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Swett & Crawford Joins Forces with London-based Insurance Broker

Posted on 12 Jul 2010

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Swett & Crawford, America’s oldest independent wholesale broker, and Cooper Gay, a London-based insurance broker, have combined to create the world’s largest independent global wholesale and reinsurance broker.

The new holding company, now known as Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd., is expected to place about $3.5 billion in premium and employ about 1,500 people in 60 offices in four continents.

Cooper Gay is a wholesale, reinsurance and specialist retail insurance broker.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cooper Gay’s office outside North America and all Swett & Crawford business units will continue to trade as before. They will keep their exiting branding and management teams, but will focus on implementing combined best practices and driving synergies across the group, according to a statement.

The combined group will be led by Toby Esser as group chief executive, while J. Neal Abernathy will continue as president and CEO of Swett & Crawford and lead all North American operations for the new holding company. He also will serve as a member of the new holding company’s executive committee.

“Our enhanced scale and broad product range will also act as a springboard for future growth and development,” Esser said in a statement. “We will not be resting on our laurels but working to take advantage of the many exciting opportunities the transaction will create.”

Abernathy added, “The strong synergies and excellent strategic fit between our businesses was clearly apparent from the very outset of our talks. With the deal completed we now look forward to demonstrating the full potential of our enhanced international network, broader professional expertise and increased market access to both clients and the markets in which we operate.”