Nassau Reinsurance Group said Wednesday that it has received initial capital commitments of more than $750 million from Golden Gate Capital to form an insurance and reinsurance platform. Phillip Gass, the former Chairman of Fidelity & Guaranty Life, and Kostas Cheliotis, an ex-Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of FGL, are leading the platform and have both invested. Gass will serve as Chairman & CEO of the platform while Cheliotis will be EVP & Chief Operating Officer.
NASSAU REINSURANCE GROUP Insurance, Reinsurance & Asset Management !
New York, NY – May 13, 2015 – Nassau Reinsurance Group (the “Company”) today announced the formation of its insurance and reinsurance business led by insurance industry executives Phillip J. Gass and Kostas Cheliotis. Nassau Reinsurance is focused on building and operating onshore and offshore platforms with long tail liabilities focused on the life, annuity and long-term care sectors. Nassau Reinsurance also announced that it received initial capital commitments of more than $750 million from various funds managed by Golden Gate Capital, a private investment firm with more than $12 billion of capital under management, along with Messrs. Gass and Cheliotis. Golden Gate Capital’s funds have no time horizons, which allow the firm to make long-term investments without liquidity constraints.
The initial capital raise will fund the Company’s immediate build-out and organic growth plans, as well as potential future acquisitions and reinsurance transactions. The Company intends to seek ratings with this initial capital to meet its growth objectives and may opportunistically seek to raise additional capital and enter into strategic partnerships to grow the business over the long term.
Phillip J. Gass will serve as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, and Kostas “Gus” Cheliotis will serve as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Gass previously served as Chairman of Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL), a leading fixed annuity and life insurance company, and Managing Director with HRG Group Inc. (NYSE: HRG), where he was responsible for HRG and its affiliates’ investments in financial services. Mr. Cheliotis previously served as Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of FGL and Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel of HRG, where he led HRG’s legal teams responsible for transactions related to financial services businesses.
Mr. Gass commented, “We are very pleased to have partnered with Golden Gate Capital as we look to build a dynamic platform with insurance, reinsurance and asset management businesses. With Golden Gate Capital’s long-term investment philosophy, permanent capital structure, and strategic focus on insurance and financial services, we believe we are uniquely positioned to grow our franchise and build significant value over a long time horizon.”
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Phil Gass and Gus Cheliotis, two accomplished and successful executives in the insurance industry, on this exciting new venture,” said David Dominik, Managing Director of Golden Gate Capital. “Phil and Gus have a compelling track record of launching and leading profitable insurance platforms, and share our values and philosophy of building strong, sustainable businesses for the long term.”
Rob Little, Managing Director of Golden Gate Capital, added, “Since 2000, financial services has been a focus area for Golden Gate, and today’s announcement reflects our firm’s commitment to supporting a
robust insurance platform. We are confident that Nassau Reinsurance will grow and flourish under Phil and Gus’ strong leadership.”
Phillip J. Gass Biography
Mr. Gass brings deep experience in the insurance and reinsurance sectors. Previously, Mr. Gass served as Chairman and Director of Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE:FGL) from 2011 through 2015 and Managing Director of HRG Group Inc. (NYSE: HRG). At HRG, he was responsible for building the insurance and reinsurance group, including the acquisition and turnaround of Fidelity & Guaranty Life and the formation and growth of Front Street Re, HRG’s offshore reinsurance platform, where he served as a Director from 2010 through 2015. Mr. Gass is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has extensive experience in the insurance and financial services industry, including leading investments and restructurings for GE Capital and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. Mr. Gass received his B.S. in Finance from New York University.
Kostas Cheliotis Biography
Mr. Cheliotis is an experienced investor in insurance and reinsurance businesses and brings significant M&A and capital markets experience through public debt and equity offerings, in addition to significant legal, regulatory and operational experience. Previously, Mr. Cheliotis served as Director and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of Fidelity & Guaranty Life (NYSE: FGL) from 2012 to 2015. He served as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of HRG Group Inc. (NYSE: HRG), where he focused on investments in financial services including insurance, reinsurance and asset management. He also helped found and operate Front Street Re, HRG’s offshore reinsurance platform, where he served as a Director from 2011 to 2015. Prior to joining HRG in 2010, Mr. Cheliotis was a senior associate in the M&A Group at the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Mr. Cheliotis received his B.A. from St. John’s University, magna cum laude and his J.D. from New York Law School, summa cum laude.
About Nassau Reinsurance Group
Founded in 2015, Nassau Reinsurance Group is an insurance and reinsurance business focused on acquiring and operating onshore and offshore platforms with long tail liabilities in the life, annuity and long term care sectors. Led by insurance industry executives Phillip J. Gass and Kostas Cheliotis, Nassau Reinsurance Group has received an equity seed capital commitment of $750 million from Golden Gate Capital, a private investment firm with over $12 billion of committed capital. With extensive experience both on Wall Street and as investor-operators of onshore and offshore insurance, reinsurance and asset management businesses, Nassau Reinsurance Group is uniquely positioned to build and grow businesses with a long term view. For additional information, visit www.nsre.com.
About Golden Gate Capital
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $12 billion of capital under management. The principals of Golden Gate have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. For additional information, visit www.goldengatecap.com.