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Markel expands European presence with German deal

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Markel International has signed a joint venture with Munich based Anglo Underwriting to further expand its already rapidly growing market position.

The deal sees Markel take a 50 per cent stake in the German insurer, with the prospect of securing the other half by 2017. The move further expands Markel’s reach into Europe, after the opening of a new office in Rotterdam in September.

Anglo will be Markel’s first office in Germany, but the company said they see it as a good start to grow the business and open further offices in the area.

Commenting on the venture, William Stovin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Markel International, said, “With premiums of more than €180 billion a year, Germany is one of the largest and most attractive markets in Europe.

“Anglo Underwriting is a successful local player with a culture and niche products that fit our brand.

“The agreement is a first step in building a much stronger presence in Germany and is part of our overall plan for European expansion.”

Anglo Underwriting was founded in 2005 by Garlich Wulff. His son, Frederik, has been the managing director since 2007.

They work with around 2,500 broking firms across Germany and Austria, and have some 8,000 individual clients.

This wide distribution is one of Anglo Underwriting’s key strengths, and it is an asset that will be maximised with Markel’s backing and technical resources.

The business is split into six lines – industrial; commercial; private; errors and omissions; professional indemnity; and specialties. With Markel’s support, Anglo Underwriting’s primary focus will be to increase opportunities in the specialty area (professional indemnity, contingency, personal accident, directors and officers) and the private lines business.

Frederik Wulff, MD of Anglo Underwriting, continued, “Markel’s values as a family business, entrepreneurial spirit and long-term commitment to its markets make it an ideal partner for our business.

“Markel is a growing and very successful international brand, and its financial strength as well as specialist product know how are key for us to improve our product offering and enhance our service and reputation for our partners as a specialist insurance boutique for the German and Austrian market.

“We look forward to a great future with our new partner.”