US re/insurance broker and MGA Ryan Specialty has signed an agreement to acquire Castel Underwriting Agencies in a deal expected to close in the first half of 2024.

Ryan Specialty is set to acquire Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited,a managing general underwriting (MGU) platform, from Arch Financial Holdings UK and minority shareholders.

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The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close during the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Castel consists of thirteen different MGUs and is headquartered in London, with additional offices in the Netherlands and Belgium and was founded in 2014.

The portfolio is concentrated in the UK and Europe and includes transactional liability, renewable energy, construction, and marine, among other specialty lines of business.

Castel generated approximately £35m of operating revenue for the 12 months ended November 30, 2023.

“Castel is a first-class organization with a history of exceptional performance on all metrics, including underwriting profit and growth,” said Patrick Ryan, founder, chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty.

“Bringing Castel into Ryan Specialty expands our UK and European footprint in delegated authority, and the lines of business underwritten by these MGUs are both complementary and accretive to our firm. We are very much looking forward to further expanding with this very talented team.”

President and CEO of Ryan Specialty Underwriting Managers, Miles Wuller, said: “Mark and the Castel team have built a remarkable business. Many of Castel’s MGUs are recognized as market leaders in their distinctive niches, attracting support from some of the highest-quality capital in the industry.

“Furthermore, the Castel team has a proven approach to attracting top talent to support de novo MGU formation, which will be invaluable as we seek further international expansion. We are thrilled to welcome the Castel team to Ryan Specialty and are excited by the prospect of what we can achieve together.”

Mark Birrell, CEO of Castel, said: “We have built Castel around attracting and retaining the industry’s best underwriters, and providing those underwriters with tools and resources to reach extraordinary levels of performance.

“Ryan Specialty shares the same philosophy, and we could not be more excited to be joining forces with this great firm. I am confident that as part of Ryan Specialty we are positioning our MGUs for continued success and our underwriters to further accelerate their careers.”

President and CEO of Arch Insurance International, Hugh Sturgess, said, “Under Mark’s leadership, Castel has excelled in a competitive and dynamic market. Ryan Specialty is an ideal fit for Castel as they build into the future. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with Castel and Ryan Specialty.”

Ryan added: Expanding our total addressable market both organically and inorganically remains a top priority for Ryan Specialty. In 2023, we added capabilities to each of our specialties and acquired companies with revenue in excess of $140 million, inclusive of Castel.”