Kilkenny, Kimmel Launch Program MGA K2, Seek MGA Acquisitions

With $60 million in equity capital supporting them, two veteran insurance-industry executives, Pat Kilkenny and Bob Kimmel, have formed K2 Insurance Services LLC, a managing general agency that seeks to acquire other MGAs.

Kilkenny, former chairman and CEO of Arrowhead General Insurance Services Inc., and Kimmel, former Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC executive vice president, aim to build a leading franchise in the program-business market.

Kimmel is serving as president of K2; Kilkenny, who sold his interest in Arrowhead in 2006 after he had built it to more than $1 billion of premium, serves as CEO.

Endeavour Capital, a West Coast-based private-equity group with more than $1 billion of committed equity capital under management, contributed funding to the new venture, as did Kilkenny and Kimmel.

Describing K2’s acquisition appetite, Kilkenny says it will consider a variety of MGAs ranging from large, existing entities with diverse books of business to smaller MGAs that may specialize in programs that focus on single lines of business or customer segments. K2 is open to opportunities in all lines of business and geographies.

Kimmel says the new company has a different rationale than that of insurers, reinsurers and other firms that, in recent months, have acquired MGAs merely as a means of growing in a soft commercial-insurance market.

“We believe the insurance market is beginning to turn, and the timing is very good for our venture,” Kimmel says. “Programs written by good MGAs will present new business opportunities for growth and diversification in the near future. We will be using our experience and relationships to help these businesses grow. We are not just buying premium.”

In addition to acquiring, the company will also be developing new programs with experienced underwriters in niche-insurance segments.

Kimmel, outlining some advantages for MGAs, says that while K2 “would not necessarily try to change [existing] relationships” MGAs have with insurers and reinsurers, K2 “would hope to build on them.” In other words, “if MGAs are seeking additional insurance partners, we have relationships with executives throughout the industry worldwide and can help MGAs by bringing them new underwriting capacity,” he says.

Kimmel, in his most-recent prior position at Guy Carpenter, was responsible for program business written by MGAs.

Kilkenny acquired Arrowhead Group in 1984, when it wrote one product line: nonstandard auto. By the time he sold the company in 2006, it recorded $1 billion annually in net-written premiums, with program business in commercial, personal and specialty lines of business. After selling Arrowhead, Kilkenny became athletic director of the University of Oregon, a position he held until June 2009.  

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