Cooper Gay, Swett & Crawford Complete $3.5 Billion Deal

July 12, 2010

In a joint announcement from London and Atlanta, Swett & Crawford and Cooper Gay, the London-based independent wholesale, reinsurance and specialist retail insurance broker, announced that they have completed the combination of the two firms [See IJ web site – https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2010/06/08/110527.htm].

Effective immediately, the two will “come together under a new group holding company, Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd.,” said the announcement. “The enlarged Group will place approximately $3.5 billion in premiums in the United States, London and International insurance markets and employ over 1,500 staff based in more than 60 offices across four continents.”

As previously announced, the combined Group will be led by Cooper Gay’s CEO Toby Esser as Group Chief Executive. Swett & Crawford’s CEO J. Neal Abernathy will continue as President & Chief Executive of Swett & Crawford, and will also become a member of the new holding company’s Executive Committee. All of the Group’s operations in North America, including Cooper Gay’s business, will report to Abernathy.

“Cooper Gay’s offices outside North America and all Swett & Crawford business units will continue to trade as before,” the bulletin explained. “They will keep their existing branding and management teams, but will focus on implementing combined best practices and driving synergies across the Group.

“Employee shareholders remain the largest single group of investors in Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd., with existing strategic partners MDS SGPS and HM Capital retaining significant stakes in the combined business.”

Esser expressed his “delight” that the deal has been completed. He noted that by “bringing together the resources of Cooper Gay and Swett & Crawford under common ownership, we have not only created the world’s largest truly global independent wholesale and reinsurance broker, but have also created an exceptional team with the experience and skills to deliver market leading service to our clients.

Our enhanced scale and broad product range will also act as a springboard for future growth and development. We will not be resting on our laurels but working to take advantage of the many exciting opportunities the transaction will create.”

Abernathy stressed the “strong synergies and excellent strategic fit between our businesses,” which he said had been “clearly apparent from the very outset of our talks. With the deal completed we now look forward to demonstrating the full potential of our enhanced international network, broader professional expertise and increased market access to both clients and the markets in which we operate.”

Source, Swett & Crawford, Cooper Gay

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