Filed Under:Markets, E&S/Specialty

Markel Closes Alterra Deal and Opens Large-Commercial, Reinsurance Units

Markel Corp. says it has completed its $3 billion buy of Alterra Capital Holdings and has added two new business units.

CEO Alan I. Kirshner says joining Markel’s existing specialty, wholesale and international units will be Markel Global Reinsurance and Markel Global Insurance, for large commercial accounts.

He says the acquisition will “create a strong company in global specialty insurance and investments, with a demonstrated track record of underwriting discipline in niche market segments and proven asset management strengths that should benefit all our stakeholders.”

Kirshner tells broker and client partners the transition will be “seamless,” as Markel and Alterra have been “working diligently on integration.”

“The people you dealt with yesterday are the people you will deal with today,” he says in a statement.

Markel stood 7th among the largest E&S insurers in the U.S. in 2012, with $819.8 million in direct premiums written, according to SNL Financial. Alterra Capital was 29th, with $244.7 million in gross premiums.

Adding the two, Markel would become the fifth-largest E&S insurer in the U.S., with about $1.06 billion in premiums, says SNL.

Meanwhile, Markel says first quarter net income increased 54.7 percent to about $89.3 million, compared to the same time a year ago.

The combined ratio was 91 versus 100 for 2012’s first quarter.

Recent acquisitions of THOMCO and Essentia Insurance Co., which underwrites exclusively for classic-car insurance provider Hagerty Insurance Agency, boosted overall gross written premiums in the first quarter to $743 million—a 15 percent increase compared to the same time in 2012.

Specifically in North America, gross written premium increased 10 percent as the insurer received rate increases of about 4 percent on North America business.

During a conference call on earnings F. Michael Crowley, president and co-COO, says Markel’s E&S segment improved efficiency by reducing agency appointments, limiting access to certain products and better educating agents “about what to submit and what not to submit based on Markel’s appetite and success in our target product lines.”

Crowley says Markel continues a review its specialty product lines for those that need improvement in terms of rates.


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