The London-listed legacy acquisitions and program management firm Randall & Quilter (R&Q) unveiled an 180 percent increase in 2019 pre-tax profits this morning, accompanied by a confident outlook on an accelerated demand for its services caused by the expected Covid-19 shake-out.

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  • Pre-tax profits up 180% to £40.1mn
  • Covid-19 to create new legacy and program opportunities 
  • Legacy co-financing partnerships continue as deal sizes get bigger
  • Program division to grow to $1.5bn+ by 2023
  • Accelerates US E&S push

Traditionally a late FY reporter, this morning R&Q unveiled record pre-tax profits climbing from £14.3mn in 2018 to £40.1mn last year, fuelled by two of its largest-ever legacy transactions, Global Re and Sandell Re, completing last year.

Earnings per share climbed 269 percent to 21.4p while net asset value per share after capital distributions to shareholders increased 13 percent to 148.1p per share.

But the company – which raised $100mn in an equity placing in late April backed by existing investor 777 Partners and the arrival of Michael Millette’s ILS Bermuda fund Hudson Structured – also gave an upbeat outlook on growth in its program management division which saw gross written premium (GWP) climb 147 percent to $369mn in 2019.

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The division – which trades under the “Accredited” banner in both the US and Europe – also said GWP had climbed to $478mn in Q1 2020 on an annualised basis and committed to growing the business to $1.5bn-$2bn by “2022/23”.

“In the US, in 2019, Accredited (US) was upgraded to an AM Best category IX Financial Strength. This positive endorsement makes Accredited one of the highest rated program managers in the US and positions us well for continued future success,” the company explained today.

R&Q also said it was accelerating its plans to form a US subsidiary to provide these fronting services to MGAs in the E&S market, to accompany its Accredited subsidiary which is licenced in all fifty states to write admitted business.

Meanwhile in Europe it is creating a UK branch of its Malta insurance company ahead of the end of the UK’s “Brexit” transition period with the EU.

R&Q’s program division benefits on the margin from higher rates in a hard market because it earns a commission (typically around 5 percent) in exchange for lending its AM Best rated capacity, licences and infrastructure to MGAs and reinsurers, their ultimate risk capital partners.

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R&Q’s Ken Randall, William Spiegel and Alan Quilter

But it also predicted today that the forthcoming shake up caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will lead to more MGAs looking for new program and reinsurance capital partners.

The “existing strong pipeline of opportunities in both Program Management and Legacy [is] enhanced by [the] ‘hard’ market created by Covid-19,” the firm explained today. 

Commenting on the results for the year, management trio Ken Randall, Alan Quilter and William Spiegel, said: “We are pleased to report that 2019 was a record year for the Group.

“This was the result of the continued growth in both our Program Management and Legacy businesses as we successfully executed against our strategy and capitalized on the significant opportunities in both segments.”

New York based Spiegel joined R&Q earlier this year after a thirty-year career in insurance-focussed private equity and is expected to become CEO next year, as founder Randall steps back. 

Today, R&Q added that it will continue to partner with third-party capital to co-venture on large legacy acquisitions.

“Our key goal for the legacy business is to add a recurring fee component to its income by managing legacy business on behalf of third parties. 

“There is a growing demand from alternative capital providers, such as pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and family offices, for access to the legacy insurance business we originate and service,” the management team said today.

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R&Q completed 16 legacy acquisitions in 2019, contributing £332.2mn of new cash and investments and £276.2mn of additional net reserves.

In 2020, it has slated deals with HIIG and Hamilton-at-Lloyd’s.

“2019 was an outstanding year for R&Q and in 2020 our opportunity set continues to grow. We will continue, as is our tradition, to be patient and disciplined as we continue to grow our business,” the management team concluded.

The Insurer Comment

Analysts covering R&Q anticipated strong 2019 earnings (consensus was £42.2mn) but today’s upbeat commentary and positive outlook may still generate positive share price momentum this week…