4 October 2021Insurance

Mega merger creates potential £1bn GWP MGA as Manchester gets snapped up

Arthur J Gallagher’s specialist underwriting subsidiary  Pen Underwriting has acquired 100 percent of UK-based Manchester Underwriting Agencies and its wholly owned subsidiary  Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM), in its bid to become a £1 billion gross written premium (GWP) underwriting and distribution company.

Established in 2010 as a specialty underwriting agency by industry veteran Charles Manchester, MUM has since grown organically and through a small number of bolt-on acquisitions into a multi-class, full service underwriting agency generating more than £60 million gross written premium (GWP). Based across five locations in the UK, MUM deals exclusively through brokers, is primarily focused on SME business and specialises in professional indemnity (PI) and management liability lines, as well as casualty.

Pen is currently a £600 million GWP business. The MGA unveiled its "bold new strategy" in July 2020 to become a £1 billion GWP underwriting and distribution business in the next five years through acquisitions, strategic hires and sustained organic growth.

" MUM is a highly regarded specialist underwriting agency that will be a fantastic addition to the Pen family," said J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr., chairman, president and CEO. "It brings a complementary book of business and deep market expertise. We are delighted to welcome Charles and his associates to our growing global team."

Founder and chief executive officer of MUM, Manchester, said: “I am incredibly proud of the business we have built together as a team over the last decade – respected in our chosen sectors, backed by high-quality A-rated capacity and consistently profitable. Becoming part of a larger group will enable us to deliver the next level of growth but it had to be with the right partner. Pen’s management team shares our mindset and our motivations. This will be a great partnership for colleagues, capacity partners, broker clients and customers alike.”

Tom Downey, chief executive officer of Pen Underwriting, commented: “When we set out our strategy of accelerated growth last year and vision to become a £1bn GWP underwriting and distribution company, we made clear that the acquisition of quality, specialist underwriting businesses led by highly skilled and respected management teams would be a core and critical element. MUM demonstrates every single one of those traits and much more. Its financial lines’ specialisms are complementary to our own, adding breadth and depth as well as real bench strength in new areas of PI like Surveyors & Valuers and UK Insurance Brokers.”

He added: “Culturally our businesses are also brilliantly aligned. Like Pen, MUM has a firm focus on writing profitable, sustainable business underpinned by a robust underwriting discipline and is just as focused on investment in great people, where support, career development and internal progression are to the fore. We couldn’t be more delighted at the prospect of bringing MUM into the Pen Underwriting family and extend a very warm welcome to Charles and his team.”

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