Start-up alternative risk transfer MGA USQRisk has received $3.25mn of seed capital from a unit of Maiden Holdings to accelerate its expansion with the Bermudian’s co-CEOs Lawrence Metz and Patrick Haveron also joining its board, The Insurer can reveal.

USQ Risk and Maiden Holdings

The investment will allow the recently launched firm to expand its operations and more quickly meet rising demand for alternative risk solutions.

It is thought that the relationship could also see Maiden support USQRisk with further strategic investment down the line as the MGA identifies other opportunities to build out its capabilities.

It is not expected that the Bermudian reinsurer will be one of the start-up’s capacity providers, however.

In a statement, the New York-based MGA said the funding would enable it to grow its team of seasoned alternative risk professionals to meet the increased demand for the solutions from corporate and financial sector clients and speed up the development of its programs and advisory platform.

As previously reported, USQRisk has been launched at a time when hardening traditional insurance market conditions and tighter capacity are driving corporations and their brokers to seek stable risk transfer and risk financing structures.

The MGA was unveiled back in September by a senior team led by former Allianz Risk Transfer executive Anibal Moreno (pictured above left) as CEO.

It is already understood to have put a few significant structured deals on its books along with multiple engagements on the programs and advisory front.

Commenting on the seed financing, Moreno said: “Our aim is to be the premier alternative risk structuring shop in the United States by building a standard of excellence focused on innovative solutions, execution and sustainable client partnerships.

“Maiden’s seed financing allows us to do that with a partner that will help us execute on a broader range of opportunities too.”

Haveron and Metz highlighted the “proven expertise” of Moreno and his team – including president Michael Zipper (also pictured above) – in the alternative risk transfer market, which will enable the MGA to capitalize on “abundant opportunities emerging in this market”.

“USQRisk’s multiple pillar approach to serving its clients should enhance its presence in the market at a critical time, and we believe Maiden’s support will help accelerate implementation of USQRisk’s business plan,” they continued.

In the statement the start-up said the partnership is indicative of growing interest among industry investors in the alternative risk market.

It added that the relationship will provide Maiden with insight into unique risk and investment opportunities that it can further partner with USQRisk on.

As first revealed by The Insurer, Moreno and a core team of high-profile executives, including several of his former Allianz colleagues, launched the MGA in September this year.

The company focuses on delivering bespoke (re)insurance and capital solutions at a time of uncertainty for many businesses, as well as developing programs to provide additional value and security to corporate clients and their end customers.

Its three-pillar approach – alternative risk for corporate clients, a dual programs strategy and advisory services – is designed to provide a holistic view of the risk marketplace.