Expansive MGA Paragon Insurance Holdings is taking on the shared and layered E&S property team from Nationwide in a deal that will see the US insurance giant continue to provide its paper for the book of business.

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The exclusive underwriting agreement sees Paragon – which is part of Epic and JenCap parent Galway Holdings LLC – take on the current Nationwide E&S team writing the business, led by Mike Denton, chief property underwriting officer for brokerage (pictured above right).

For Nationwide the move brings it a distribution partner that can potentially help accelerate growth of its offerings in the E&S property market.

The brokerage property program will continue to be delivered through Nationwide’s existing wholesale distribution channel.

For Paragon the deal is the latest as it looks to broaden its portfolio into the E&S space beyond its established admitted offerings.

Commenting on the transaction, Tom Jurgens, Nationwide senior vice president for E&S brokerage, said: “Partnering with Paragon will enable Nationwide to expand its footprint in the layered and shared property market. They bring a solutions-driven approach backed by expertise, data and analytics which will drive growth.”

Paragon’s founding CEO Ron Ganiats (above left) added: “Nationwide is a recognized market leader and we look forward to working with the talented underwriting team and existing wholesale brokers to capitalize on attractive growth opportunities.”

According to marketing material on the website of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Nationwide E&S, its brokerage property team currently has capacity of up to $125mn available for best-in-class risks, including cat capacity for Tier 1 wind, high hazard quake and flood.

Its target space is $100mn, with total insurable value up to $7bn. The team will write on an all risk or difference in conditions (DIC) with named perils basis, and will consider multiple layers on programmes, including primary DIC only and excess.

The unit distributes exclusively through the wholesale channel, offering capacity on Nationwide’s A+ AM Best rated paper.

Targeted accounts and classes include amusement and recreation, apartments, casinos, food and beverage, hotels/motels, municipalities, offices, real estate, religious organizations, restaurant chains, retail, school districts, traditional agribusiness and warehouses/light industrial, according to the flyer.

At Nationwide, the team reported to Jurgens.

Paragon’s E&S push

The move is the latest by Paragon as it looks to increasingly target the non-admitted space.

The MGA’s current book has been largely built in the admitted market, with an estimated $400mn of premium across programs sourced through retail agents.

But last November it hired Christian Phillips from Beazley to enter the fast-hardening contingency market in a move that was expected to be the first of several to add underwriting talent across a number of E&S lines and niche specialty segments.

This publication reported last month that Paragon was set to target areas including general liability and excess property.