The Strategy Behind Hamilton Insurance’s Move to Buy Pembroke, Ironshore Europe

By | March 15, 2019

On March 14, Hamilton announced it would acquire Liberty Mutual’s Pembroke Managing Agency at Lloyd’s and its Ironshore Europe DAC business. Liberty Mutual first disclosed it was undertaking a strategic review of those operations in October, and it turns out that this was just months after Albo became Hamilton’s new CEO.

She said the timing was fortuitous.

“We have a strategy—to create this global diversified specialty insurance and reinsurance company—and when I took over just over a year ago, we looked at how [to advance this in] both organic and inorganic ways,” Albo told Carrier Management in an interview held to discuss the deal.

Pina Albo

Albo said that Hamilton made some organic growth moves, but the inorganic side—potential acquisition targets—involved a more precise evaluation process during which the availability of Pembroke and Ironshore Europe DAC became known.

“We became surgical about what kinds of acquisitions we were looking at,” Albo recalled. “We were looking at our strategy and opportunities out there when the Pembroke sale was announced.”

Albo said that the Pembroke and Ironshore Europe DAC properties “checked so many boxes” regarding Hamilton’s needs and that she and her executive team were elated at both the opportunity and the timing.

“It advanced our strategy and talent pool, and to do that with so many options where the culture is aligned—that’s a trifecta,” Albo said.

Once negotiations began, the process was relatively straightforward. Albo referred to negotiations with Liberty Mutual as “incredibly professional” and “collaborative” and said “it was a pleasure to be on the other side of the table” with the insurer.

With one acquisition negotiated, Albo said the company isn’t immediately looking for another one, though the doors aren’t closed to future strategic opportunities.

“We were going to be very surgical about what we looked at, something that fits within our stated strategy and employs a differentiator with our strategic technology and capabilities. It could be something that rounds out what we do, something that expands our core,” Albo said. “Right now we are focused on this acquisition. We are excited about this platform, [and] we will concentrate on getting this over the line.”

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