OSHA Announces New Accident Reporting Requirements To Go In Effect on January 1, 2015

Under the revised rule, employers will be required to notify OSHA of work-related fatalities within eight hours, and work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations or losses of an eye within 24 hours. Previously, OSHA’s regulations required an employer to report only work-related fatalities and in-patient hospitalizations of three or more employees. Reporting single hospitalizations, amputations or loss of an eye was not required under the previous rule.

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Tower Now a Subsidiary of A- Rated ACP Re

Good news for PEO!

ACP Re Completes Tower Group Merger; Personal Lines Sold to National General

September 16, 2014

After months of uncertainty, the merger of ACP Re Ltd. and struggling reinsurer Tower Group International has finally closed.

Bermuda-based ACP Re and Tower announced on Sept. 12 that all regulatory approvals were in place relating to ACP Re’s acquisition of Tower, with a closing of the merger expected on Sept. 15, 2014. Now that this is done, Tower is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACP Re. 

Another transaction happened in tandem with the merger deal. National General Holdings Corp. (part owner of ACP Re along with the founder of AmTrust Financial Services Inc. and Maiden Holdings Ltd., via a trust) announced that it had closed its acquisition of Tower’s personal lines business.

National General is a specialty personal lines insurance holding company. It has snatched up the rights for new and renewal business for the Tower personal lines insurance operations, which generated $433.1 million in gross written premiums in 2013, according to the deal announcement. As well, the company acquired the “Attorney-in-Facts” that manage two reciprocal exchanges (Adirondack Insurance Exchange and New Jersey Skylands Insurance Association), which produced $223 million of gross written premiums in 2013.

National General said it has had access to the Tower personal lines book under a cut-through reinsurance agreement effective as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Michael Karfunkel, National General’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the Tower personal lines business gives National General “a broader mix, including homeowners and umbrella coverage; an enhanced geographic footprint; and added competitive strength with the ability to bundle several personal lines P/C products.”

“It is a compelling opportunity that will enable us to deliver strong shareholder returns in both the remainder of 2014 and the coming years,” Karfunkel said.

The proposed Tower Group/ACP Re merger was first announced in January and amended during the year. Whether or not the deal would close had been increasingly in doubt, in part due to a series of ratings downgrades for Tower Group as it faced growing net losses and uncertainty over whether it could carry its debts through the intended merger.

In early September, Tower Group announced that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company—a long-struggling Bermuda insurer and reinsurer—without offering additional details.

Sources: National General Holdings Corp., Tower Group International

Risk Transfer and IDIG Announce New Developments in the Professional Employer Organization Industry

IDIG (Insurance Distribution Investing Group) was formed to invest in entrepreneurial general and specialty distribution partners with a focus on improving markets and product positioning, while enhancing ways to further differentiate on expertise and customer innovation.   IDIG is backed by the insurance executives of The Capacity Group and Dowling Capital Partners.  In June 2014 they announced their first investment and plans to acquire an ownership stake in Risk Transfer and their affiliated service companies RiskMD and RiskAware.  This transaction is expected to close by October 1st.

IDIG looks forward to its partnership with Risk Transfer and is excited to be associated with the Professional Employer Organization industry.  One of IDIG’s founders, Gary S. Maier, commented, “We believe we are great partners for Risk Transfer and the PEO industry.  We are bringing new investment and capital to the PEO industry and believe in the PEO as a differentiated distribution platform”.  IDIG’s expertise and broad industry relationships have already enhanced and elevated the PEO industry’s profile by the addition of several new, highly rated insurance providers like ProSight Insurance (Goldman Sachs and TPG) and Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.  We plan to announce others in the future.  In addition, there will be continued investment in the form of analytics and risk management.  The synergy-growth capabilities by partnering with our PEO clients for greater product fulfillment will aid them in revenue expansion with the addition of a commercial and personal suite of insurance related products.

Paul Hughes, CEO of Risk Transfer, went on to further add, “On so many levels, partnering with IDIG is a home run.  They believe as we do that the PEO model is an important part of the future of insurance distribution.  Besides the traditional market relationships we can leverage with our partners from Capacity and Dowling Capital, they are anything from traditional in their focus on helping us to better the PEO model to make it even more impactful for American business.  The pooling of insurance is foundational in the transfer of risk and PEO’s do it better than anyone else for small business.”

About Capacity Group
The Capacity Group of Companies offers an expansive range of standard and customized insurance and financial products, while providing superior customer service for all types of businesses, industries, and individuals. The Capacity Group has a diversified insurance distribution and product platform in Retail, Wholesale and Specialty Program business, as well as all types of personal, commercial, specialty and benefits lines of business. The Capacity Group is located in Mahwah, NJ and has 14 offices nationwide. The Capacity Group has grown to become one of the 100 largest insurance brokerage firms in the U.S. It is currently ranked number 43 by Business Insurance magazine, and is among the Top 25 privately held brokerage firms in the U.S. by Insurance Journal magazine.

About Dowling Capital Partners
Dowling Capital Partners (DCP) is a private equity firm that invests exclusively in the insurance industry. Investments are focused on the three main sectors of the industry – underwriting, distribution and technology/services. DCP was formed in 2011 by insurance industry veterans with senior level industry experience, including insurance-related private equity investment management, investment banking, industry research and operational and board-level roles within major insurance, reinsurance and brokerage companies. DCP’s investors include highly regarded insurance industry organizations and professionals. DCP provides its portfolio companies and co-investors with industry expertise, broad relationships and operating experience. For additional information, please visit www.dowlingcapitalpartners.com.

