A specialty insurance business has acquired a collection of niche programs from CIGNA Corp.

The New York-based health practice of QBE Specialty Insurance has acquired the special risk, student and sports accident insurance book of business from CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia.

QBE Specialty is a unit of QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Sydney, Australia,

QBE says some members of the CIGNA specialty accident team will be shifting to a new QBE office in Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

“QBE is retaining CIGNA’s current managing general agents and third-party administrators,” QBE says.

The head of the QBE Specialty New York office, Thomas Leonardo, will oversee the Plymouth Meeting operations.

QBE Specialty recorded about $1.5 billion in gross written premium revenue in 2008, the company says.