Dennis Mahoney, former chief executive of Aon UK, is to become executive chairman of International Lloyd's re/insurance broker RFIB, following this morning's announcement that US private equity firm Calera Capital would be taking a majority stake in the broker for an undisclosed sum.
The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, will see the management and employees of RFIB retain "a significant equity stake" in the business.
RFIB chief executive Jonathan Turnbull said that "over the past three years we have built a highly scalable business which we will grow by developing our existing specialty offering and investing in new teams and businesses".
Turnbull continued: "To realise our strategy we recognised that it was essential to secure a partner which would provide the necessary backing to take RFIB to the next stage in its development".
Dennis Mahoney said “I am honoured to have been invited to join Jonathan and his colleagues at RFIB. I believe many clients and indeed underwriters regard the ongoing success of a high quality independent broker as essential for a healthy market offering genuine options."
Mahoney said that he was investing substantial sums of his own "to support the continued successful growth of RFIB".
James Halow, a managing director at Calera Capital, said that "as an independent specialty broker we see tremendous opportunities to build the (RFIB) business further in what is a rapidly evolving market".
Mahoney has not been absent from the industry since leaving his post at Aon. In 2011 he became chairman of MGA and insurance services provider Sciemus, also becoming an investor there. He also a director of Ironshore the same year.
It had been widely discussed in the market that RFIB was looking for a majority partner, so today's announcement will not come as a shock on that front. RFIB's management team and staff are retaining a piece of the action – also little surprise since a brokerage, more than most other companies, consists of its people. However, the announcement that Dennis Mahoney is entering the business as an executive chairman and stakeholder adds spice to the news.