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Utmost Group inks agreement to acquire Lombard International

Utmost Group inks agreement to acquire Lombard International | Insurance Business UK

Acquisition to add £6.4 billion in new business

Utmost Group inks agreement to acquire Lombard International

Insurance News

By Kenneth Araullo

Utmost Group has announced an agreement to acquire Lombard International Assurance Holdings Sarl, subject to regulatory and other approvals.

The acquisition will include Lombard International’s leading European business, which will become part of Utmost International, the group’s international life assurance division. It will bolster its presence in key European markets and see the integration of partner relationships and complementary product offerings.

The acquisition will also add £43 billion of assets under administration and over 20,000 policies to Utmost International. Combined figures for the end of 2023 indicate that Utmost International would have had £100 billion of assets under administration, over 210,000 policies, and would have written £6.4 billion of new business.

Following the deal, Lombard International will continue to operate from Luxembourg, offering its current suite of products, which will be distributed under the Utmost brand by a single combined global salesforce. This arrangement will maintain the existing distribution models of the combined group.

The increased scale from the acquisition is also expected to create opportunities for efficiencies and capital synergies. Utmost noted that it will focus on leveraging the complementary capabilities of the combined entity to create value for stakeholders.

The insurance group also offered reassurances that its capital strength will remain robust following the acquisition. On a proforma basis, if the transaction had completed on December 31, 2023, the group would have seen an increase in Gross Solvency II Economic Value from £2,386 million to £3,150 million, a group solvency capital requirement (SCR) coverage ratio of 173%, and a group leverage ratio of 29%, within the 20-30% target range.

The total consideration for the acquisition will be financed through a £200 million bank loan, with the remainder covered by existing cash reserves. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, pending regulatory approvals.

Paul Thompson (pictured above), CEO of Utmost Group, stated that the acquisition was a significant milestone in Utmost’s journey.

“The combined strength of the merged Utmost International and Lombard International gives added scale to the group. It will enable us to better serve our expanded international client base and distribution partners, utilising deep market insights, strong technical expertise and a broader portfolio of products,” Thompson said.

Stuart Parkinson, CEO of Lombard International Group, commented that the acquisition marks a new chapter for Lombard International, bringing expanded opportunities for clients, partners, and employees.

“The combined group will deliver unparalleled service and expertise to support the evolving wealth planning needs of our clients,” Parkinson said. “The strategic fit of Lombard International and Utmost, with aligned focus on growth and client centricity, will enable the combined entity to continue on its growth trajectory and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Elsewhere in merger news, Brown & Brown Europe business Premier Choice Group (PCG) has announced its acquisition of employee benefits intermediary Advo Group Limited.

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