Ironshore, Distinguished Programs Group Form Acquisition Unit

October 14, 2010

Bermuda-based specialty insurer Ironshore Inc. and New York-based program administrator Distinguished Programs Group LLC have formed a joint venture acquisition vehicle targeting the managing general underwriter and program manager segments of the insurance distribution business.

The business plan for the new unit, IDP Holdings LLC, contemplates multiple acquisitions of small to mid-sized program managers as well as the development of start-up operations built around key underwriting teams, according to the firms.

IDP Holdings is targeting acquisitions of companies with $5 to $25 million in premium, experienced management and solid underwriting results. Distinguished will provide strategic and financial management and Ironshore will provide insurance capacity to acquired companies. Financial terms will vary from acquisition to acquisition.

Kevin Kelley, CEO of Ironshore, will serve as chairman of IDP Holdings. Kelley said the investment in IDP reflects Ironshore’s “long-term commitment” to program business.

Jeremy R. Hitzig, CEO of Distinguished Programs, will have the CEO title at IDP Holdings.

“With Ironshore’s capacity and broad underwriting capabilities, acquisition candidates in a number of industry segments and product lines will be considered although an emphasis will be placed on quality of management and demonstrated underwriting profitability,” said Hitzig. “We believe that IDP Holdings is a great option for business owners seeking to exit the business over the short to medium term or those seeking a partial liquidity event but with a desire to have an ongoing stake in the business. Either way, we will look to leverage the full resources of Distinguished and Ironshore to support and build the business in the future.”

Through its platform in Bermuda, including Iron-Starr Excess, Ironshore writes property and excess casualty insurance for global commercial risks.

Distinguished Programs offers tailored insurance programs for residential and commercial real estate owners and property managers including property, liability, directors & officers’ liability, crime and high limits of umbrella insurance. Its products are distributed through a growing network of more than 2,000 independent agents and brokers. Distinguished’s subsidiary companies include SES Insurance Brokerage Services, Inc., and China-based ReSource Pro, ta business process outsourcing company for insurance intermediaries.

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