New York-headquartered Evercore has continued to be the most visibly active M&A (re)insurance sector advisory firm in the Covid-19 fallout with appointments to work on James Slaughter’s start-up venture as well as emerging as advisor to A-Plan on its sale to Hyperion.
Slaughter – the former chief underwriting officer of Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions – has engaged Evercore to raise capital for a Bermuda-based start-up.
It is understood that Evercore has initiated conversations with a number of private equity houses on behalf of Slaughter, who is targeting a 1.1 launch.
Slaughter’s planned vehicle is believed to be focused on property treaty, specialty reinsurance and retro.
Evercore has also recently advised A-Plan, adding the UK personal and commercial lines broker to its portfolio of clients.
The firm advised A-Plan on its sale to Hyperion Group, with the £700mn transaction unveiled last week.
But it has been capital raises – both for incumbents and start-ups – where Evercore has been most visibly active in the P&C market in 2020.
As previously reported by this publication, it is advising a trio of Hiscox alumni looking to raise capital for a new Lloyd’s and Bermuda carrier. Former Hiscox chief underwriting officer Richard Watson has teamed up with Stuart Bridges and Russell Merrett for that venture.
Along with TigerRisk – another advisory firm that is busy in the start-up and scale up space – Evercore is also advising Lloyd’s player Ark, which is looking to raise up to $1bn ($800mn equity/$200mn debt) and convert an existing Class 3 Bermuda reinsurer into a Class 4.
Evercore is advising Convex on a second round of fundraising that could take its capital close to $3bn. The (re)insurer, which was unveiled by Stephen Catlin and Paul Brand last year with $1.8bn of capital ($1.6bn committed) in a launch that Evercore also advised on, has platforms in London and Bermuda. JP Morgan is also advising Convex on its new funding round.
Beat Capital Partners worked with Evercore to raise capital to establish its own 2021 underwriting platform, which will sit alongside third party capital-backed Syndicate 4242 at Lloyd’s. Beat was launched in 2017 by former Ariel Re chief Tom Milligan and former Willis Re CEO John Cavanagh to back entrepreneurial MGAs.
Earlier this month, Beat secured investment from Bain Capital Credit to create a dedicated underwriting vehicle.
In addition to the start-up and scale-up initiatives currently underway, Evercore is co-advising (along with Barclays) Randall & Quilter (R&Q) on creating a $200mn+ third-party capital sidecar which would see the legacy acquisitions group co-invest alongside funds it manages.
Growing into a major player
Evercore was founded in 1995 and has grown into a leading corporate adviser.
Its $1.7bn of global advisory revenue in 2018 placed it behind only Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, but ahead of such names as Lazard, Rothschild, Citi and Bank of America.
Its pre-eminence in insurance was spring-boarded by its acquisition of London-based financial institutions advisory firm Lexicon Partners in 2011 for £86mn.
Evercore’s Lloyd’s focused fundraising initiatives are being led by Mark Hennessy, the co-head of its financial institutions group.
The financial advisory firm has already had a busy year for announced insurance transactions, not taking the start-up and scale up initiatives that it is currently advising on into account.
It acted as a bookrunner on the IPOs of worker comp-focused program carrier/MGA Trean Insurance Group, which floated last month, and insurance price comparison website SelectQuote, which went public in May.
Evercore has also advised Fidelis on two capital raises worth a combined $800mn this year, as well as working on two follow-on offerings for Palomar Holdings worth $386mn.
It has also been active in M&A, advising Kingsbridge Group on its sale to White Mountains’ NSM, advising Charlesbank Capital Partners on its acquisition of World Insurance Associates, and working for Global Risk Partners on its majority investment from Searchlight Capital Partners.
All of this 2020 activity followed Evercore advising on some eye-catching deals announced last year.
It advised on the launch of Convex in April 2019 and McGill & Partners’ $250mn launch in May 2019. In addition, AIG engaged it to advise on its launch of a new HMW syndicate at Lloyd’s.
M&A transactions in 2019 included advising Lee Equity Partners on its acquisition of K2 Insurance Services and advising Liberty Mutual on its sale of Pembroke Managing Agency and Ironshore Europe to Hamilton Insurance Group.