XL Group Plc, the Dublin-based insurer run by Chief Executive Officer Mike McGavick, is betting on Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, which takes on risks for wealthy clients and received funding from KKR & Co. this year.
XL took a stake of less than 10 percent in the insurer’s parent, Privilege Underwriters Inc., and Stone Point Capital retains a majority holding, PURE Chief Executive Officer Ross Buchmueller said Wednesday in an interview, without disclosing terms. Stone Point, the private-equity firm led by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives Stephen Friedman and Charles Davis, was an investor during the insurance company’s first capital raise in 2006.
McGavick, who took over XL in 2008 to lead the insurer through the financial crisis, has expanded the company through acquisitions. XL purchased Catlin Group Ltd. this year for about $4 billion to boost commercial coverage. McGavick said in an interview that he made the PURE investment after being impressed by the firm’s growth.
‘Along for the Ride’
“For something as special as this, we just want to go along for the ride.” McGavick said. “We just want to be the kind of support that really helps him do whatever he envisions will work great,” he said, speaking of Buchmueller.
“There are some areas we have products that might be helpful to the kind of clientele he’s getting together,” McGavick said Thursday. “But that’s all up to him.”
Buchmueller co-founded PURE after leaving American International Group Inc., where he was president of the private client group since it was founded in 1999. McGavick said he began speaking with Buchmueller about potential partnerships in 2014.
KKR bet on White Plains, New York-based PURE as the insurance company recapitalized this year. PURE is seeking to make gains as competitors for high-net-worth clients consolidate. Evan Greenberg’s Ace Ltd. acquired a business from Allianz SE this year and agreed to buy Chubb Corp. for about $28 billion.
“What I get is somebody who I respect deeply, and I get his advice on the business,” Buchmueller said of McGavick.”An insurance company needs more capital, the more they want to grow.”