Canadian Underwriter

B.C. institutional investor to acquire consolidator of P&C run-off books

December 4, 2020   by Jason Contant

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One of Canada’s largest institutional investors has joined forces with Cinven, an international private equity firm, to acquire Compre, a specialist global consolidator of closed books of non-life insurance policies.

Victoria-based British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI) and Cinven announced Nov. 30 the deal to acquire Compre from CBPE Capital LLP. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The global non-life insurance run-off market is growing steadily, driven by insurers’ increasing focus on balance sheet optimization, capital efficiency and disposals of non-core business units,” BCI and Cinven said in a joint press release. “Compre has a proven track record of acquiring portfolios from major institutions including Allianz, Generali, HSBC and Swiss Re.”

Compre has more than 30 years of experience in the acquisition and management of discontinued (run-off) and legacy non-life insurance and reinsurance portfolios. With operations in the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Finland, Germany, Malta, and Switzerland, Compre has experience acquiring most classes of direct and reinsurance business, including, among other things, general liability, marine, and auto liability.

Cinven and BCI (which has $171.3 billion of assets under management as of Mar. 31, 2020), said they believe Compre is an attractive investment opportunity based on the following:

  • Compre’s cash and capital-generative business model, which Cinven and BCI praise for delivering predictable long-term profits with significant downside protection
  • Compre’s established market position in the European non-life insurance legacy market. More recently, Compre has increased its market presence in the U.S. through its Bermuda platform, with further ambitions to enter the Lloyd’s market
  • The consolidator’s track record of acquiring and managing non-life legacy businesses for more than 30 years, including 11 company acquisitions and 39 portfolio transactions across various jurisdictions across Continental Europe, the U.K. and the U.S.
  • Compre’s financial track record in recent years of steady and consistent growth, including through the COVID-19 pandemic and prior market cycle downturns
  • An opportunity to capitalize on the increasing demand for legacy solutions, and to reach a broader range of international clients
  • Compre’s management and leadership team, led by CEO Will Bridger, has significant expertise across its specialist areas.

Jim Pittman, executive vice president and global head of private equity at BCI, said the institutional investor looks forward to supporting Compre in its development “and in turn providing attractive and stable long-term risk adjusted returns for our pension plan and insurance fund clients.”

BCI has made a number of investments in financial services companies, including brokerage BMS Group, Hayfin Capital Management, and Verifone.

The Compre acquisition is expected to be official in 2021 Q2, subject to regulatory approvals. Among other firms, Cinven and BCI advisors included Marsh (insurance), PwC (commercial, financial, actuarial, operations, IT) and Deloitte (tax, structuring).


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