Marsh & McLennan acquires stake in ILS manager Juniperus Capital

by Artemis on April 24, 2012

Marsh & McLennan Companies, one of the largest professional service firms dealing in risk and insurance broking and consultancy, has acquired a minority stake in Bermuda based catastrophe, insurance-linked securities and reinsurance-linked investment manager Juniperus Capital. Juniperus Capital recently sold a majority holding to private-equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners (our article on that acquisition can be found here), although the we understand the management team also holds a stake in the firm.

Juniperus Capital are clearly seeking to grow their business and share of the market since the Aquiline deal and now with a company like Marsh & McLennan joining the partnership. The resources and access to capital that those partners could bring to the Juniperus management team must be very attractive. For Marsh & McLennan and Aquiline, it gives them a way into the ILS space with an established firm and management team at a time when the sector is looking healthy.

“We had been searching for a strong platform like Juniperus for some time, and we believe that we, along with Marsh & McLennan Companies, can leverage our operational expertise and industry experience to provide a unique and compelling opportunity to investors seeking exposure to insurance-related securities,” said Jeff Greenberg, Chief Executive of Aquiline. “We plan to support Juniperus in this increasingly competitive market by strategically expanding its offerings, engaging in a rebranding effort and introducing new funds to serve the Juniperus customer base.”

Juniperus Capital plan to expand their core offering to investors and will be launching an unspecified number of new funds designed to appeal to different types of investors, with varying appetites for risk. They also plan to expand their investment team and are treating this as a new start for the firm.

“We are excited to welcome Marsh & McLennan Companies as a strategic partner alongside Aquiline, as we pursue this unique market opportunity in alternative insurance investments. With this additional support we will be looking to expand our core investment team in a new start for Juniperus,” said Phil Lotz, Chairman of Juniperus.

It’s a good time to double-down and re-focus on the opportunities in the market right now. Interest in the insurance-linked investment space is high and capital inflows, or capital waiting in the wings, is looking at alternatives giving managers with the experience and access great opportunities to increase in size. Juniperus are clearly aiming to capitalise on the sentiment in the market and current opportunities for returns in the re/insurance and ILS space.

“Aquiline and Marsh & McLennan Companies both have substantial experience in the asset management and insurance industries that will be valuable in helping us provide our investors with the attractive insurance-linked products they demand in this environment,” said Steve Velotti, Chief Investment Officer of Juniperus.

One other interesting fact about this partnership is that the Aquiline deal involved them buying out broker Aon Benfield’s share in Juniperus. With this investment it appears that Marsh are the only one of the major insurance broking firms with a stake in an ILS investment manager at this time, Willis have been raising funds for their Hendiatris vehicle/fund but it’s unclear at this time exactly what focus that entity will have.

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