Dual, the underwriting arm of Howden Group Holdings, has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Align Financial Holdings.
Align is one of the leading specialist general agency and underwriting management groups in the US, underwriting over $630m (£456m) GWP on an annualised basis through its commercial casualty, commercial property catastrophe, personal property, and surety businesses.
Kieran Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Align, will lead the combined US businesses, supported by Jim O’Connor, CEO of Dual North America, and John Johnson, president of Align.
Sweeney will also become executive chairman of Dual globally and a member of the Howden Group executive committee. Current Dual non-executive chairman, David Ibeson will become a non-executive director.
David Howden, founder and CEO of Howden Group, said: “Kieran shares a strategic vision with us to create an international MGA of real scale, using data and advanced technologies to redefine the underwriting business of the future.
Richard Clapham, CEO of Dual Group, added: “Our ambition is to build a standout underwriting business of real scale globally that allows capital to back talent cost effectively, combining specialist products with great distribution through our broker partners, whilst keeping our culture.
“This ambition is accelerated sharply by the acquisition of Align, and I very much look forward to working with the team.”
Sweeney said: “This is a momentous next step for Align, and one I am delighted to take with Dual and Howden Group.
“What stood out to me from the start of our conversations with David, Richard and the senior team was that the platform we will become a part of is entirely designed to be one in which great people thrive.”