Lloyd's insurer seals deal for First State Management Group

Lloyd's insurer Beazley has completed the acquisition of the entire share capital and all renewal rights of First State Management Group, a US underwriting manager specialising in surplus lines commercial property insurance, from the Hartford Financial Services Group.

Beazley said the acquisition significantly increases its presence as an insurer of mid-sized US commercial property business that does not normally come to Lloyd’s.

First State plans to underwrite around US$150m of gross premium for 2009, balancing the specialty lines business (professional and management liability business) that Beazley has been writing locally in the US since 2005.

New policies issued by First State will be backed by the security of Beazley’s Lloyd’s syndicates (2623 and 623). Beazley Group has contributed additional capital to its Lloyd’s syndicates (funds at Lloyd’s) of £27 million to support First State’s underwriting in 2009.

First State’s president and chief operating officer Judy Patterson will report to Mark Bernacki, head of Beazley’s property group division in the United States. Beazley has been underwriting mid-sized excess and surplus lines (E&S) commercial property business locally in the US since 2007, but the acquisition of First State represents a step change in the scale of Beazley’s activity in this market. First State’s business will form the core of Beazley’s expanded E&S capability.

Jonathan Gray, head of Beazley’s Property Group, said: “First State is an excellent fit, both strategically and culturally, with Beazley. We have been reinsuring the business for many years and know the team well. Our underwriting and service capabilities in the US are significantly enhanced by this acquisition.”

Mark Bernacki added: “Our goal has been to offer brokers access to a commercial property insurer that combines highly experienced underwriters, well crafted products, and state of the art service delivery. First State meets all these criteria.”