Carnegie-Brown sees opportunities in underwriting as firm seeks to boost its financial services profile.

Private equity giant 3i is looking to invest in insurers following its acquisition last week of a stake in Hyperion.

Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the managing partner of 3i Quoted Private Equity – one of the firm’s investment arms – said further direct investment in UK brokers was unlikely as they would compete with 3i’s current portfolio.

Carnegie-Brown told Insurance Times: “It is unlikely that we would look to invest directly in the UK broking market beyond our investments in Jelf and Hyperion. 3i doesn’t want its investments [in brokers] to compete and we would be hard pressed to do that in the UK [if we invested in other brokers].”

He added: “But equally, as a supportive shareholder, we would expect to support them [Jelf and Hyperion] in their own ambitions to grow their businesses in their chosen markets.”

Carnegie-Brown, who was previously Marsh UK chief executive, said 3i was looking at investment opportunities in the underwriting sector.

“We are probably underweight in the financial services (FS) sector generally, and insurance is an important part of the FS sector. There are opportunities in Lloyd’s and Bermuda. But we need to understand the changes underway in Lloyd’s before investing.”

He said 3i was monitoring the progress of the Treasury’s consultation on distribution at Lloyd’s, in addition to the market cycle.

“We haven’t decided whether we would want to invest in a Lloyd’s vehicle or set one up,” Carnegie-Brown said. He stressed that 3i had no immediate investment plans.

3i currently owns a 40% stake in Asia Capital Re. It previously had an investment in broker Smart & Cook Group, which it sold to AXA last year.

Last week, 3i acquired a 27% stake in Hyperion, in a deal which valued the business at over £120m.

3i will support Hyperion as it enters its next phase of growth - expanding both the range of products it provides and the territories in which it operates

Hyperion focuses on a range of specialist insurances including professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability through its subsidiaries Howden, Dual and CFC.

The group now serves clients in 50 countries with offices throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas and Australia.