Perceptive Underwriting

07 September 2018

Nexus Acquires Aerospace MGA Altitude Risk Partners from Castel

PRESS RELEASE: Leading independent specialty Managing General Agent Nexus Group today announces that it has completed the acquisition of Altitude Risk Partners (“Altitude”) from the club-style MGA formation platform Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited (“Castel”) via an asset purchase.

Altitude is an Aerospace MGA based in London, co-founded in 2014 by David Godley, Richard Power and Tim Wright, and was the first underwriting business to launch in partnership with Castel. Altitude will become a trading division of Nexus Underwriting Limited and the business will continue to operate as usual. The current Altitude underwriting team will join Nexus and move into the Group’s London headquarters in Leadenhall Street. 

David Godley has 20 years’ experience in the market and before co-founding Altitude held a number of senior positions at Global Aerospace. Richard Power has also been in the market for the same length of time having worked at Catlin Insurance Company Limited, Starr Underwriting Agents Limited and Global Aerospace Underwriting Managers Ltd. Tim Wright is the longest serving London space market insurance specialist underwriter, with over 27 years of experience and before co-founding Altitude he worked at Aon and Global Aerospace.

Altitude has underwritten a diverse portfolio across seven lines of aerospace insurance in more than 130 territories. Its gross written premium (GWP) for 2018 is forecasted to be in excess of US$80 million. Castel and Nexus will work together to ensure a seamless transition for the business.

Colin Thompson, Founder and Group CEO of Nexus, said:

“This is an evolutionary acquisition for Nexus, augmenting our ‘virtual insurer’ model by adding Aviation and Space, two highly specialised classes of business, to our existing 12 classes. 

The completion of this deal marks our tenth acquisition in the last three years, our third so far in 2018 and our second in a week, making Nexus today the product of 12 acquisitions and two joint ventures with subsequent buy outs. The Nexus Group is now a US$350m+ GWP MGA underwriting 15 specialty classes of business with forecasted 2018 EBITDA of £15m and income of £41m. Now is an excellent time for us to be buying an Aerospace MGA, with capacity being withdrawn, rates hardening, improving safety standards and increased focus on underwriting profitability across the market. 

As a Group, we continue to target three acquisitions per annum, including transformational deals such as this which enrich our business with new expertise and solutions. We have a busy pipeline and will continue to proactively look for new opportunities that fit into our M&A model.”

Mark Birrell, CEO of Castel, commented:

“This is an important milestone in the development of Castel with Altitude being both the first of the 13 underwriting cells to launch on our formation platform and the first to exit. The deal clearly demonstrates that our business model of supporting entrepreneurial underwriters in launching and building successful businesses is working. This proven structure enables us to continue to identify and develop opportunities to bring other entrepreneurial teams to market.

We are delighted to have supported David and the team to reach this point in their growth after nearly five years and wish them continued success in the future.” 

Richard Power, one of the founding Partners of Altitude Risk Partners LLP, commented:

“Castel’s incubation model has provided the support and infrastructure to enable ARP to enter the market and build a high quality business quickly. From this strong foundation we are now ready to take the business forward with an equally supportive partner in Nexus.”

The sellers were advised by TigerRisk Capital Markets & Advisory (UK) Limited.  

Ends

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