Although an acquisition—a $550 million deal for Darwin Professional Underwriters in mid-2008—kicked off Allied World’s U.S. expansion in the specialty insurance segment, in the years since Global Insurance CEO Lou Iglesias joined the company in 2012, U.S. growth has come in smaller steps: product launch decisions first, then staffing new offices with underwriters, and finally pushing the new specialty products out to distribution.

Executive Summary

Allied World's Global CEO Lou Iglesias explains the office-by-office buildout of the carrier's U.S. operations, which have resulted in average premium growth of 10 percent per year since he joined in 2012. See also, related article: "Allied World's Cultural Edge: Competing with Giants to Grow Specialty Business."

“It’s just so satisfying to see from a business standpoint,” Iglesias said, explaining that Allied World’s return on investment from “launching the divisions in the regions organically” is higher than it would be if the strategy instead involved buying companies or teams.

Rather than paying out money, “what we’re investing is time. And we’re investing in understanding that before they grow into their shoes, we may lose a couple bucks in the first couple of years. But once they turn profitable, you don’t have to sink money into it,” he said.

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