Gallagher’s Pen Enters Specialist Marine Market With Purchase of Tay River Holdings

Pen Underwriting, the London-based managing general agent and Arthur J. Gallagher subsidiary, announced it has acquired Tay River Holdings Ltd., which include its wholly owned marine specialist subsidiaries Vessel Protect, Trafalgar Marine Trades and BMM Ports & Terminals for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 2020 by marine underwriters Paul Hartley, James King and Chris Goddard, Tay initially comprised the three niche managing general agents (MGAs), backed by the A-rated security of Lloyd’s syndicates.

It has since grown strongly and organically into a go-to market for marine business with a team of 17 generating more than £90 million ($111 million) gross written premium (GWP).

Headquartered on Lime Street in London, Tay underwrites worldwide business and deals exclusively through brokers. It specializes in marine trades’ liability, ports & terminals’ liability, marine war risks and kidnap & ransom. More recently, it has expanded into maritime professional indemnity, freight and logistics insurance, as well as brown water hull through two new MGAs trading as Freeboard Maritime and Fortify Marine.

“Having identified the specialty marine market as a core area of capability we are keen to add to Pen’s existing breadth of specialisms, the challenge was on to find the right partner. In Tay, we have found a high-quality underwriting business that shares our focus on writing profitable, sustainable business underpinned by a robust underwriting discipline and excellent capacity management – one that will enhance our ability to underwrite global portfolios of complex, international risks,” commented Tom Downey, CEO of Pen Underwriting.

“The underwriting skill and expertise of Tay’s management team in their respective niches within marine liability and trades is exemplary, and has empowered them to build a well-respected, dynamic and diverse business of real scale at an impressive pace,” he added. “Their entrepreneurial talent and ambition have combined to create a standout marine specialist and we are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Paul, James, Chris and their colleagues into the Pen Underwriting family.”

“Full credit for the growth, performance and profitability of our portfolio over these first three years must be given to the skills and tenacity of our fantastic team of specialist underwriters,” said Paul Hartley, founder and managing director of Tay.

“Now we want to take the business to the next level and Pen, with its depth of resources and established ‘virtual insurer’ infrastructure, offers us the ideal home to continue our story of expansion and diversification in niche areas of the marine market,” Hartley continued.

“Vessel Protect has quickly established itself as one of the world’s leading markets for marine war insurance and we are incredibly proud of our achievements,” according to Founder and CEO of Vessel Protect Chris Goddard.

“In joining Pen, our value proposition to our brokers, their clients and our capacity providers will further increase as we continue to grow and develop our digital offering. One of the key drivers for our success is our unrivalled service levels to our clients and it is clear there is a strong culture within Pen which will allow us to continue focusing on our core values,” Goddard said.

Source: Pen Underwriting

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A.J. Gallagher

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