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Ryan Specialty Group to Acquire WKFC Underwriting Managers

Posted on 03 Apr 2012

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Ryan Specialty Group, LLC (RSG) today announced that its subsidiary RSG Underwriting Managers, LLC has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WKFC Underwriting Managers (WKFC). WKFC is one of the premier managing general agencies in the excess and surplus lines arena. WKFC's business is comprised of property risks, general liability and specialty lines such as windstorm and earthquake deductible buybacks, equipment breakdown, inland marine, professional liability, weather, special events programs and more. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and the parties anticipate closing as soon as practicable.

Founded in 1994, WKFC is based on Long Island, NY. Over 90% of WKFC's business is written through a network of 150 wholesalers located throughout the United States. The agency's weather and special events programs are also available directly to retailers. The agency offers clients A+ or A rated markets, solid underwriting expertise and a state of the art automation system.

RSG Chairman and CEO, Patrick G. Ryan notes, "WKFC is one of the first MGAs in this industry to go paperless and provide clients with prompt, reliable service throughout the life of the policy term. Our mission at RSG is to create and deliver value-added products and services to the insurance marketplace. The acquisition of WKFC will be consistent with that mission and offers both RSG and WKFC the opportunity to broaden our product and service capabilities."

Thomas Kennedy, former Chairman and CEO of WKFC, adds, "I have had an exciting career in the insurance industry, and am particularly proud of what we accomplished at WKFC over the past 18 years. Because of our intense focus on hiring and developing talented people, it is with great pleasure that I now hand over the role of CEO to Michael Sillat. Watching Michael grow and develop the business over the years has been a major source of pride for me. As I see it, combining WKFC's service and underwriting capabilities with RSG's unique business model is a win-win for WKFC, RSG and the industry."

Michael Sillat, president and CEO of WKFC, says, "I see this alignment of our operations with RSG as being not only extremely beneficial to the insurance marketplace, but equally, it provides a strong, stable platform for our loyal, skilled underwriting and administrative staff to explore numerous growth opportunities in an exciting and professional environment. At WKFC, we are eager to explore and capitalize on new market trends. That's why, in addition to our core products in the property, casualty and professional arena, we have developed specialty lines such as weather, special events insurance, wind and quake deductible buybacks and other niche products. I see our partnership with RSG as a strategic move that will furthermore allow WKFC's underwriting leadership to continue to develop cutting-edge products and services to address the complex challenges facing our clients and to develop these new products in a timely and responsive fashion."