About Risk Transfer Holdings
Risk Transfer Holdings creates and manages insurance programs designed for industries that have some type of duress in the procurement of insurance. We attack unprofitable areas of the insurance industry without hesitation and create innovative platforms to control the ultimate cost of risk for our insurance partners and policyholders. In conjunction with our production partners, we develop and implement aggressive risk management techniques that rehabilitate and protect the insurability of our clientele. Risk Transfer serves its broad range of clients through six operating entities- Risk Transfer LLC, Risk Transfer Programs LLC, RiskMD LLC, RiskAware LLC, Alternative Risk Transfer LLC, and Matias Underwriters LLC.

ACP Re, Ltd. Completes Acquisition of Tower Group International, Ltd.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Tower Group International, Ltd. (NASDAQ: TWGP) (“Tower”) announced today that ACP Re, Ltd. (“ACP Re”) has completed the previously-announced acquisition of Tower.

As a result of the merger, each share of Tower common stock (other than shares owned by ACP Re, Tower or any subsidiary of either ACP Re or Tower and dissenting shares as to which appraisal rights were properly exercised) was converted into the right to receive $2.50 in cash, without interest, and Tower’s common shares will no longer be publicly traded.

As previously announced, the merger was approved by Tower’s stockholders at a special meeting of the stockholders held on August 6, 2014.

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“Understanding the Business Insurance Ecosystem: A Case Study on PEO” White Paper Presented by RiskMD, LLC

The following white paper, presented by RiskMD LLC, is an analysis of the existing Business Insurance Ecosystem and the role of a Professional Employer Organization within it.  The following paper will identify, analyze and opine to the model known as coemployment.  Click the link below or the cover image to the right to download the white paper.

Download “Understanding the Business Insurance Ecosystem: A Case Study on PEO” the white paper by RiskMD LLC.

ACP Re Obtains Regulatory Approvals – Close Monday Morning at NAPEO!

Great news with more to follow… Looks like the Amtrust/ACP Re team is close to taking over Tower Group International…


“HAMILTON, Bermuda, Sep 12, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — ACP Re, Ltd. (“ACP Re”) and Tower Group International, Ltd. TWGP, +7.73% (“Tower”) announced today that ACP Re has received all regulatory approvals required in connection with its previously announced acquisition of Tower. Each of ACP Re and Tower expects to close the merger on the morning of Monday, September 15, 2014.”

Thank you to the hard work done by the Amtrust/ACP Re team in making this happen. Also to the Tower staff that has been dealing with a very tough situation, but still focused on getting this deal to close.

You have some very happy new clients starting Monday it would appear…

We appreciate your support! See you in Miami! What a year its been and what a future it will be for the PEO industry…

Risk Transfer CEO Paul Hughes Ignites the Crowd at the 2014 Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium

Risk Transfer CEO Paul Hughes spoke to the trials and tribulations of being a serial entrepreneur.  Selected as a key speaker on the “Start Ups…It’s No Cake Walk” panel, Mr. Hughes discussed the creation of Risk Transfer and the creation of its many subsidiaries and specialty market services.  In a very open fashion, Mr. Hughes discussed his successes, his failures, and how entrepreneurship, data, and technological innovation will be the disrupting power in the insurance industry now and into the future.

Risk Transfer CEO Paul Hughes Ignites the Crowd at the Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium

Paul Hughes took Risk Transfer from a company with nine dollars in its account to an $18.5 million revenue business.  He overcame extreme hurdles like watching his carrier partner get downgraded in 60 days with no notice.  Regardless of the obstacle and through the resilience of his team, Risk Transfer stands stronger 12 months later than they did 12 months prior.  He urged the industry to contemplate a world where agents and carriers could work together better, it is not about what they provide independently but rather the enhanced service offerings they could provide together.

The overhwhelming message of Mr. Hughes’ presentation was to challenge the status quo and disrupt the traditional hierarchies that exist in our space.  It will be the innovative firms that can develop new products, new methodologies for distributing those products, as well as create a better alignment of interest between insureds and the variety of insurance companies involved in their transactions.  The consumer is becoming smarter and insurance companies need to address the requirements of their clients as well as the client experience, which undoubtely will develop and evolve itself as the landscape of insurance changes.

  • “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”
    Aaron Levenstein, Business Professor at Baruch College
  • “Never confuse motion with action”
    Benjamin Franklin, Inventor and Creator of first US Insurance Carrier
  • “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”
    Albert Einstein, Physicist
  • “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts – for support rather than for illumination”
    Andrew Lang, Scottish Writer
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”
    Albert Einstein, Physicist
  • “The value of an idea lies in the using of it”
    Thomas A. Edison, American Inventor
  • “The road to victory will be long and hard, and involve much pain and sorrow….but if we support each other and stick together, we can do it”
    Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England
  • “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
    Andrew Carnegie, American Industrialist

Entrepreneurial Insurance Symposium 2014 – Network. Learn. Be Inspired.

Happening today: Over 400 forward thinking insurers, intermediaries and agents come together to share new ideas, trends and concepts related to insurance distribution, underwriting, and automation.

Risk Transfer CEO Paul Hughes will be featured on the “Start Ups…It’s No Cake Walk” panel today at 3:45pm.  Industry leading speakers will include executives from:

  • Guy Carpenter & Company
  • QBE North America
  • Dowling Hales
  • Swiss Re Americas
  • MarketScout
  • Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Group
  • Vertafore
  • Navigators
  • Willis Capital and Advisory
  • Belfor Property Restoration

The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research supports entrepreneurialism and as such has joined with MarketScout in a collective effort to foster creativity and new thought in the insurance industry. Attendees also have the opportunity to receive significant CE credit and the symposium qualifies for a “CIC” or “CRM” update. Business Insurance Magazine will be the recognized media partner.

Bring life to your data. SCHEDULE a RiskMD demonstration for you and your team now.