Lightyear Capital has agreed to take a controlling stake in Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Limited. Financial terms weren’t announced. The deal is expected to close in fourth quarter. London-based Cooper Gay is a global wholesale insurance and reinsurance broker.
Lightyear Capital LLC (“Lightyear”), a New York-based private equity firm focused on financial services investing, announced today that an affiliated investment fund of Lightyear Fund III, L.P. and institutional co-investors have entered into an agreement to make a controlling investment in Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Limited (“CGSC” or the “Company”). The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, subject to required regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
CGSC is one of the largest global wholesale insurance and reinsurance brokers placing over $3.5 billion in premiums for clients in the London, U.S., and international insurance markets. Headquartered in London and employing more than 1,400 staff across 60 offices worldwide, CGSC specializes in hard-to-place insurance policies. In 2011, CGSC reported revenues of $344 million and EBITDA of $69 million.
“Lightyear sees a long-term growth opportunity in the non-risk bearing, global insurance brokerage industry,” said Donald B. Marron, Chairman of Lightyear. “Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford is a leader in this field and possesses strong differentiation, global reach, and long-term client relationships.”
“We have been impressed by Toby Esser and the entire management team at Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford,” said Mark F. Vassallo, Managing Partner of Lightyear. “Lightyear is looking forward to working with the management team to expand its business organically and through acquisitions and to continue to expand its geographic reach.”
“We have known Lightyear for several years, and the Lightyear team has exceeded our expectations with the depth and breadth of their financial services industry knowledge,” said Mr. Esser, Chief Executive Officer of CGSC. “We are confident that Lightyear is the right partner and shares the same vision for the next stage of Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford’s growth.”
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
About Lightyear Capital LLC
Lightyear Capital is a leading private equity firm making primarily control investments in North America-based, middle-market financial services companies. Based in New York, Lightyear, through its three affiliated private equity funds, has raised over $2.5 billion of capital and has completed investments across the financial services spectrum, including asset management, banks, brokerage, financial technology, insurance, and specialty finance. Lightyear brings unique strengths and discipline to its investment process, as well as operating, transaction, and strategic management experience, along with significant contacts and resources beyond capital. The senior team of professionals averages over 25 years of financial services-related experience and includes Chris Casciato, Michael Doppelt, Stewart Gross, Thierry Ho, Donald Marron, Richard Sterne, and Mark Vassallo.