Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Aquiline Buys $70 Billion Asset Manager Conning From Swiss Re

Aquiline Capital Partners LLC, the private equity firm run by Jeffrey Greenberg, acquired Conning & Co. from Swiss Reinsurance Co., taking on $70 billion in assets under management.

Swiss Re, the world’s second-biggest reinsurer, is selling Hartford, Connecticut-based Conning for undisclosed terms and will remain a client of the firm, Aquiline said in a statement today. Conning, with about 240 employees, manages assets for insurance companies and provides consulting services and research on the industry.

Conning is seeking to add clients after the credit crunch hurt results at insurers that manage their own funds. North American insurers have posted more than $205 billion of writedowns and unrealized losses tied to the collapse of the housing market since the beginning of 2007.

“The environment has been tumultuous over the last year or so, some insurance companies have performed well in their asset management activities while other have not,” Greenberg said. “It has called into question whether different companies are pursuing their activities with the right strategy and executing the right way.”

Aquiline, founded by Greenberg in 2005, closed its first fund with $1.1 billion in 2006, and invests in financial services. Greenberg is the former CEO of insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Cos. and son of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, previously the CEO of insurer American International Group Inc.

Swiss Re purchased Conning in 2001 from New York-based MetLife Inc., the largest U.S. life insurer.