Co-op sells insurance underwriting business and starts new partnership with Markerstudy

02 December 2020

The Co-op has sold its underwriting business to Markerstudy, TwinFocus and funds managed by Blackstone Credit for £185 million.

With over 150 years’ experience of creating and selling insurance products and strong ambitions to significantly grow the Co-op’s Insurance footprint, the deal includes a 13-year partnership agreement with Markerstudy.

This partnership will enable Co-op Insurance to significantly expand its ability to offer home and motor insurance to more people across the UK.

In addition, Co-op Insurance will work with other insurance partners with the expertise to create compelling products and services in a Co-op way to meet its 4.6 million members’ needs.

Co-op CEO Steve Murrells said: “We’re pleased to announce that the sale of our underwriting business has now successfully completed for proceeds of £185 million.

“From the outset we have been clear of our intention to significantly grow our insurance footprint and the completion of this deal coincides with the start of a 13-year partnership for Co-op Insurance and Markerstudy Group, enabling us to now deliver upon our ambitious expansion plans, to meet more of our members’ insurance needs more of the time.”

Kevin Spencer, Group CEO of Markerstudy said: “We are delighted that this sale has completed and today we start our partnership with Co-op Insurance.

“With over 1.8 million customers currently, we have the expertise and the capability to continue to meet the existing needs of Co-op’s members and customers for the long term and to help develop a wider range of products.”

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For more information please contact: Russ Brady / russ.brady@coop.co.uk / 07880 784 442 Tom Cooledge / tom.cooledge@coop.co.uk / 07773 097060

About Co-op Insurance:

Co-op Insurance is part of the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance, legal services and health. It has a clear purpose of championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities. Owned by millions of UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 1,000 funeral homes and it provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited. It has more than 63,000 colleagues and an annual revenue of over £10 billion.

About Markerstudy Group:

Markerstudy Group of Companies is a privately-owned UK organisation headquartered in Kent and employing over 3,500 employees. Established in 2001, it has been recognised as a Best Company to Work For in the UK by The Sunday Times Best Companies Awards and holds the Investors in People Gold award.

As the UK’s largest MGA, Markerstudy Insurance Services Limited, supports over 1,000 broker partners and more than 1.8 million policyholders with a wide variety of insurance products.

In 2020 the group became the 5th largest motor insurance provider after completing the purchase of the Co-op Insurance underwriting business and commencing a 13-year partnership to provide home and motor insurance products under the Co-op brand, increasing customers by an estimated 1.3 million.

The group’s portfolio also includes the Markerstudy Retail and Affinity division which operates Insurance Factory Limited, one of the UK’s largest affinity based insurance intermediaries for pet insurance; along with Auto Windscreens, VisionTrack, Vision Vehicle Solutions Limited, and Markerstudy Direct Limited, operating brands Geoffrey Insurance Services and Zenith Direct.

About Blackstone Credit:

Blackstone Credit is one of the world’s largest credit-focused asset managers, with $135 billion in AUM. It seeks to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for its clients by investing across the entire corporate credit market, from public debt to private loans. Its flexible capital supports a wide range of companies across sectors and geographies, enabling businesses to expand, invest, and navigate changing market environments.

About TwinFocus:

Headquartered in Boston with its European office in London, TwinFocus oversees more than $7.5 billion of assets and provides diversified investment solutions that include exclusive access to unique direct investments in private equity and real estate.