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Cooper Gay and Swett & Crawford Confirm Deal to Create Broking Giant

Posted on 08 Jun 2010

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Cooper Gay, the London-based independent wholesale, reinsurance and specialist retail insurance broker, and US wholesale broker Swett & Crawford have confirmed they are in advanced deal discussions.

In a statement, the companies said the combined business would become "the world's largest independent global wholesale and reinsurance broker".

The two businesses will come together under a new group holding company, which will retain a high proportion of ownership by the working employees.

Management of the combined group will be led by Toby Esser as group chief executive. Neal Abernathy will continue to be the chief executive of Swett & Crawford, with Cooper Gay’s North American businesses reporting to him as well.

Cooper Gay and Swett & Crawford together place some $3.5bn in premiums in the London, US and international insurance markets and employ over 1,500 staff based in more than 60 offices across four continents.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Toby Esser, Cooper Gay Group CEO, said: “The Cooper Gay team is very excited about the prospect of joining forces with Swett & Crawford to form the world’s largest independent wholesale, reinsurance and specialist brokers with a very substantial presence in the key US market.

"The new group will be unique in terms of our range of products and market access. We have made no secret of our desire to grow both organically and through transactions and the proposed deal will accelerate this process while providing us with outstanding opportunities for future development.”

Mr. Abernathy, Swett & Crawford president and CEO commented: “Swett & Crawford is delighted to be in transaction talks with Cooper Gay as the strong synergies and excellent strategic fit between our businesses presents a very appealing proposition for the support of our clients and development of our staff. In addition, the creation of the new independent broking group with $3.5bn in premiums will enable us to take advantage of further opportunities in the global insurance and reinsurance markets.”