Successfully executing on its Specialty Insurance expansion strategy, Westfield is entering into the international specialty market via the purchase of Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 1200 from Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NYSE: ARGO). As a leading property and casualty (P&C) insurance company in the United States, this acquisition accelerates Westfield Specialty’s rapid growth after a strong first year in the U.S. market.
Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2023 for a purchase price of approximately $125 million.
“This acquisition is our first step in establishing a global franchise for Westfield,” commented Ed Largent, Westfield President, CEO and Board Chair. “The international specialty market fits well with our growth ambitions and the opportunity with Lloyd’s Syndicate 1200 jump-starts our entry into this market.”
Syndicate 1200 has an estimated $650 million book of business, which is focused on various lines of specialty insurance. Lloyd’s holds licenses around the globe to underwrite property and casualty business with an “A+” S&P financial strength rating.
Westfield brings deep expertise and experience to the international specialty market. Westfield Specialty President and industry veteran Jack Kuhn has a proven track record of success leading global, multi-billion-dollar specialty businesses and emphasized Westfield’s commitment to international expansion.
“We’ve had our sights set on the international specialty market since launching our specialty business a year ago, so this is Westfield executing on our original strategy,” said Kuhn. “We considered multiple pathways but acquiring Syndicate 1200 emerged as a unique opportunity because it gets us into the international specialty market quickly with an established platform while capitalizing on current market dynamics.”
The international operation will reside within Westfield Specialty, which currently writes specialty business in the U.S. Under Kuhn’s leadership, the team is targeted to write $250 million of premium in 2022 during its first full year of operation.
Largent echoes the long-term international commitment adding, “This is Westfield acting on a timely, strategic opportunity; investing in our business and deploying capital to create value for our customers. Like Lloyd’s, Westfield has a long history - approaching 175 years in business - and we couldn’t be more excited about this new chapter and working with the Syndicate 1200 team.”
Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company, served as financial advisor to Westfield on this transaction.