Acrisure’s Millwater: Volante acquisition provides “stellar double-digit” growth rate in international business

Acrisure’s recent acquisition of MGA Volante Global has catapulted its organic growth potential in international business “well into the double digits”, Grahame Millwater, president of global insurance at Acrisure, has told The Insurer TV.

Speaking on The Insurer TV’s Leading Voices following the announcement of the deal on 22 March, Millwater affirmed the group’s organic growth aspirations while revealing more MGA acquisitions are set to be announced this year.

“You’ll always see further acquisitions from Acrisure,” he said. “M&A is part of our DNA and looking for good companies is constant,” he said.

While discussing Volante, Millwater said: “I’ve always respected Talbir [Bains]’ work ethic approach, having built this business based around underwriting integrity.

“The diversity of the business he’s built as well as the trajectory and the premium, everything about this business we found from day one when we started looking at it, attractive.”

Volante, founded by former QBE executive Bains five years ago, grew its premium base to $350mn in 2021.

The MGA has forecasted it will grow premiums to close to $1bn by 2025, and received approval to launch a Lloyd’s syndicate for the 2022 year of account with an initial stamp capacity of £130mn ($171mn).

The acquisition is the latest in the build-out of Acrisure’s MGA strategy following deals for Tennessee-based Appalachian Underwriters at the start of the year and the MGA and third-party administrator operations of Sunz Insurance, announced in December 2021.

Speaking about the group’s MGA strategy, Millwater said Acrisure would continue to scale up this part of the business.

“We’ve done over 100 acquisitions every year for the past three years and close to 100 the year before that. So, will you see further acquisitions from Acrisure? Of course you will. Will you see it in the MGA space? Yes, you will.”

He added: “We’re incredibly pleased with the platforms we’ve bought and also incredibly pleased with the people that have come with them, really true high quality and Volante epitomises that.”

Millwater said the group’s MGA strategy revolves around making sure the business is “well rounded, both regionally and geographically, and by class”.

But he was also keen to emphasise the group’s focus on organic growth.

“People tend to often think of us in that M&A space, because of the number of transactions that we do and partnerships that we create. But we grow our business too,” he said.

“Take Volante, it’s one of our international acquisitions. I can tell you our growth rate in the international business that we’ve bought is stellar, well into double digits. So, we’re very pleased with that.”

During the 13-minute interview, Millwater also discussed Acrisure’s continued investment in transformative technology and the significance of this strategy to further drive growth and better opportunities with clients and capacity providers.

“We’re absolutely focused on technology, mainly on the impact this business is going to have from the use of technology and data. I think what we’ve all recognised in insurance in the past few years is data is critical,” he said.

Specifically in relation to building out an MGA platform, Millwater said the interlinks technology creates are “critical”.

“Sustainable long-term relationships with underwriting capital are key. And what is at the heart of that? Understanding the portfolio, understanding the risk, understanding what your partners from the underwriting capital perspective need and ensuring that you can deliver that on a sustainable basis. Technology is absolutely at the heart of everything about that,” he said.

Click below to watch the full 13-minute interview with Acrisure’s Grahame Millwater:


Leading Voices: Grahame Millwater