Insurance-linked securities (ILS) investment manager Nephila Capital has sold its ownership stake in multi-class international MGA platform Volante Global to fintech broker owner Acrisure.
ILS specialist Nephila Capital’s holding company was the majority equity owner in Volante since its launch.
This sale to Acrisure marks an exit from MGA ownership for Markel-owned Nephila, having recently sold its ownership stake in its other MGA platform Velocity Risk.
Acrisure said it is buying “a growth-oriented, tech-forward and highly profitable MGA supported by a superior panel of underwriting capital and a Lloyd’s Syndicate.”
Acrisure is acquiring all of Volante’s MGA brands, including London-based specialist space MGA Aesir Space; European Property & Casualty sector MGA Horizon Europe AG; and all territory-based MGAs like Volante Germany and Volante Canada.
“Volante is an important strategic component of Acrisure’s ambitious MGA strategy and accelerates our value chain compression strategy,” explained Greg Williams, Co-Founder, CEO and President of Acrisure. “In particular, we value Volante for being highly skilled underwriters in an entrepreneurial culture given it’s a founder-led company under Talbir Bains. Talbir has grown a highly profitable and financially attractive platform in a short period of time. Reaching $350 million of premium in just three years is no small feat and we expect this number to increase substantially over the next few years.”
Commenting on the sale, Frank Majors, founder and co-CEO of Nephila said, “We are delighted for Volante and Acrisure on their new partnership. When Talbir approached us in 2017 for investment capital, we were confident in his abilities as a leader, an entrepreneur and an underwriter.
“He has achieved tremendous success much faster than we could have imagined, and we are thrilled he has identified a new partnership in Acrisure that will enable him to achieve even greater success in the future.”
“Nephila has been an outstanding investor and we’ve cherished working together the past four years,” Talbir Bains, Founder and CEO of Volante commented. “When the exploratory process began in 2021, our objective was to ensure that future ownership would match the alignment that we’ve defined and delivered to capital providers.
“From my first conversation with Greg Williams and Grahame Millwater, it was clear that Acrisure was the perfect Partner for this next phase, where Volante’s underwriting integrity and risk intelligence will both be sacrosanct and empowered, respectively. Joining Acrisure will spur Volante’s growth, predicated on delivering the highest underwriting margin to our capital providers.”
Volante’s 2021 premiums were approximately $350 million and the company is expecting to reach nearly $1 billion by 2025.
“Volante was compelling to Acrisure, given its diverse portfolio of risk, unique model providing optimal alignment with underwriting capital, and depth of underwriting talent,” Grahame Millwater, President of Global Insurance at Acrisure added. “Talbir has been a colleague and client of mine for over 20 years, and I have the utmost respect for his values, work ethic, and underwriting and analytical excellence. I am delighted to welcome Volante to Acrisure as we continue our journey of building a unique distribution platform with an ability to take our risk portfolio to multiple forms of underwriting capital.”
Nephila’s sale of its MGA ownership stakes is likely both a recognition of the significant value created in both cases, as a chance to monetise its holdings and hard work in backing emerging MGA’s, as well as a recognition that as part of Markel, Nephila already has broader access to risk and therefore the ownership of MGA’s to originate business is perhaps not deemed as necessary as it once was.
These MGA-stake sales are also a chance for Markel to monetise some of its significant investment in the insurance-linked securities space.