AssuredPartners-sponsored Accretive Insurance Solutions is building a new specialty insurance provider and program administrator around existing programs aggregated from 20+ agencies, with the platform comprising specialty P&C and employee benefit companies, MGAs and a wholesale division, Program Manager can reveal.

Sean Smith – Accretive

Accretive was unveiled last week to house those relevant businesses acquired by the private equity-backed retail consolidator and to be built out organically and through M&A.

It is led by Sean Smith of AP Keenan, along with a team of experienced specialty and wholesale experts from both AssuredPartners and AP Keenan, the California-based specialty firm acquired in 2017 that is the largest agency transferred into the new platform by its parent.

Commenting on the launch, AssuredPartners founder and CEO Jim Henderson said: “We have some of the most innovative and ground-breaking programs in the industry, and the time is right to bring them under independent leadership to better support their continued growth and creativity.”

And in an interview with this publication, Smith, who is president and CEO of AP Keenan and now also chairman and CEO of Accretive, said that he had gone through a process with AssuredPartners to identify other specialty organisations, wholesalers and MGA/MGUs suited to the new platform that were previously part of the retail operation.

Accretive Insurance Solutions factfile

“We believe that by providing dedicated niche management and bringing together firms that need more autonomy and agility outside of the retail generalist environment, we can identify and support faster growth strategies for all of them,” he commented.

John Stephens, who is president of P&C for AP Keenan and takes up the same position at Accretive, said the creation of the new company as a standalone entity marked it out as a truly specialised operation compared to diversifying specialty verticals within traditional retail intermediaries.

“A specialised company has infrastructure to support the business while providing a more efficient product for the customers and carrier partners. It’s not just an aggregation of data in terms of how much you can squeeze an insurance carrier.

“We’re going to build infrastructure, partner with our insurance and reinsurance companies, and then we’re going to have broader distribution to grow the business,” he commented.

Stephens said Accretive will take existing specialised businesses within AssuredPartners then expand its platform into the MGA and wholesale world. “We have a variety of acquisitions we’re looking at right now that we’ll be announcing shortly in terms of both talent and companies coming on board,” he added. 

The executive said the focus will be largely on domestic specialty companies and MGAs with the aim being to buy “excellent businesses with great leadership”.

Three pillars

Accretive is being built with three pillars: specialty business, wholesale and the MGA/programs business.

In addition to building out a digitised infrastructure for its MGA platform, the start-up sees opportunities to improve processes and deliver better solutions in segments of the wholesale brokerage space.

The executives were keen to emphasise that the focus of Accretive is not only to build exclusive products for AssuredPartners agents, but to create broader distribution by carving the businesses out from their retail parent.

Sean Smith PQ

“We see a real opportunity not only to provide creative solutions for internal retail AssuredPartners agencies but externally too. We want to create specialised solutions that will meet the needs of lots of folks,” said Smith.

Stephens said that by expanding distribution through MGAs, wholesale or other broker partners, Accretive will be able to reach more potential customers and provide greater solutions to help them.

“That’s essentially what creates accretive growth and that’s why we chose the name,” he explained.

Access to capacity

The executives said that Accretive will also be able to more effectively lever the strong carrier relationships that AP Keenan and other agencies being brought onto the new platform have. That includes the aggregation of data among carrier partners to bring more strategic offerings, which in turn will bring value to those insurers and reinsurers by bringing scale.

John Stephens PQ

“With that scale we can create better solutions and deal terms for our customers so it’s a win-win,” said Stephens. Carrier relationships will be key to building out the MGA platform, with AP Keenan in particular working closely with reinsurers across its book of business.

The firm has a significant public entity portfolio of programs that are typically backed 100 percent by global reinsurers from Continental Europe, Bermuda and the London market.