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Program News

Long-anticipated M&A activity in the fronting space has finally taken off with R&Q’s agreement to sell Accredited to Onex Partners and the news revealed by Program Manager that 777 Partners is in advanced talks to divest Sutton National to Charlesbank Capital Partners.

The rebranding of NFP’s MGA platform as Totalis Program Underwriters is all about spotlighting the $750mn-premium programs business and raising awareness of the value it brings to the retail broker’s overall offering.

One80 Intermediaries has acquired GMI Insurance, the Pennsylvania-based MGA built by the Trudel family from its origins as a monoline commercial auto program to a multi-line firm writing in excess of $110mn of annual premium, The Insurer can reveal.

Strong growth opportunities in other areas of a hardening reinsurance market mean that reinsurers can be more selective about the programs and fronting carriers they support, but the appeal of access to diversifying business in the MGA sector remains, according to Conning’s Steve Webersen.

Despite headwinds in some other areas of the P&C insurance sector, the outlook for MGAs remains strong, amid growing demand for niche and specialty products and a continued influx of underwriting talent drawn from traditional carriers.

Clear Blue has been the subject of at least one recent unsolicited approach from a potential buyer while Sutton National backer 777 Partners is among a number of fronting carrier owners evaluating options that could include a sale, amid broader expectations of heightened M&A activity in the crowded sector, Program Manager can reveal.

Executives speaking on a panel at the Target Markets mid-year event in Boston last week highlighted the growing sophistication of actuarial work being done between program administrators (PAs) and capacity providers, as more capital is dedicated to the segment.

AM Best assigned a positive outlook to the MGA sector – or the delegated underwriting authority enterprise (DUAE) sector as the firm characterizes it.

New Paradigm Underwriters and its director of specialty insurance programs Mark Groenheide are in the market securing reinsurance for the launch of a new technical MGU called Conductive Underwriters, which will provide all-risk coverage including embedded parametric insurance, Program Manager can reveal.

Distinguished Programs is executing ambitious growth plans under its new management that include targeting opportunities to partner with carriers and take on underwriting teams from those companies while enabling them to retain risk premium on the business, Program Manager can reveal.

Everspan aims to pass the $250mn premiums mark in 2023 and again double in size to $500mn+ over the next couple of years as it looks to add general liability and workers’ compensation programs.

Ryan Specialty’s renewable energy-focused MGU PERse is diversifying its book of business and eyeing opportunities in emerging technologies, while also targeting new capacity providers to support its growing platform at a time when interest and competition in the specialist sector has never been higher.

In an increasingly data-driven segment of the market, the raw statistics around the Target Markets Program Administrators Association Annual Summit in Scottsdale support the view that the US MGA and programs sector remains in rude health, with booming growth conditions and record interest.

Reinsurance has been a key driver behind the strong growth trajectory in the US programs and MGA space, facilitated by the proliferation of hybrid fronting carriers, according to senior executives in a Program Manager panel.

Risk transfer platform Vesttoo has partnered with Clear Blue to deploy $1bn in collateralised capacity to the fronting carrier’s P&C portfolio over the next year in a deal that provides capital markets investors access to diversified risks and MGAs additional reinsurance capacity, Program Manager can reveal.