Business Moves

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance (BHSI) said it is entering the fidelity and crime insurance market, and has named Brian O’Neill to lead the effort.

O’Neill joins BHSI with 30 years of fidelity and crime underwriting and management experience, most recently as executive vice president and senior fidelity officer at AIG. He’s based in BHSI’s New York office.

The new fidelity and crime insurance capabilities are the latest addition to BHSI’s expanding line of executive liability products. BHSI currently offers Executive First Fiduciary Liability Insurance and Executive First D&O Liability insurance for large commercial and financial organizations.

ACP Re, Tower, National General

After months of uncertainty, the merger of ACP Re Ltd. and struggling reinsurer Tower Group International has finally closed.

Bermuda-based ACP Re and Tower announced the closing of the merger on Sept. 15. Now that this is done, Tower is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACP Re.

Another transaction happened in tandem with the merger deal. National General Holdings Corp. (part owner of ACP Re along with the founder of AmTrust Financial Services Inc. and Maiden Holdings Ltd., via a trust) announced that it had closed its acquisition of Tower’s personal lines business.

National General is a specialty personal lines insurance holding company. It has snatched up the rights for new and renewal business for the Tower personal lines insurance operations, which generated $433.1 million in gross written premiums in 2013, according to the deal announcement. As well, the company acquired the “Attorney-in-Facts” that manage two reciprocal exchanges, which produced $223 million of gross written premiums in 2013.

National General said it has had access to the Tower personal lines book under a cut-through reinsurance agreement effective as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The Tower Group/ACP Re merger proposal was first announced in January and amended during the year. Whether or not the deal would close had been increasingly in doubt, in part due to a series of ratings downgrades for Tower Group as it faced growing net losses and uncertainty over whether it could carry its debts through the merger.

In early September, Tower Group announced that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company – a long-struggling Bermuda insurer and reinsurer – without offering additional details.

Arthur J. Gallagher, Hagedorn

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. announced that it has acquired Hagedorn & Co. located in New York, N.Y. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1869, Hagedorn is a retail insurance broker providing property/casualty, risk management, group benefits and personal lines insurance products and services for commercial and individual clients throughout the northeastern United States.

Hagedorn CEO Daniel Gabel and his associates will continue to operate in New York City and White Plains, N.Y., under the direction of Douglas Brown, head of Gallagher’s northeastern retail P/C brokerage operations. Hagedorn has more than 30 employees.

Willis Re, SurePoint Re

Willis Group Holdings plc announced that Willis Re Inc., its North American reinsurance business, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of SurePoint Reinsurance Advisors, LLC, in Portland, Maine.

Details of the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the late third or early fourth quarter of 2014, were not disclosed.

SurePoint is a professional advisory and reinsurance broking firm that provides specialist services to insurance companies in the employee benefit market, specifically the accident and health (A&H) sector., Stark Agency, an independent insurance agency based in North Haven, Conn., announced it has acquired Stark Agency in Chester, Conn.

Founded in 2006, has mostly been a personal lines agency but the firm is now starting to grow its commercial lines business, said Robert Caldarella, a managing member of

Founded in 1940, Stark Agency provides personal insurance including home, auto and life, as well as business insurance and employee benefits. Stark Agency’s five employees will continue to serve clients from their Chester office.

R&R, Snyder Insurance

R&R Insurance Services Inc. and Snyder Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency based in Oconomowoc, Wis., have merged. Both are well-established agencies in Waukesha County.

R&R Insurance will be celebrating 40 years of service in southeastern Wisconsin next year and has been named one of the top 100 Property & Casualty agencies nationally by Insurance Journal.

Locally owned and operated, R&R is committed to personal service, quick claim response, and the highest level of knowledge and expertise.