On Monday, New York-based private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners LLC, said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simply Business, an online brokerage service delivering tailored small business insurance policies in the United Kingdom.
“Simply Business is an innovator in the U.K. commercial lines insurance sector and has proven its ability to use technology to extend the platform to a broad range of insurers,” said Jeff Greenberg, Chief Executive of Aquiline, said in a statement. “We believe the company is well positioned for growth in the United Kingdom and internationally.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2016. No financial terms were disclosed.
Jason Stockwood, CEO of Simply Business said Simply Business has been seeking to transform the commercial insurance market over the past few years, using technology and a customer-centric approach to differentiate the business from the industry and providing small and micro businesses with insurance solutions. He noted that Aquiline’s insurance industry experience would help Simply Business provide insurance carriers with access to a large and important segment of the market.
Simply Business, launched in 2005, describes itself as a company that is champions sole traders and small businesses through the application of technology and innovative thinking. Expanding rapidly through its London and Northampton offices, Simply Business has grown to nearly 350 employees and insures more than 350,000 small businesses nationwide, the company said in a statement. It has been a Sunday Times “Tech Track 100” company for the past three years and was recently named in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), the statement said.
Aquiline Capital Partners, also founded in 2005, invests in middle-market businesses across the financial services sector in banking and credit, insurance, investment management and markets, and financial technology and services. In the P/C insurance and reinsurance space, Aquiline Capital was the founding investor of Validus Holdings, Ltd. Over the years, the PE firm has also invested in reinsurance broker TigerRisk Partners and investment firm Conning (both now divested). The firm also took a majority stake in specialty reinsurance intermediary Beach & Associates in late 2014, and more recently–in January of this year—took a majority position in Wellington Insurance Group, a Texas-based risk distribution business specializing in the delivery and administration of residential property insurance.