BP Marsh-backed specialty insurance distribution platform XPT Group has added a second acquisition in three weeks with its Western Specialty Surplus (WSS) unit buying binding authority specialist Houston Surplus Lines (HSL), The Insurer can reveal.

XPT, WSS and Houston Surplus Lines

The deal is also the second by WSS since it was itself bought by XPT in 2017.

E&S general agency HSL was founded in 1994 and is currently run by Barbara Partlow and Carol Gardner.

According to an XPT statement the firm has long-standing binding authority contracts with some of the best A rated surplus lines carriers, along with a “solid list” of brokerage markets for the harder to place risks.

Commenting on the move, HSL president Partlow said: “The opportunity to team with WSS and its operations in Plano, TX and California is something we’re thrilled to share with our customers and carriers.

“Our in-house underwriting experts will now be able to offer more resources including markets and products, giving our customers more solutions for their hard to place risks.”

WSS president and CEO Kyle Stevens said the acquisition demonstrates its commitment to expanding through Texas, after building out on the West Coast.

“This is another step in strengthening our position in one of the largest E&S marketplaces in the country,” he said.

The HSL acquisition comes after WSS bought Southern California-based Klein & Costa Insurance Services last September.

The latest deal is the seventh acquisition by XPT, following LP Risk, WSS, WE Love & Associates, SVA Underwriting, Klein & Costa and Sierra Specialty.

As previously reported, XPT completed its sixth investment with a deal to buy MGA and wholesale broker LP Risk last month.

Texas-based LP Risk is led by Landon Parnell and the executive has retained his position as president of the acquired firm as well as taking on the new role of heading up XPT’s National P&C Brokerage Division.

The addition of LP Risk is understood to take GWP across the XPT platform to in the region of $250mn on an annualized basis.