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Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Cobbs Allen combines investment bank & insurance broker in CAC Specialty


Independent U.S. risk management and insurance broker Cobbs Allen has launched a new unit focused on bringing together investment banking and insurance to create risk transfer solutions for corporates and private equity sponsors.

cac-specialty-logoThe specialty broking unit CAC Specialty represents the “next wave in the long-term convergence of insurance and capital markets by combining structured finance solutions with insurance broking capabilities,” the company said.

It’s an interesting time in the broking world, as convergence of risk management, risk transfer, investment banking, structured and capital efficiency products continue to bring insurance, reinsurance and asset management closer together.

Key senior hires have been made, with structured finance, investment banking, insurance and reinsurance capabilities, to help the new Cobbs Allen unit deliver on its promise to clients.

CAC Specialty will target both public and private companies as well as private equity sponsors, looking to structure advanced and alternative solutions to reduce and mitigate risk, through financial backstops akin to insurance or reinsurance.

Paul Sparks, founder and head of the financial services division of McGriff, Seibels & Williams, will take on the role of Executive Chairman of CAC Specialty.

David Payne, formerly the Chief Revenue Officer of JLT, will be Chief Revenue Officer of CAC.

Jack Leventhal, Senior Managing Director and Executive Officer at Teneo Capital, will drive the investment banking business side of CAC, and Bruce Denson Jr., President of Cobbs Allen, will also serve as President of CAC.

“The current consolidation in the insurance brokerage marketplace has created a need for an independent platform with scalability and the ability to move quickly and nimbly to serve the increasingly complex needs of corporate and private equity clients,” explained Sparks. “CAC Specialty’s capabilities, talent and ownership structure provide a needed industry paradigm shift.”

“This new platform will combine the capabilities of an investment bank and an insurance broker to offer creative risk-transfer solutions for clients,” Leventhal added. “We will deliver a unique suite of products and services that will help clients significantly reduce costs, increase capital efficiency and facilitate the execution of strategic priorities.”

Leventhal and his employees are part of Teneo’s Capital Advisory business, a New York-based independent investment bank, which will have a strategic relationship with CAC Specialty, enabling structured finance solutions to be delivered for risk transfer, insurance and reinsurance purposes.

“I am excited to be part of a platform that has aligned its business to its clients and its employees,” Payne said. “Our ability to bring end-to-end risk transfer solutions will drive meaningful benefits for our stakeholders. The risk market is changing rapidly and the CAC Specialty platform will lead from the front in providing creative solutions to solve complicated risk issues. The future is very exciting.”

CAC Specialty is going to be majority owned by its employees and intends to remain stanchly independent.

“Our experience at Cobbs Allen has taught us that employees invested in the long-term value of their own company produce the longest-term value for our clients,” Denson expanded. “We couldn’t be prouder to be part of such a watershed moment in our industry. I look forward to working with the leadership of CAC Specialty and many more talented individuals who want to create value every day for their clients.”

CAC Specialty has announced a number of key hires:

  • Darren Sonderman is Executive Vice President and Head of the Atlanta office.
  • John Tanner joins as Chief Legal Officer.
  • Jason Horwitz joins as Executive Vice President of Special Situations Group.
  • Andy Lennox joins as Senior Vice President of Complex Casualty.
  • David McMahan, Adam Lantrip, Brian Hood, Jacalyn Kroupa, Jennifer Schaeffer, Rik Goyton, Gavin Shiels, Greg McCollister and Billy Kroupa join as Senior Vice Presidents.
  • Vince Mutolo as Senior Managing Director and Michelle Lam as Senior Vice President join the investment banking business.
  • Sasson Posner (formerly of Deutsche Bank, Willis Re and others) and Chris Jacks join from Cobbs Allen as consultants in the Structured Solutions Practice.

The company will operate from offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and New York, with further locations and key hires to be announced in the coming weeks.

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