Butler led Cohen & Co. re/insurance & insurtech acquisition play raises $151m

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Insurance Acquisition Corporation has successfully raised almost $151 million for the launch of a so-called blank check company that will be led by John Butler and target acquiring insurance, reinsurance and insurtech operations.

John Butler, Cohen & CompanyAs we reported back in February, John Butler was lined up to lead a Cohen & Company, LLC backed insurance, reinsurance and insurtech acquisition vehicle that was launching a capital raise.

Insurance Acquisition Corp. was targeting around a $150 million capital raise, with $130 million from third-party investors.

The target has successfully been met and Insurance Acquisition Corp. has now completed its initial public offering raising gross proceeds of $150,650,000. The shares trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “INSUU”.

The company will no focus on its stated mission of acquiring or merging with one or more businesses or entities in the insurance industry, with a focus on insurance technology part of the remit.

John Butler, formerly a Managing Partner at ILS investment specialist Twelve Capital and who joined fixed income financial services firm Cohen & Company, LLC in 2017 to help them to develop a U.S. Insurance Asset Management Platform and Global ILS Program, is set to be the CEO and President of Insurance Acquisition Corp.

Cohen & Co. has experience in launching these blank check companies, having done so previously in the financial technology (fintech) space.

The funding is raised and the company typically has a number of potential acquisition targets in mind, but the idea is that there is no significant rush to deploy capital.

The investors are really buying into the expertise of the managers, their knowledge of an industry (in this case insurance and reinsurance), as well as their ability to target potentially profitable acquisitions and then to execute on them.

Insurance Acquisition Corp. offers an interesting way for investors to target insurance and reinsurance linked sector returns, through a listed equity vehicle. Given the insurtech focus as well, there could be the potential for very attractive returns from such a strategy.

Joining Butler in leading the acquisition vehicle are Paul Vernhes as CFO, an experienced insurance and reinsurance executive who works for Cohen & Co. in France, and the Cohen & Co. founder Daniel Cohen as Chairman.

Daniel Cohen has experience in raising funds for these blank check companies and deploying capital into acquisitions in the financial technology (fintech) space profitably, alongside his wealth of experience in fixed income and capital markets.

Given the expertise of Butler and Vernhes, which ranges across traditional insurance and reinsurance through to private insurance debt and insurance-linked securities (ILS) investing, as well as Cohen’s expertise and experience in fintech acquisitions, the trio have a unique view of the market forces driving re/insurance trends.

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