Pen Underwriting expands into Ireland


*Extends specialisms with acquisition of Wrightway Underwriting

Acquisition of specialist transportation and haulage MGA adds €40m GWP and gives Pen its first physical presence in a key strategic territory as geographic expansion continues

Established in 1999, Wrightway has since grown organically to become one of the largest MGAs in Ireland. A full-service underwriting agency and specialist in non-standard insurance solutions, Wrightway has a nationwide network of more than 200 broker partners. Its 40-strong team generates in excess of €40m gross written premium (“GWP”) and is led by Managing Director David Crean, alongside Head of Underwriting Linda Roberts, and Head of Finance and Operations Mary Lyons.

Based in Wexford, Wrightway specialises in providing motor and liability insurance solutions to the transportation and haulage sector, both fleets and single vehicle trucks. It also underwrites light commercial vehicles, plant and machinery, non-standard household risks and private motor.

Commenting on the acquisition, Tom Downey, CEO of Pen Underwriting, said: “From our earliest conversations with Dave and the team, we knew Wrightway would be a fantastic fit for Pen, culturally as well as commercially. Having identified Ireland as the ideal geographic location for our next European hub it has everything we are looking for – great people leading a growing business; an outstanding reputation among brokers as the go-to provider of risk solutions in its chosen specialisms; and an impressive track record of disciplined, profitable underwriting.

“Bringing Wrightway into the Pen family will enable us to further expand into a country where we have long-established trading roots, to develop and distribute new products into the Irish market and to bring new, complementary capabilities into our own existing stable of specialisms. In particular, Wrightway’s strengths in the haulage and transportation space dovetail brilliantly with our 30-plus years’ experience in mitigating losses, providing cover and managing the exposures of hazardous goods, bulk liquids and associated trades. We can’t wait to get started.”

Wrightway Managing Director David Crean, said: “Thanks to an exceptional team dedicated to relationship-driven client service, Wrightway has flourished into an MGA of scale, quality and national reach from a standing start in 1999. It seems fitting that as we turn 25 years old, a new chapter in our growth story begins and with a partner we share common values and principles with.

“Just as we do, Pen knows the importance of having a broker-centric approach to service, with underwriters keen to trade, access to decision-makers and first-class claims solution. But also the importance of sustainable growth, good governance and effective capacity management. There are big benefits and huge potential for our colleagues, broker clients and capacity in coming together and we are delighted to become part of Pen to build an even better business together.”

The Wrightway deal forms part of Pen’s strategic growth ambitions to become a £1bn GWP underwriting and distribution business, through selective acquisitions and strategic hires that extend its offering of niche and emerging insurance solutions, accelerate its growth in underwriting worldwide business and further its geographic expansion.