Knipe launches life focused Kilter Finance, KKR commits up to $500m

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Kilter Finance has been formally launched today by its founder Dan Knipe, a well-known figure in the life insurance-linked securities and investments marketplace.

kilter-finance-logoKnipe was most recently the Deputy Chief Investment Officer at specialist insurance-linked securities (ILS) manager Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP where he managed the life and mortality linked investment strategies for the firm.

As we reported in January this year, it was announced that Knipe would depart from Leadenhall to launch a new venture, although he is expected to continue to have close ties with Leadenhall through a formal cooperation framework on the existing portfolio and also on some future investments as well.

But now his new venture has been revealed and with an arrangement with global investment firm KKR secured, Kilter Finance represents an intriguing investment and another way to access the returns of innovative life insurance related businesses.

The new company Kilter Finance has entered into a binding agreement with KKR for an investment of up to $500 million of equity funding in the company, it announced today.

Kilter Finance will use the proceeds to investment into what it sees as “an attractive pipeline of investment opportunities, predominantly in the life, annuity and health insurance sectors.”

Kilter is a specialty finance company offering “flexible and innovative financing solutions” to the financial services sector on a global basis, the company said.

It intends to make investments and loans that will generally include exposure to behavioural, biometric and/or asset risks, with the initial areas of focus being financing life, annuity and health insurance companies.

The investments made by Kilter Finance will be from its own balance-sheet, funded by its management team and the commitment of up to $500 million of funds under the management of KKR. The company won’t be offering third-party funds or managing external capital.

In his time at Leadenhall, an ILS and reinsurance-linked asset manager with over $5 billion under management, Knipe helped to establish and grow the life insurance linked investments at the firm to over $2.5 billion.

His track-record speaks for itself and Knipe’s new venture reflects another intriguing way to access investment returns from specialist areas of the insurance market, on a more direct financing basis.

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