Swett & Crawford in ‘Advanced’ Merger Talks with UK’s Cooper Gay

June 8, 2010

London-based independent wholesale, reinsurance and specialist broker Cooper Gay and Atlanta-based U.S. wholesale broker Swett & Crawford confirmed in joint bulletins that they are in advanced deal discussions.

Plans call for the combining the two companies into “a new group holding company, which will retain a high proportion of ownership by the working employees,” said the bulletin.

Management of the combined group would be led by Cooper Gay’s CEO Toby Esser as group chief executive. Neal Abernathy would continue to be the chief executive of Swett & Crawford, with Cooper Gay’s North American businesses reporting to him as well.

Completion of the transaction would be subject to regulatory approvals.

According to Swett & Crawford and Copper Gay, their combined business would become the world’s largest independent global wholesale and reinsurance broker. Cooper Gay and Swett & Crawford together place some $3.5 billion in premiums in the London, U.S. and international insurance markets and employ over 1,500 staff based in more than 60 offices across four continents.

The announcement came just a few months after AmWINS bought Colemont. The AmWINS-Colemont firm boasts about $3.6 billion in annual property/casualty premium and about 1,800 employees worldwide.

Crump Group says it ranks number one among wholesalers overall with $5.3 billion in combined property/ casualty, life and benefits premium.

Esser described the new group as being “unique” in its range of products and market access.

Abernathy said the creation of a new independent broking group will open up opportunities in the global insurance and reinsurance markets.

The announcement came on the same day that Preferred Concepts acquired Mercator Risk Services.

Source: Cooper Gay

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