Business advisory firm Quantuma has advised the shareholders of London-based Tay River Holdings, and its five specialist Managing General Agents (MGAs) on their sale to Pen Underwriting, a subsidiary of the global brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal adds more than £90 million of Gross Written Premium and a 17-strong team of specialist underwriters in marine liability and trades to the underwriting and distribution giant, Pen.

Founded in 2020, by marine underwriters Paul Hartley, James King and Chris Goddard, Tay initially comprised three niche MGAs (Vessel Protect, Trafalgar Marine Trades and BMM Ports & Terminals) which have achieved strong growth. The group has since launched two new MGAs trading as Freeboard Maritime and Fortify Marine. Tay River Holdings and its five MGAs are backed by the A-rated security of Lloyd’s syndicates. 

The acquired group specialises in marine trades’ liability, ports & terminals liability, marine war risks and kidnap & ransom, maritime professional indemnity, freight and logistics insurance, as well as brown water hull insurance. Quantuma Director and Corporate Finance specialist, Adrian Howells oversaw the sales process on behalf of the shareholders, which was led by Manager, Richard Hill. Adrian and Richard negotiated the technical and commercial aspects of the deal on behalf of the shareholders, and drove the deal to completion by achieving exchange in short order.  The Quantuma team worked closely with Sam Jones and Rick Life of TLT LLP to deliver the transaction.

Tay River Holdings Managing Director, Part Hartley said, “Full credit for the growth, performance and profitability of our portfolio over these first three years must be given to the skills and tenacity of our fantastic team of specialist underwriters. Now we want to take the business to the next level and Pen, with its depth of resources and established ‘virtual insurer’ infrastructure, offers us the ideal home to continue our story of expansion and diversification in niche areas of the marine market.

Adrian and Richard provided excellent advice and support, adapting to the needs of the transaction and shareholders to ensure the deal was executed efficiently.  They quickly understood the intricacies of the group finances and how any complications could be pragmatically managed, while contributing ideas for maximising value.

I would happily recommend them to anyone seeking investment or selling a business.”

Quantuma’s Corporate Finance Director, Adrian Howells said, “We are delighted to have advised Paul and his team on the successful sale of Tay River Holdings. The management team has built an exceptional business which is highly regarded in its market.  This transaction provides Tay River with the support of a leading industry institution to pursue its growth strategy over the coming years, in what is an increasingly essential sector.

It will be exciting to see the combined business flourish into the future. Well done to all.”