Fidelis Insurance Holdings Limited ("Fidelis" or "the Company"), a newly-formed specialty insurance and reinsurance provider employing an innovative model to optimize both the underwriting and asset sides of the balance sheet, today announced that it has secured approximately $1.5 billion in equity capital. This marks one of the largest industry capital raises ever, and immediately makes Bermuda-based Fidelis an important new underwriter in the global market. The Company has received an A.M. Best rating of A- (Excellent).
Fidelis was founded and will be led by two renowned industry veterans: Richard Brindle, who will serve as Group Chief Executive Officer and Chief Underwriting Officer, and Neil McConachie, who will be Group Chief Financial Officer. Previously, both Brindle and McConachie successfully built Lancashire Holdings from a startup to a London Stock Exchange-listed $2.4 billion market cap company that consistently outperformed its peers.
The founding investors are funds of Crestview Partners, CVC Capital Partners, and Pine Brook, private equity firms with deep financial services expertise who have invested a combined $650 million. Principals from all three firms backed members of the Fidelis team at their previous companies. The remainder of the capital investment comes from individual investors, family offices and institutional investors. The total capital raised was comprised of both preferred and common equity.
"We are very excited to introduce a new, stronger model to the insurance industry with Fidelis," said Brindle. "By focusing on either assets or liabilities, legacy insurance models have failed to optimize shareholder returns, and the low returns generated by fixed income investments have been challenging. Fidelis will pursue a total return strategy by tactically shifting capital and risk between insurance and investments to maximize our return on equity across market cycles. We hope that others follow this model, as we strongly believe it will be very good for the industry, resulting in more responsible and less volatile underwriting."
"But we are first and foremost an underwriting company," Brindle continued. "We have a vastly experienced management team that is strongly supportive of the traditional broker distribution network and has, over decades, developed many strong broker and client relationships. These relationships will sit at the heart of everything we do at Fidelis."
In contrast to reinsurers who give exclusive investment manager mandates to their hedge fund owners, Fidelis will allocate capital to top-tier managers running more diverse strategies that are well-suited to different parts of its book, and will have the ability to change managers and allocations. Fidelis Chief Investment Officer Edward Russell will manage the investment portfolio under the direction of the Investment Committee, working closely with advisor Goldman Sachs' Alternative Investments & Manager Selection (AIMS) Group.
"In addition to seeking returns that outperform peers, we believe the diversification in assets will protect Fidelis against financial market volatility better than a single-manager strategy would," said McConachie. "Optimizing across hard and soft underwriting markets, as well as through different investment cycles makes Fidelis not only a strong new player, but also very attractive for investors looking to reduce downside risk."
Fidelis will underwrite a book of insurance and reinsurance business principally in the property, energy, marine and aviation risk classes. The Company expects to begin underwriting immediately.
Fidelis was advised by Clifford Chance US LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. In addition, Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as a financial advisor to Fidelis and as the placement agent for the capital raise. Crestview Partners and Pine Brook were advised by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and CVC Capital was advised by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, AON Securities Inc. and KPMG LLP.