UNW aids major North East marine firm merger

Two of the longest-established marine insurance businesses in the North East have merged in a deal overseen by business advisers UNW

Alan Wilson, Geoff Parkinson, Mark Simpson, Paul Jennings
Alan Wilson, Geoff Parkinson, Mark Simpson, Paul Jennings

Two of the longest-established marine insurance businesses in the North East have merged to create the biggest global firm of its kind in a deal overseen by business advisers UNW.

UNW’s Mark Simpson was drafted in to assist in managing the merger of Newcastle’s North of England P&I Association North (NEPIA) with Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Company Limited (SMMI), based in Durham, businesses which have a combined turnover of half a billion dollars, free reserves of over £200m and total assets of over £900m.

The firms have merged to form the North Group, a business with around 350 staff globally, following two years of work behind the scenes and approval by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority and other UK and overseas regulators.

Mark Simpson undertook a six-month secondment as project manager to help ensure the transaction, a complex process which included ensuring that the merger was approved by numerous regulating authorities across the world including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska and South Africa.

The corporate finance senior manager said: “It has been fascinating to work on this merger, not only because of its global significance but also because organisations of this size and reputation do not come together every day.

“Both organisations had their own project teams but my role was to assist in managing the pre-completion activities. I am from a corporate finance background with day-to-day experience of working on these types of transactions, which added additional depth to the role. I have now handed over to the integration team and wish the enlarged business continued success.”

Joint North managing directors Paul Jennings and Alan Wilson said: “Mark immediately fitted in well with both existing project teams at North and SMMI and worked with them to ensure that the merger planning and execution happened according to the tight timescales we were working to.”

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