Markel-owned US carrier State National Companies is to launch a “program services division” for UK MGAs in 2024, the insurer has announced.

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State National is partnering with Markel International to create a programme services division in the UK to serve managing general agents (MGAs).

State National Companies, the largest programme services carrier in the US, is entering the UK market beginning January 1, 2024, Markel said.

Markel’s Rob Whitt will lead the new division as executive director, State National Global, subject to regulatory approval.

The company said it was part of a strategy to use “its broad array of tools to effectively and efficiently connect capital with risk”.

The new division will focus on supporting specialty commercial lines programmes, aiming to combine Markel International’s balance sheet with State National’s experience working with MGAs.

President and CEO of State National Companies, Matt Freeman, said: “There is a meaningful growth opportunity supporting the creation of a program services platform in the UK that will address strong demand associated with local MGAs and more broadly across the globe.

“The UK MGA market is underserved, and we’re intent on building a leading program services division in the UK. The new division is a great example of Markel’s ’power of the platform’, combining State National’s 40-plus years of program services experience with Markel’s well-established insurance company in the UK,” he said.

President of Markel International, Simon Wilson, said: “This is a tremendous example of leveraging the capabilities that exist across the Markel platform.

“When complete, we believe Markel launching a division focused on program services will bring much-needed capabilities to the market and help us better support the MGAs in the UK.

“It has been tremendous learning from State National’s skill and experience in program services. We are excited about taking this offering to the UK MGA market.”

A 28-year veteran of Markel, Whitt currently serves as managing executive for corporate development, responsible for the insurance operations’ M&A activity, as well as product development focused on linking Markel’s insurance, reinsurance, programmes service and insurance linked securities capabilities.

He previously served in a number of finance and operational roles with increased responsibilities, giving him deep knowledge and understanding of Markel’s global insurance operations.

“Working across Markel, Rob has driven the effort to establish State National Global with its program services expertise in the UK market,” Freeman said. “We’re excited to be partnering with our UK colleagues to leverage the strategic offerings that Markel has assembled and the capabilities we have to support our customers worldwide.”