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Marine insurance firms announce merger plans.

Byline: INSURANCE JO BLAKEMORE jo.blakemore@ncjmedia.co.uk

TWO of the longest-established and most successful international marine insurance businesses based in the North East are entering into a merger framework agreement.

If approved by regulators and accepted by shipowner members, it will result in the creation of one of the world's largest marine insurance operations in early 2014.

Through we will form the world's Newcastle's North of England P&I Association (North), the world's second largest mutual liability insurer for shipowners, and Durham-headquartered Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Company Ltd (SMMI), one of the world's leading insurers of fishing vessels, small craft, coastal traders and market leader in the aquaculture insurance industry, have both been trading since the 19th Century. marine operations.

Both insurance companies now have offices throughout the world, generate a combined premium income of more than PS300m and employ just over 400 people, more than two-thirds of whom are based in the North East.

North's joint managing director Paul Jennings said: "North and SMMI are two of the longest-established businesses in the region, with highly-respected reputations for service excellence and the provision of financially secure marine insurance to the global marine and aquaculture industries.

"Through this merger, we will form one of the world's largest marine insurance operations, capable of providing considerable financial stability for policyholders, maintaining service excellence and enhancing our joint competitive position."

SMMI's chief executive Geoff Parkinson added: "A combined group will be a major force in the global marine insurance markets by virtue of our diversification and capacity."

merger, one of largest INSURANCE " And North's joint managing director Alan Wilson concluded: "This is a very exciting opportunity for both companies, combining North's international portfolio of high-quality, larger ships with SMMI's widespread of smaller vessel and aquaculture risks.

Paul Jennings "Together we can offer our members a more diverse product range and develop new sources of business income to provide greater security and opportunities for all staff and suppliers."

The combined operation would result in the group having a crosssection of personnel with exceptionally diverse and specialist skills and expertise in the marine insurance environment.

This unique opportunity will draw upon longevity of service and dedication to customers, both of which are strong attributes for North and SMMI.

Through this merger, we will form one of the world's largest marine insurance operations. Paul Jennings

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Paul Jennings, Alan Wilson and Geoff Parkinson
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 19, 2013
Words:399
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