It seems that in recent times big deals involving major insurers have become quite commonplace in the market – whether it’s the co-operation between Allianz and LV or the mega merger between AXA and XL Group. Now, however, we have a more traditional acquisition deal between insurers to add to that list – one involving a well-known MGA.
Zurich has knocked on the door of RSA Insurance and made an agreement to acquire Oak Underwriting from the firm. In a release announcing the deal, Zurich declared that it would “transform” the company’s scale in the high net worth sector and enhance its Zurich Private Clients offering.
“Today’s announcement accelerates the growth of our high net-worth business, giving us significant scale in the market and transforming us into one of the largest providers,” said David White, Zurich’s head of retail. “This deal broadens our distribution capabilities and enhances our regional footprint. We are confident the combined strengths of our businesses will create a market leading high net worth proposition, focussing on high levels of service and depth of broker relationships.”
Both businesses are now to be led by Paul Glasper, Zurich’s head of specialist retail, with Oak to become part of the Zurich Private Clients business over the medium-term. Around 80 employees are expected transfer to Zurich while Oak’s office in Chipping Norton will be retained.
“Zurich has an ambition to become the leading high net-worth player in the UK market, so I am pleased we are joining their organisation to achieve this,” said Oak’s Mark Coffey. “We have some great people and fantastic capability so combining the best of Oak and the best of Zurich Private Clients will create something which is really exciting.”
The transaction should close in the second quarter of 2018 subject to regulatory approval.