Nexus Acquires D&O and Financial Institutions MGA Apsley Specialty

February 13, 2018

Independent specialty managing general agent Nexus Group announced it has completed the acquisition of Apsley Specialty Ltd., a registered Lloyd’s coverholder.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Established in 2012, Apsley Specialty is a London-based specialist directors & officers and financial institutions (DOFI) MGA headed by James Lawrie. As part of the acquisition, Lawrie will join the board of Nexus Underwriting Ltd. and both brands will continue to operate separately as usual.

Prior to founding Apsley, Lawrie spent several years specializing in alternative investments at Towers Watson and Caliburn Capital, where he allocated multi-billion-dollar portfolios across hundreds of hedge funds.

Following the completion of the transaction, Lawrie will become managing director and lead the combined DOFI business, while Jamie Ricketts will become chief underwriting officer, DOFI. Both will join the board of Nexus Underwriting Ltd. Joanne Edgley, already a director of Nexus Underwriting Ltd., will lead Nexus’ commercial professional indemnity (PI) division as managing director of PI.

Apsley Specialty focuses on the asset management sector, particularly alternative asset managers. Apsley has successfully established itself as a prominent DOFI MGA and received U.S. capacity from its underwriting partners in 2016, which now sits alongside its core UK and international offering.

Nexus said it already has significant capabilities in the DOFI class of business, with this being the first class of business the group underwrote at Nexus’ launch in 2008. Since then, Nexus expanded into a wide range of proprietary products and has a particular specialty in the middle market investment funds sector, the company said.

“Apsley Specialty is a fast-growing, high-quality MGA that will complement our existing DOFI capabilities, especially in terms of geography with Apsley’s US capacity,” commented Colin Thompson, founder and executive chairman of Nexus.

“In a competitive market, Apsley grew its [gross written premiums] 64 percent from 2016 to 2017, whilst still maintaining excellent underwriting discipline and strong loss ratio performance. This is testament to the high caliber individuals within the business,” he said.

“This acquisition will allow us to build on our established position in a historically highly profitable class of business. As we continue to provide innovative DOFI underwriting solutions to both clients and underwriting partners, we will look to grow the combined DOFI offering to GWP of £35 million [$48.4 million] by 2020,” Thompson added.

“As a group, we are targeting three acquisitions per annum, and this is just the sort of niche business with an auditable profitable underwriting track record that we can seamlessly bring into the business alongside some larger transformational deals,” he went on to say.

“This is a strategic acquisition that will augment our business model in an important year where we are preparing for a shareholder liquidity event in Q3 / Q4,” Thompson continued. (The company said the “shareholder liquidity event” could take many forms, ranging from new investors to a stock market listing. Details have yet to be confirmed).

About The Nexus Group

The Nexus Group is an independent specialty MGA that underwrites 15 specialty products on behalf of 25 underwriting partners who support their product offerings within the following lines of business: financial lines, trade credit, accident & health, surety, travel, property, latent defect, marine and cyber.

Source: Nexus Group

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