Former suitor says it has ”lost confidence” in R&Q’s as shareholder Phoenix insists Ken Randall should replace William Spiegel
Randall & Quilter’s (R&Q’s) former suitor and biggest shareholder, Brickell Insurance Group, has lost confidence in the company’s leadership.
In an open letter issued on 16 August, it said that while it remains “very supportive” of the run-off solutions provider, it is “very concerned about the recent significant deterioration of the business”, adding it has “lost confidence in the ability of R&Q to deliver on its potential under its current leadership” as a result.
“We have attempted to engage the company directly to resolve these concerns but in our view the R&Q Board has not engaged properly with Brickell and other shareholders, nor has it provided meaningful resolutions or strategies to alleviate shareholder concerns,” it added.
Brickell has given its backing to calls for the removal of William Spiegel, R&Q’s executive chairman, as a director of the company. In an open letter, Phoenix (which has a 12.2% holding in the company) said R&Q co-founder and former chair Ken Randall should be appointed in his place.
“We have seen that Phoenix has written an open letter calling for a General Meeting to be held at which a resolution will be proposed for William Spiegel to stand down and we intend to vote in support this proposal,” said Brickell.
“Further, we believe that the R&Q Board should be led by an independent non-executive Chair, as would be more customary for a group such as R&Q.”
Show of support
Responding to the open letter from Phoenix, the Board of R&Q said it was “unanimous in its support for William Spiegel and the strategy he and his executive team have set out for the Company.
“This support was endorsed at the recent AGM (held on 14 July 2022) where the Company’s shareholders (excluding Phoenix and Ken Randall) voted 84.5% in favour of the reappointment of William Spiegel as Executive Chairman,” it added.
In May, shares in R&Q dropped by nearly a third as news broke that Brickell was backing out of its proposed buyout of the firm.
The acquisition had valued the non-life legacy specialty business at about £482m. Brickell, backed by Miami-based alternative investment firm 777 Partners, was also due to provide $100m in new equity funding.
But the deal was dropped after what Brickell alleged was a “material breach” by R&Q, and said the company was exercising its right to terminate the transaction agreement.
On 14 June 2022, R&Q announced a settlement relating to Brickell’s proposed acquisition, which included a payment by R&Q of $1.25m to Brickell as a contribution towards costs.
“Our support for R&Q is demonstrated by the fact that, notwithstanding recent events, we contributed in excess of $25m of equity funding as part of the recent fundraise, the completion of which was announced on 11 July 2022,” added Brickell in its open letter. ”We remain committed to our investment in R&Q as a long-term investor.”