parent of Proformance, has received state approval for an agreement under which subsidiaries of The Hartford will transfer their renewal obligations for New Jersey homeowners, dwelling fire and personal excess liability policies sold through independent agents to Proformance. The transaction will involve approximately 8,500 policies.
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