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GCP Capital Partners Buys Dallas-Based Insurance Wholesaler Southwest Risk

Posted on 29 Dec 2010

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GCP Capital Partners LLC announced the completion of a $23 million investment to purchase a controlling interest in ClearView Risk Holdings, LLC, whose principal subsidiary is Southwest Risk, LP, a Dallas-based wholesale insurance broker that specializes in certain property and casualty coverages, including real estate and construction risks.

Southwest Risk will change its name to ClearView Risk where Bryan Wilburn, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Risk, and his management team will lead operations. Prior to this transaction, Southwest Risk was wholly owned by Houston International Insurance Group ("HIIG").

Both HIIG and Bryan Wilburn are co-investors.

Bob Deutsch, Managing Director of GCP, said, "We have made a number of investments in the insurance industry and have evaluated various opportunities

in the brokerage sector over the last several years.  ClearView Risk is our first investment in our third private equity fund, Greenhill Capital Partners III, LP.  We believe that the insurance brokerage industry presents an attractive investment opportunity due to its large size, high degree of fragmentation and significant recurring cash flows.  Southwest Risk has built an impressive, specialty franchise and has a solid business model for future growth.  We are very confident that Bryan and his talented colleagues will be able to profitably grow the business, and we look forward to working closely with them."

Mr. Wilburn stated, "I am excited to partner with GCP as our company embarks on its next growth phase.  Since inception, Southwest Risk has provided thoughtful insurance solutions to a select group of retail agents through its transactional brokerage platform and a number of unique niche programs. As ClearView Risk, we plan on growing into an even larger, more diverse wholesale broker, offering a wide variety of property and casualty placements throughout the U.S.  This expansion will benefit our retail agents, insurance carriers and insureds by increasing our ability to offer them creative solutions to their risk management needs.  Over time, we will grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions."

Stephen L. Way, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HIIG, has agreed to serve as Chairman of ClearView Risk Holdings.  Mr. Way said, "I have had the pleasure of working with Bryan since 2007 and watching Southwest Risk successfully grow its business during this period.  I believe that with the addition of GCP's investment, its strong track record and its insurance industry experience, ClearView Risk can substantially expand its business in the years to come.  I am pleased to serve as Chairman and work with the company in its future plans."