London MGA Optio Acquires Nuclear Insurance Specialist MGA Northcourt

LONDON — Optio Group, a specialty managing general agency, said it has acquired nuclear risk specialist Northcourt for an undisclosed sum.

Launched in 2010, Northcourt is an MGA licensed to underwrite nuclear property and liability risks globally, with clients across Europe, Russia, China, South Africa and Canada, among others. Capacity is provided by a panel of Lloyd’s and company market insurers, all “A” rated or above.

Optio says it plans to “significantly” expand Northcourt’s capacity to take advantage of higher minimum nuclear liability limits coming out of the Paris Convention 2004.

Northcourt’s executive management team and staff, led by CEO Alan Rickett, will all remain at the business.

Optio acquired Northcourt from the estate of founder John McInespie and the Northcourt management team, who held a minority share.

Optio said that with the minimum liability limits for nuclear institutions set to rise dramatically under the amended Paris Convention 2004, it sees the growth potential for Northcourt as substantial. From January, 1, 2022 the statutory liability limits for nuclear power plants will increase from the current low limits (for example this is currently a maximum of £140 million in the UK) to a minimum of €700 million across all signatory countries. In time this will rise further to €1.2bn, although some nations will adopt this higher limit from January 1.

“The regulatory changes underway in the nuclear industry offer significant potential for growth, in a historically profitable class, where the barriers to entry are high,” said Matthew Fosh, Opto executive chairman.

Source: Optio