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Qataris back £600m Lloyd’s insurance vehicle Inigo

Written by on 19/11/2020

A group of global investors including Qatar’s main sovereign wealth fund are in advanced talks to back a new Lloyd’s of London vehicle which will be among the largest British insurers to be launched in the last decade.

Sky News has learnt that blue-chip firms including JC Flowers & Co, the Qatar Investment Authority, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Oak Hill Advisors are on the verge of an agreement to commit $800m (£604m) of capital to Inigo.

The new company was reported earlier this week to have a struck a deal to acquire certain insurance underwriting assets of StarStone International, including its Lloyd’s Syndicate 1301 and its managing agency, from Enstar Group.

Sources close to the Inigo fundraising described it as a coup for John Neal, the Lloyd’s chief executive, who has been pushing through reforms aimed at modernising the world’s oldest reinsurance market.

The Inigo deal is subject to Lloyd’s approval, but insiders said the new company could be writing new business early in the new year.

The funding will give the new vehicle sufficient firepower to become a significant presence in the market for underwriting speciality risks, they added.

Inigo has been formed by a trio of former Hiscox executives, led by Richard Watson, its former chief underwriting officer, who stepped down last year after more than three decades.

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His former colleagues Russell Merrett, the former managing director of Hiscox London Market, and Stuart Bridges, who also served as the finance chief of ICAP, the interdealer broker, are also part of Inigo’s top team.

A person close to Inigo said the involvement of prominent investors such as JC Flowers and the QIA was a fillip for London’s insurance industry, particularly in the context of the £7.2bn takeover of RSA, the UK’s oldest insurer.

They also pointed out that the timing of Inigo’s launch was opportune because of the hardening of insurance rates during the coronavirus pandemic.

Enstar, Stone Point and Inigo’s management team are also participating in the $800m capital-raising.

A spokesman for Inigo, which was advised on the transaction by Evercore, declined to comment.

 Sky News

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