Primary Group has confirmed that it is to take a majority stake in UK General Insurance Ltd. The deal, which has received regulatory approval, will return the Leeds-based MGA to Primary after it was sold to J C Flowers in 2017.
Michael Warren, CFO at Primary Group, who will join the UK General board, said: “We are delighted to become the majority shareholder in UK General and believe the business is well-positioned to build its presence in the UK insurance market at a time of major change for the MGA sector.”
“On a personal level, I am excited to be back at UK General where I spent five years in the business, when it was part of the Primary Group stable of companies and a leading force in the personal lines schemes sector.”
In changes to management at UK General, executive chairman John Spencer will step down from the business with immediate effect. Joining Warren as non-executive director will be Justin Tweedie, while Tim Smyth is the new CEO. Ryan Gill remains CFO. Mr Warren said: “I want to thank John for his sterling service at the helm of UK General during the last two years and wish him well for the future as he focuses again on his non-executive appointments.”
Tim Smyth has held a number of senior management roles within the MGA and Broking market and is currently CEO of RCHL, another Primary Group investment that owns a number of specialist commercial and personal lines MGA businesses. Tim has also spent five years as founder and CEO of an MGA incubator, Precision Partnership, which was acquired by Primary in April 2019.
Tim Smyth said: “UK General was one of the early pioneers of the virtual insurer model for MGAs in the UK, building its expertise in pricing, actuarial and underwriting, compliance, governance and claims management.”
“Our investors have ambitious plans for the business, and I look forward to leading it on a successful new journey, focusing on profitable underwriting and a strong customer culture, alongside a skilled and resourceful team.”
Primary Group owned UK General, which writes personal lines schemes business in property, leisure and lifestyle and Assistance (excess protection, LEI, accident and income protection), between 2002 and 2017 when it was sold to J C Flowers.