Patrick Ryan, founder, retired chairman and CEO of Aon Corp., announced the launch of his new company, Ryan Specialty Group (RSG), a company that will offer specialty services to insurance brokers, agents and carriers. RSG's strategy is to develop managing general underwriters (MGUs) & managing general agents (MGAs), wholesale brokers and a service platform for agents and brokers. RSG's specialty approach will not include retail brokerage, reinsurance brokerage or human resource consulting, typically handled by conventional commercial brokers, such as Aon Corp.

Ryan, who will serve as RSG’s chairman and CEO, is understood to have provided the majority of capital support, while other backers are thought to be in the pipeline, notes the UK-based Insurance Insider.

His return to the insurance market follows his unsuccessful efforts as chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016, where he led the U.S. bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago.

As an entrepreneur, Ryan founded the company, which would later become Aon, at age 26, as a small insurance agency. Under Ryan's leadership, the company continued to expand through organic growth and acquisition, and in 1987 changed its name to Aon Corp., which today operates with more than 500 offices in 120 countries.

It’s not surprising that Ryan’s new executive team reads like an Aon “Who’s Who,” with seven of the 14 RSG team/principals having worked for Ryan’s Chicago-based alma mater, now headed by Greg Case.

"I'm proud to partner with this extraordinary team in an effort to address a substantial opportunity in the insurance industry,” Ryan, said. “We see significant potential within our industry segment and clear opportunity to build a specialty company with meaningful scale. Ryan Specialty Group has an entrepreneurial culture where we partner with management to address new and emerging needs. RSG is intent on addressing this opportunity with an innovative service platform, outstanding industry talent and targeted capital investment."

The company's first subsidiary, ThinkRisk, was announced in December, and is based in Kansas City. ThinkRisk addresses new market needs by providing underwriting and claims management services in an evolving marketplace—media, technology, advertising, privacy and network security. Ryan also serves as chairman of ThinkRisk, and the company is led by CEO Leib Dodell.

On this investment Ryan said, "Today's advancements in technology are changing the way we do business and the way we think about risk. The ThinkRisk team provides innovative solutions to help clients address those risks."

RSG also announced its second subsidiary, Ryan Specialty (Europe) Limited—a wholly owned subsidiary of Ryan Specialty Group. Ryan Specialty (Europe) Ltd. is a U.K.-based managing general underwriting agency specializing in financial lines products, including directors & officers (D&O), financial institution and professional liability (or indemnity) products.

The company will be led by Malcolm Nightingale and Adam Barker, who bring expertise in providing solutions to address these risks. Nightingale is the former chief underwriting officer at HCC Global Financial Products (HCCG), and will co-lead Ryan Specialty's European operations with former HCCG general and underwriting counsel Barker. Although unconfirmed, the two executives are understood to have resigned from HCCG last week.

"The creation of Ryan Specialty (Europe) Limited gives RSG an immediate ability to service specialty client needs worldwide," Ryan said. “Malcolm and Adam provide tremendous expertise in this area and we're proud to partner with them in this new venture.”

Timothy Turner will join the RSG management team as managing director. Turner has nearly 25 years in the insurance business with various leadership roles in the wholesale brokerage space.

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