29 August 2014Actuarial & underwriting

JLT expands US specialty business

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT) is to significantly expand its US specialty capabilities and merge JLT Specialty and Lloyd & Partners to drive a new phase of growth.

The company’s decision to expand follows on from its successful acquisition of Towers Watson Re last year.

The announcement signals a significant expansion of the group’s US activities into specialty areas including energy, construction, financial lines, credit, political & security and aerospace.

JLT believes it now has the brand, size, geographic reach, leadership and sufficient demand to fulfil its ambition to create a global specialty business.

The firm has appointed Michael Rice as CEO and Pat Donnelly as president and deputy CEO of JLT Specialty in an attempt to drive growth.

Mark Drummond Brady, deputy group CEO of JLT, and Jonathan Palmer-Brown, a member of the JLT Group Executive Committee, will also become members of the US executive team to support the business' growth plans and ensure that it is aligned and complementary to the rest of the organisation.

JLT expects the expansion plan to result in a net investment of approximately £50m during the period 2015 to 2017, making optimal use of the infrastructure it has put in place to support JLT Towers Re.

The investment will be funded from existing cash reserves and debt facilities and will be fully expensed through the income statement, the company said.

JLT believes the bringing together of JLT Specialty and Lloyd & Partners will uniquely position the enlarged business for enhanced growth, creating a business of scale and international reach.

The merger will take effect from 1st January 2015, at which point John Lloyd, current CEO of Lloyd & Partners and Adrian Girling, current chairman of JLT Specialty, will become CEO and chairman respectively of the combined business which will trade as JLT Specialty.

Commenting on these announcements, Dominic Burke, JLT Group CEO said:

"The expansion of JLT's US specialty capability builds on the success we have had over recent years and is the next natural step in our evolution. Under Michael Rice's dynamic leadership, we are committed to building the pre-eminent specialty team in the US and anticipate a very positive response from experienced professionals interested in joining us. The US is a market in which we see a significant opportunity and demand for JLT's distinctive offering and to which we are firmly committed following our successful acquisition of Towers Watson Re last year.

The merger of JLT Specialty and Lloyd & Partners creates a real powerhouse in the market in our chosen specialty areas under John Lloyd's proven leadership. Harnessing their market leading capabilities into a single business promises to enhance their ability to meet their clients' international demands, pursue our group strategy and deliver market leading organic growth. Together these plans will drive significant long term benefit for our clients, our people, our trading partners and our shareholders."