20 November 2018Analysis

DARAG Guernsey acquires SOBC Services; takes on four captive entities

DARAG Guernsey, via its wholly owned subsidiary SOBC DARAG, has acquired the entire share capital of SOBC Services, which is focussed on the sourcing, acquisition and management of insurance entities and portfolios in run off in the US, Bermuda and Caribbean.

The US focussed legacy business wil trade under the name SOBC DARAG, which has agreed to acquire four insurance entities in run-off from SOBC Corp and SOBC Sandell Holdings, along with SOBC Insurance Company, a Connecticut-based protected cell company.

SOBC DARAG is to be the principal vehicle for future US and other non-EU based acquisitions.

The four entities in run-off to be acquired include American Safety Captive Insurance Company in Vermont, which wrote general and professional liability; American Staffing Assurance Company, a protected cell company domiciled in Washington DC which wrote workers’ compensation and general liability protection to temporary staffing agencies; PIA Professional Liability Insurance Company, a captive insurer in Montana which issued errors and omissions coverage to professional insurance agents; and finally the economic interest in the Insuratex cell in Bermuda which contains auto liability, general liability and workers’ compensation risks.

Spearheading SOBC DARAG as CEO will be SOBC Sandell CEO Stephanie Mocatta. Brian Johnston will serve as chief financial officer and executive vice president and Tom Hodson will be general counsel.

The executive team will be complemented by a further nine staff,  primarily based in Ohio, with extensive US claims, financial, regulatory and operational experience.

Following the necessary regulatory approvals for the entities in run-off, SOBC DARAG will own six carriers across the US and Bermuda.

SOBC DARAG aims to expand in the small to mid-sized run-off space while challenging traditional players at the large end of the market.

"This transaction marks a great new chapter," said Mocatta. "With the capital and expertise of the DARAG Group now fully behind us, we believe there is significant opportunity to develop and grow SOBC DARAG.  We have already completed the Peachtree Casualty Insurance Company acquisition and are actively working on a number of other new opportunities. We look forward to the considerable expansion of SOBC DARAG here in the USA as well as in Bermuda and the Caribbean. We would also like to thank our previous capital partners, Sandell, for their support. We have enjoyed working with them for the past 24 months."

Tom Booth, group CEO of DARAG, added: “Following the equity commitment of €260m ($300m) in July, DARAG announced its intention to expand into the USA and Bermuda markets. The acquisition of SOBC Services via DARAG Guernsey’s wholly owned subsidiary SOBC DARAG Holdings in Delaware, brings onboard an exceptional team of seasoned local professionals. Together with the insurance entities being purchased from the SOBC Group this provides us with a great platform for our future expansion plans in the US legacy market. We have worked closely with the SOBC team on these acquisitions and we are looking forward to continuing our work together and to considerable growth in the coming months and years.”