Lloyd's managing agency the Brockbank Group has quit the UK motor market after agreeing to separate management buy-outs (MBOs) of direct writer Admiral and insurer Zenith.
Insurance Times exclusively revealed the Admiral sale was imminent last month after discovering key finance personnel were told to postpone their summer holidays.
The Cardiff-based direct writer – which employs 1,200 staff and has a turnover of about £200 million – is being sold for between £60m and £80m, depending on future performance.
The buy-out is led by managing director Henry Englehardt and director David Stevens, with the backing of Barclays Equity Plan.
Brockbank first attempted to sell Admiral in July last year, when Lloyd's regulations forced the group to reveal it was in negotiation with several parties. But none of those interested matched the asking price.
Zenith has a turnover of £65m and 175,000 policies covering both standard and non-standard private car, motorcycle and taxi insurance.
Active underwriter Ken Acott, who leads the four-strong MBO team, will underwrite from January 1 from a new syndicate 2002 – which will be managed by PXRE.
Zenith plans to underwrite £60m premium income in the first year with capacity provided by Acott and Tiley Capital.
"Zenith remains firmly committed to the broker and intermediary market and we look forward to enhancing our broker relationships," said Acott.
He will have the dual roles of chairman and managing director of Acott and Tiley Capital, and be active underwriter on the new syndicate.
Brockbank chief executive, Mark Brockbank, said the sales were part of a strategy to enable it to concentrate on specialty Lloyd's lines.
The group's main business is marine, fine art, jewellery, cash in transit, aviation and bloodstock.
Its parent company XL Capital, based in Bermuda, owns 48% of Syndicates 861, 588, and 1209.
"Exiting the UK motor market at this juncture will allow us to focus on our core strengths – speciality lines around the globe," said Mark Brockbank.