Quantuma advises sale of Tay River Holdings to Pen Underwriting

19 April 2023 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read

Tay River Holdings has been purchased by Pen Underwriting, which bought the insurance company for an undisclosed fee. The deal was overseen by experts from business advisory firm Quantuma.

Founded in 2020, by marine underwriters Paul Hartley, James King and Chris Goddard, Tay River Holdings initially comprised three niche insurance intermediaries (known as Managing General Agents, or MGAs) – Vessel Protect, Trafalgar Marine Trades and BMM Ports & Terminals – which achieved strong growth. The group then launched two new MGAs, trading as Freeboard Maritime and Fortify Marine.

As it sought to move into the marine segment, Arthur J. Gallagher subsidiary Pen Underwriting has snapped up the firm. Founded in 2014, Pen has shifted from a ‘super start-up’ of a dozen or so brands, to a single cohesive £600 million gross written premium business, and is aiming to expand that to £1 billion.

Quantuma advises sale of Tay River Holdings to Pen Underwriting

The acquisition adds more than £90 million of gross written premium, and a 17-strong team of specialist underwriters in marine liability and trades, to Pen. Meanwhile, Tay River Holdings will expand its footprint, and access new clients thanks to Pen’s international standing.

Tay River Holdings Managing Director, Part Hartley said, “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. 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.”

Business advisory firm Quantuma advised the shareholders of Tay River Holdings, and its five specialist MGAs on its sale to Pen. Quantuma Director and Corporate Finance specialist, Adrian Howells oversaw the sales process on behalf of the shareholders, which was led by Manager, Richard Hill. Howells and Hill negotiated the technical and commercial aspects of the deal on behalf of the shareholders and drove the deal to completion by achieving exchange in short order. The Quantuma team also worked closely with Sam Jones and Rick Life of TLT, to deliver the transaction.

Hartley added, “Adrian and Richard provided excellent advice and support, adapting to the needs of the transaction and shareholders to ensure the deal was executed efficiently. They quickly understood the intricacies of the group finances and how any complications could be pragmatically managed, while contributing ideas for maximising value. I would happily recommend them to anyone seeking investment or selling a business.”

Howell himself meanwhile added, “We are delighted to have advised Paul and his team on the successful sale of Tay River Holdings. The management team has built an exceptional business which is highly regarded in its market. This transaction provides Tay River with the support of a leading industry institution to pursue its growth strategy over the coming years, in what is an increasingly essential sector. It will be exciting to see the combined business flourish into the future. Well done to all.”