USA is the biggest investor in UK general insurance

Some 55% of large UK general insurers are foreign-owned, a report produced by consulting company IMAS says.  

The value of the overseas investment is more than £100m, the report says.

The USA is the biggest investor in UK general insurance, with  40% of the total foreign investment, while Bermuda is the second-biggest, with 12%. Overseas ownership, which accounts for 25% of all insurance companies,  is most prevalent in risk-carrying entities, as opposed to brokers or MGAs.

According to the report, one in five UK financial services firms are insurance companies. While headlines are dominated by UK-listed firms, such firms only account for a small proportion of the UK general insurance industry, the report said. Some 62% of private companies is privately-owned - an investment valued at between £5m and £25m.

IMAS produced the report in conjunction with UK financial services advocacy group TheCityUK and UK Trade & Investment.

“This report shows the strength of the insurance sector and its ability to attract overseas investment while maintaining a strong base of privately held businesses,”  TheCityUK chief executive Chris Cummings said in a statement. “The insurance sector is part of an industry that accounts for nearly 9% of the UK’s total economic output. Therefore it is vitally important, both to our financial services sector and the wider economy, that the UK continues to be open and attractive to inward investment.”

IMAS managing partner Olly Laughton-Scott added: “The UK is a key hub in the increasingly globalised financial services marketplace and we expect to see continued cross-border M&A activity with international firms looking to enter or expand their presence in the UK market.”