Hanover Insurance Weighs Selling London Specialty Unit Chaucer

By | March 28, 2018

The Hanover Insurance Group is weighing the sale of its international specialty insurance business, London-based Chaucer.

The Worcester, Mass.-based company issued a statement confirming that it “is undertaking a review of strategic alternatives, including a possible sale” for Chaucer.

The Chaucer segment consists of international business written through Lloyd’s, including marine and aviation, and property.

Hanover acquired Chaucer in 2011 in a $474 million deal under then-CEO Frederick Eppinger.

“The combination of our companies represents an important milestone in our journey to build a world class property and casualty organization and to significantly enhance our specialty strategy,” said Eppinger at the time.

The company has retained Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC. to serve as its adviser through the process.

For 2017, Chaucer reported $850 million in written premium compared to $816 million in 2016. Operating income in 2017 fell to $7.1 million in 2017 compared to $127 million in 2016. Its combined ratio in 2017 was 105.3 including catastrophes, after 90.4 in 2016. Excluding catastrophes, the combined ratio in 2017 was 89.9 compared to 89.4 in 2016.

The move comes as Chaucer has been expanding.

Last December, Chaucer sponsored the formation of a reinsurance sidecar to provide collateralized capacity for Chaucer Syndicate 1084’s global property reinsurance portfolio in 2018.

Last July, Chaucer acquired SLE Holdings, a Lloyd’s managing general underwriting agency based in Sydney, Australia that underwrites for sports, leisure and entertainment markets.

Last June, Chaucer formed a Dublin-based company to write international specialty insurance business.

The new strategy is being pursued under current CEO and president, John Roche, who took the helm in November last year, succeeding Joseph M. Zubretsky, who stepped down to take a position at Molina.

Roche has served on the company’s executive leadership team since 2008. He has more than 30 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance industry.

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