According to a report in London’s Financial Times the appointment of Michael Wade, the CEO of Rostrum, an investment management group, as a director of Brit Insurance may be a signal that further consolidation in the London insurance market is on the way.
Rostrum has invested around £70 million ($102 million) on behalf of some of the largest pension funds in the U.K., and has voting rights in five Lloyd’s insurers. It holds a 13 percent stake in Brit.
The FT reports that Wade has expressed interest in consolidating some of the groups in the Lloyd’s market in order to “achieve critical mass.” It mentions Kiln and Chaucer as the two prime candidates, as both Brit and Rostrum have stakes in these insurers.
Kiln is in the process of putting together a share offering, which will see W.R. Berkley raise its stake in the insurer to 20 percent (See IJ Website April 26). William Berkley is also on record as favoring further consolidation of Lloyd’s insurers.
Wade’s no stranger to Lloyd’s. The FT noted that he formerly headed the Lloyd’s vehicle CL before it merged with SVB holdings. In addition Rostrum, in which he has a 50 percent share with the U.S. investment bank Baird, is the name of site at Lloyd’s where brokers and underwriters traditionally gather.
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