Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 25 September 2020

UK's Centricus to start insurance JV with former Goldman partner

Centricus manages more than $25bn in assets

Goldman Sachs was the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial adviser in the first half of 2020 based on deal value, GlobalData said in a July 3 report. Reuters.
Goldman Sachs was the top mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial adviser in the first half of 2020 based on deal value, GlobalData said in a July 3 report. Reuters.

Centricus, the UK investment firm that helped SoftBank Group raise its $100 billion Vision Fund, is entering the insurance industry by forming a joint venture with former Goldman Sachs Group partner Chris Milner.

The new venture with Mr Milner’s firm, European Insurance Consolidation Group, will focus on acquiring and managing legacy life insurance and annuities portfolios across Europe, Centricus said in an emailed statement. Centricus is targeting for the business to manage about $100bn of assets under management for the unit and is already scouting for deals in Europe, co-founder Dalinc Ariburnu said in a phone interview Thursday.

Centricus is seeking to replicate the model that Apollo Global Management created with Athene Holding, Mr Ariburnu said. Apollo set up Athene in 2009 and built it into one of the top fixed-annuity providers in the US. It has also made Apollo the envy of private equity rivals, who have since tried to build up their own insurance businesses.

Mr Milner, who previously headed Goldman’s Pension and Insurance Strategy Group in Europe, set up EICG in 2017 with a target of acquiring the books of large insurers. It’s been going up against companies like Phoenix Group Holdings, which bought Standard Life Aberdeen's insurance unit last year.

Centricus, which manages more than $25bn in assets, was founded by former Deutsche Bank banker Nizar Al Bassam and Mr Ariburnu, a former partner at Goldman Sachs. The firm focuses on investments in sectors such as financial services and infrastructure, as well as offering advisory services.

Updated: December 6, 2019 05:52 PM

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