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Swiss Re Sells Conning

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Aquiline Capital Partners L.L.C., a private equity firm, has acquired Conning Research & Consulting from Swiss Reinsurance Company for a price that was not disclosed.

Aquiline, New York, is headed by Jeffrey Greenberg, a son of Maurice Greenberg, the former chairman of American International Group Inc., New York.

Aquiline says it bought the U.S. and European businesses of Conning, Hartford.

Conning, which also has offices in Dublin and London, was founded in 1912. It is now the largest independent insurance asset manager and the third largest insurance general account manager in the world, with about $70 billion of general account assets under management and $100 billion of total assets under contract, according to Aquiline.

Aquiline says its investment will help Conning strengthen its infrastructure, add to its services, acquire talent, and pursue strategic opportunities.

Swiss Re, which acquired Conning in 2001, will maintain a strong relationship with Conning and continue to use its services, Aquiline says.

Swiss Re is selling Conning as part of a strategy to focus on the core businesses with the best earnings potential and to simplify its business organization, Swiss Re representative Alayna Francis says.

Swiss Re said last month that it planned to reorganize to reduce costs. The company previously announced the elimination of 1,150 jobs and named a new chief operating officer.

“Aquiline brings a wealth of operational expertise in both insurance and investment management, as well as an extensive relationship network,” says Salvatore Correnti, Conning’s chief executive officer. “We are excited by the prospects for Conning under Aquiline’s ownership.”

Greenberg, a former CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., New York, says Conning has an excellent reputation.

“Conning has delivered superior insight and consistent investment returns to its clients, particularly during the recent disruptions in global credit markets,” Greenberg says. “We look forward to working with management to expand Conning’s position as a premier specialty insurance asset management and service provider.”

Aquiline was advised in the acquisition by SFRi L.L.C., San Francisco.

Sullivan & Cromwell L.L.P., New York, acted as legal counsel, and Berkshire Capital Securities L.L.C., New York, acted as financial advisor.


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