XL Group CEO Mike McGavick has issued the following statement to clients and brokers in response to today’s announcement that XL has entered into an agreement to be acquired by French insurer AXA.

Dear Valued Partners,

Mike McGavick, XL Catlin

We wanted to let you know about some important news: XL Group Ltd has entered into an agreement to be acquired by AXA. The combination creates a powerful opportunity to continue the XL Catlin strategy with greater strength and new dimension. We expect the transaction will be completed in the second half of 2018, subject to approval by our shareholders and regulators.

The intent is to combine XL Catlin’s operations with AXA Corporate Solutions, forming AXA’s new global P&C insurance and reinsurance division. Importantly, in this new structure, it is the XL Catlin platform that will champion all complex commercial and specialty P&C products, reinsurance and alternative capital efforts.

I wanted to reach out directly and express our excitement at the prospect of being able to serve your business from an even better position. We believe clients and brokers of both XL Catlin and AXA will benefit significantly from this compelling strategic transaction. For example, as part of the AXA family, XL Catlin customers will benefit from accelerated delivery of even more innovative operational and analytical skills.

We have highly complementary portfolios, and together we will be able to offer market-leading underwriting capabilities globally, across a diverse range of risks and covering the complete corporate spectrum—from SMEs to large corporates. We intend to be nothing short of the most innovative re/insurer in the corporate marketplace, meeting our clients’ most challenging risk needs, supported by a robust combined balance sheet.

Effective today, Greg Hendrick will take on the role of president and COO at XL Group. Following the transaction close, he will join the Management Committee of AXA Group and will lead the new P&C business going forward, reporting directly to AXA CEO Thomas Buberl. Greg will be charged with maintaining the unique and entrepreneurial culture that has made us such a success. We expect the balance of the P&C leadership team to be comprised of the best talent both companies have to offer, noting that the majority of the combined workforce going in will come from XL Catlin. Following the close, I will become the vice chairman of the board of the new P&C business and special adviser to Thomas to ensure a smooth integration.

Let me emphasize that our announcement today is the first step in completing the combination. Until the deal closes, XL Catlin and AXA remain two separate companies, and our focus will continue to be on meeting your needs as our valued partners. We will keep you informed as we move toward completing this transaction. Serving your business effectively remains our highest priority, and should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We are excited about the opportunities ahead as we begin this next chapter in our history.