Camargue Underwriting Managers (“Camargue”) today announced that Brit Limited ("Brit"), the global specialty insurer and reinsurer, has made a significant strategic investment in Camargue. A partnership that represents a new era, new markets and access to a global playing field; the investment will enable Camargue to accelerate its growth and increase its product offering and specialised insurance solutions.
This agreement builds on Camargue’s 14 year relationship with Brit and represents a significant opportunity for Camargue to extend its underwriting reach.
“We are delighted to welcome Brit as a strategic investor and we stand to benefit from its comprehensive industry expertise. Our new shareholders are also directly involved in the industry – a move which makes sense for us as a business. We are now part of a large global insurance family that is widely acknowledged and respected in the industry,” says Marescia.
Under the new arrangement, Camargue will retain its independence and continue to build upon its industry-leading reputation as the foremost niche commercial liability underwriter in South Africa. “Although we will operate autonomously, yet as equal partners, we will capitalize on the inherent opportunities afforded by the relationship. At the outset will be able to write business more widely and in time expand our product ranges into many of the products that Brit writes,” added Marescia.
Africa is a continent that represents a long-term growth opportunity, but Camargue has only just started to penetrate this market. The Brit partnership represents a key step in expanding the UMA’s presence in this important territory, opening up exciting opportunities for acquisitions and partnerships across the continent.
Camargue celebrates 15 years of successful operation in August this year and working with Brit as an investment partner will allow the Group to continue building on its sound track record, as well as supporting new opportunities. Brit's reputation, reach and expertise will empower Camargue to achieve its next phase of growth.
For Camargue 2016 is without doubt a year of change, from 1 July 2016 the Lloyd’s participation on its binders increased to 75% with the balance of 25% being placed locally with Compass Insurance Company (“Compass”). With Compass delivering the local capacity, Camargue’s long-standing relationship with Hannover Re will remain intact.
“These are exciting times for our extended team and while we may be hungry for expansion, progress, and underwriting profitability, we will retain our Camargue values and culture code. We will continue our tradition of always going beyond insurance. All that makes us unique – our very essence and the philosophy of Camargue – will be carried forward into this next phase,” says Marescia. “Fortunately our respective company values are very similar. We share the ideals of innovation, entrepreneurship and encourage calculated risk taking. We work and play hard. Relationships matter, honesty and integrity will never be compromised, and we value loyalty. With that as the foundation of our partnership, we have all the right workings in place for continued success!”
Matthew Wilson, CEO Brit Global Specialty and Brit Group Deputy CEO, commented, “We are delighted to announce this investment in Camargue. It is a business we have known for a long time and we are pleased to be able to further develop this important relationship. Camargue’s focused strategy and rigorous underwriting approach fit closely with our own priorities at Brit, while its strong growth trajectory is testimony to the experience and expertise of its management team. We see exciting opportunity in Africa and look forward to expanding our presence in the region through this investment.”
Camargue is an underwriter of niche insurance products and a provider of risk management solutions to a broad spectrum of industries in Southern Africa. In excess of 1 150 brokers sell Camargue’s products and today, the result of determined and prolonged commitment and effort, 50 staff have permanent positions and contracts with the Group. Camargue’s ability to achieve value for stakeholders is driven by the Group’s focused strategy and rigorous attention to the achievement of niche underwriting efficiency. The UMAs unique M3 approach focuses on managing, mitigating and migrating critical business risks. Camargue operates in the SADEC region.