Miller Insurance Services LLP, the wholesale and London broker majority owned by Willis Towers Watson (WTW), is to be acquired by private equity specialist investor Cinven and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.
Strategic alternatives for ownership of insurance and reinsurance broker Miller have been under consideration since earlier this year, the company and its majority owner Willis Towers Watson (WTW) had previously confirmed.
Willis Group acquired an 85% interest in Miller Insurance Services LLP back in 2015, as the pair sought to create a leading wholesale and London market focused broking platform.
Now, it’s been announced that the two investors have reached agreement to acquire Miller from its partners and corporate member, WTW.
Miller operates in the UK, Lloyd’s and internationally, employing over 640 people through offices in London, Ipswich, Brussels, Paris, Singapore and Geneva.
The broker operates across multiple lines of business, including reinsurance, placing roughly £2 billion worth of premiums annually.
Cinven and GIC said the investment is attractive as it features a high-quality, cash generative business model, with a strong position in the wholesale insurance markets and long-standing client base.
The pair see an opportunity for Miller to “benefit significantly from independent ownership,” with a chance to accelerate its long-term growth profile through organic growth, plans to recruit new specialist brokers and to enter into strategic M&A opportunities over time.
In addition, Cinven and GIC expect that the underlying insurance market will continue growing in line with GDP, with potential additional upside for specialty insurers, all supported by an expectation for further short-term rate hardening.
The Miller acquisition represents Cinven’s first investment from a new financial services sector-focused strategy, which it is looking to build on with additional deals.
Luigi Sbrozzi, Partner of Cinven, stated, “Cinven is delighted to be making this investment in Miller alongside GIC. Miller is a highly attractive, resilient specialist insurance business with strong long-term growth opportunities across all of its segments and a history of consistent growth through various economic cycles . We see opportunities both organically, by recruiting new specialist brokers, and through incremental M&A over time. Miller also offers a scalable platform, particularly internationally, with associated benefits for clients as the business develops and expands over the long-term. We believe that independent ownership is the right model to really accelerate the company’s growth.”
Yong Cheen Choo, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC, added, “Miller is one of the top and most established wholesale brokers with highly respected franchises in areas such as marine & energy, sports & entertainment, and cargo. We are pleased to partner with Cinven and look forward to supporting Greg Collins and his team to seize future expansion opportunities for Miller. As a long-term investor, we are confident in the growth potential of the specialty insurance sector, and of Miller within it.”
Greg Collins, CEO, Miller, also said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with Cinven and GIC, whose knowledge and insurance investment expertise will enormously support our business as we enter this important next phase of growth. We are excited about bringing together our combined expertise to bolster our best in class client service and solutions and strengthen Miller’s position in our core activities. This includes making incremental targeted, strategic investments as we look to realise our ambition of becoming the leading independent specialist (re)insurance broking firm. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank WTW for their support over the last five years.”
The deal is expected to close in Q1 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
Miller offers some property catastrophe reinsurance focused broking services and also has specialisms in collateralised and insurance-linked securities (ILS) market placement.
Miller acquired Lloyd’s accredited and London headquartered insurance and reinsurance broker Alston Gayler (AG), a broker with an expansive industry loss warranty (ILW) practice, at the end of 2018.