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  • Writer's pictureThe Insurer

E&S carrier AM Specialty targets category VIII size with Stonybrook-led fundraise

ASIC Stonybrook

ASIC was launched by Shevawn and Simon Barder-led AM Holding Company, which also houses reinsurance MGA AM RE.

It is rated A- by AM Best and has already begun underwriting assumed reinsurance and specialty primary insurance as a participatory fronting carrier, retaining a meaningful percentage of the risk on quota shares it provides its paper to.

The carrier currently has around $50mn of policyholders’ surplus, according to statutory filings, which puts it at the category VII (7) financial size, according to the rating agency.

To become an AM Best financial size category VIII company, ASIC would need to increase its capital into the $100mn to $250mn range.

AM Specialty Fact File

Sources said that the fundraising process is expected to go to market after Labor Day with a view to completing by the end of the year.

A wide range of potential backers are expected to be engaged, including private equity, family offices, pension funds and strategics as ASIC looks for a long-term minority investor to support its growth plans.

The appointment of Stonybrook as exclusive financial advisor sees ASIC tap into the resources of an expansive firm with global reach focused on the middle market.

In a statement confirming the fundraising process, ASIC CEO Shevawn Barder said: “As a company committed to sustainable growth through the broadening of our programs and services, we are excited to announce our plans to transition from a category VII to a category VIII insurance company, as per AM Best's categorizations.

“This strategic decision not only underscores ASIC’s progressive trajectory but also exemplifies our commitment to serving diverse excess and surplus products across several lines of business.”

She added that the transition to a category VIII carrier will enhance its ability to deliver comprehensive solutions and “unlock a more extensive range of program opportunities”.

Simon and Shevawn Barder

The move also supports ASIC’s ambition to become “the preferred carrier partner in the program market”, said Shevawn Barder.

“We’re looking forward to embarking on this next step in our ongoing journey to improve, expand and deliver the highest level of service to its program partners,” she concluded.

ASIC says it plans to focus primarily on commercial and niche property, casualty, miscellaneous specialty lines, transportation, marine and cyber.

In an interview with The Insurer TV in May this year, Shevawn Barder said: “The E&S space is in our DNA. We've worked in the E&S market now for many years serving different segments of the market and we’ve had significant first-hand experience of the fronting space.

“With the launch of ASIC, and as a result of our many years of experience in the market, we feel that we can bring value to the program market with a hybrid fronter that provides paper, but also has the ability and confidence to retain risk.”

She added: “With our Lloyd's technical underwriting expertise, we look at fronting as more than a credit risk. It's very important to have technical underwriting capability to ensure that programs are run with discipline, and according to the underwriting guidelines.”


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