Water cooler and triangular chairs.

RPC advises Asta's management team on the sale to Davies Group

Published on 08 September 2021

Leading international law firm RPC has advised the management team of Asta Capital Limited (Asta) on the sale of Asta to Davies Group Limited (Davies), which was announced today

Asta is the leading third party managing agency at Lloyd's providing a range of solutions to Lloyd's and non-Lloyd's business across the insurance life cycle, and is a key contributor to market innovations from formalisation of the syndicate framework to the development of the Lloyd's Syndicate-in-a-box framework. 

Davies is a leading specialist professional services and technology business serving the insurance and highly regulated markets. It recently concluded a deal for BC Partners to take a majority stake in Davies.

The senior management team, including Asta Chief Executive Officer Julian Tighe and Chief Underwriting Officer Simon Norton, will remain with Asta following the sale and will invest in Davies. Julian and Simon will join Davies' Global Executive Leadership Team, and Managing Director Lorraine Harfitt and Chief Financial Officer David Hunt will join Davies' Senior Leadership Team.

Julian Tighe said: "This was a hugely important deal for Asta, Davies and our respective clients and employees. We were delighted to work with James and David, whom we have known and worked with for some time."

Simon Norton said: "We're delighted with the deal. It was important to work with advisers with a deep understanding of insurance market transactions and who are expert at looking after management teams in the market."

The RPC team was led by RPC's insurance market deals lead James Mee and private equity specialist David Wallis. The RPC team worked closely advising management with Wyvern Partners and Deloitte.

James Mee noted: "It was a great joy to work with Julian, Simon, Lorraine, David and the team on this important deal for them and everyone involved.  I've known Julian, Simon and colleagues for a number of years, having been fortunate to act for Asta and for a number of their clients over the years. It has been wonderful to see their business grow.  

"Management advisory in the insurance market is a core and substantial part of our practice and we're immensely grateful for the trust the Asta team placed in us. Helping them achieve this milestone and their ambition is a real thrill.

"It was great to work again with the teams at Wyvern Partners and Deloitte.  This isn't the first time we'd teamed up in the insurance market, and we thank them for their insights and advice throughout."

The Asta sale follows other recently announced insurance deals handled by RPC, many of which are private equity/financial-sponsor backed.
Recent insurance market management advisory transactions include:

  • Advising Beat Capital Partners on the strategic partnership with Bain Capital Credit and financing of the Beat syndicate
  • Advising the management team of Optio Group on their arrangements with Preservation Capital Partners

And other recent insurance market transactions include:

  • advising Right Choice Holdings Limited on its acquisition of Bennetts Motorcycling Services Limited
  • advising the Optio Group on its acquisition of Northcourt, the nuclear risk strategist
  • transactions for Howden Group, including Howden Broking's acquisition of Sturge Taylor and DUAL's MGU relationship with the Dale syndicate (with Aviva capacity)
  • assisting Assured Partners with its UK acquisition strategy, the most recent deal being the acquisition of Borland Insurance
  • the launch of the Mosaic Lloyd's syndicate (backed by Golden Gate Capital), a next generation global specialty insurance platform
  • work with the Medical Protection Society on its Lloyd's special purpose arrangement
  • various high value RITC and LPT transactions

RPC's Head of Insurance Transactions and Regulatory, Matthew Griffith, added: "Very well done to all involved. This particular deal showcases one of the parts of our practice where we are a leading adviser.  Management advisory in the insurance market is an increasingly important part of our practice.  

"We have an unusual combination of top tier private equity experience and insurance market deals experience, including the rare (amongst legal advisers) knowledge of how the Lloyd's market works.  

"We have handled more than 25 market transactions since the start of 2020, with James leading on over 20 (often working with David Wallis given the high level of private equity interest in the sector) – we are very grateful indeed for our clients' support.  William Hogarth, who joined us as a partner at the start of the month, adds even more strength to our insurance market transactions and regulatory group and we’re delighted to have him on board."