Aviva enters Lloyd’s market with Probitas deal

March 11, 2024 — AVIVA PLC has entered the Lloyd’s market with the acquisition of Probitas 1492, a syndicate which expanded to Canada earlier this year.

The insurer said the Lloyd’s market represents a major source of untapped growth and the £242m (C$500m) deal to acquire Probitas will provide access to significant premium volumes, international licences and broader distribution networks.

Aviva said it will also allow it to capitalize on its existing underwriting capabilities, broker relationships and capital base.

And the insurer said Probitas’s focus on specialty lines is well-aligned with its strategy in terms of product, geography and risk profile.

London, U.K.-based Probitas reported gross written premiums of £288m in 2023 and has delivered a 21% compound annual growth rate since 2019. It posted an average combined ratio of 82% since then and Aviva said strong growth is expected to continue in 2024.

Jason Storah, CEO of Aviva U.K. and Ireland general insurance, said the Probitas team will continue to run the business post-acquisition, and the Probitas brand will remain.

“We want to preserve their unique, agile culture and support the team to focus on delivering profitable growth that will benefit from leveraging Aviva’s own scale and capabilities.”

The deal is expected to close mid-year.

In January, Probitas announced that it had hired Robbin Botnick to set up a service company in Toronto.

It is focusing on high-growth markets and those where Lloyd’s has been underrepresented.

A spokesman for Aviva PLC in the U.K. said the acquisition will not affect Probitas’s launch in Canada.

“Our view is that given that Canada is a key market for Aviva, there are additional positive opportunities for the recently launched Probitas 1492 syndicate in Canada,” Erik Nelson told Thompson’s.

Aviva is one of Canada’s largest p&c groups. Its total premiums topped $7bn in 2023.

(For more independent coverage of Canadian p&c industry news and trends, please choose the ‘Subscribe’ tab on our main page or email mpub@rogers.com for more information).