London-based private equity firm B.P. Marsh & Partners has invested $6 million in a startup New York-based specialty lines insurance distributor that is headed by several well-known wholesale insurance executives.
The management team at the new firm, which is named XPT, is a line-up of industry veterans including Tom Ruggieri, formerly of Marsh, Advisen and Swett & Crawford, and Mark Smith, former president and CEO of Stewart Smith, the U.S. wholesaler which was sold by Willis to AmWINS in 2005. Smith is also a former president and management director of R-T Specialty’s New York operation.
Ruggieri was president of CGSC North America from 2014 to 2016, when Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford sold CGSC North America to BB&T Corp. From 2000 to 2014, he was CEO and chairman at at Advisen, which he helped found. Before launching Advisen, he was with Marsh for 15 years.
In addition to the above, the team also includes Jeff Heath, the founder of Heath Group, and Mason Power, former chief operating officer and chief marketing officer at Swett & Crawford, where he worked closely with Ruggieri. Mason Power also worked at Advisen, which was founded by Ruggieri.
B.P. Marsh is a specialist private equity investor in early stage financial services businesses. This investment represents a return to the U.S. market for the B.P. Marsh, following on from the company’s recent investment in Canada, Stewart Specialty Risk Underwriting Ltd.
B.P. Marsh said it has subscribed for a 35 percent shareholding in XPT Group LLC through its wholly-owned subsidiary company, B.P. Marsh (North America) Ltd.
According to the announcement, XPT is in discussions with other parties over potential minority or majority investments into established entities in the U.S. wholesale insurance arena. XPT plans to make one or two U.S.-based acquisitions over the remaining months of this year, according to the firms.
B.P. Marsh said it “strongly believes that XPT is well-positioned to take advantage of the significant consolidation opportunities in the small-to-medium-sized wholesale space in the U.S.”
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