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Verisk’s Sequel to acquire placing platform Whitespace

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Whitespace has agreed to a takeover by Verisk-owned Sequel in a deal which provides growth capital as the placing platform looks to accelerate expansion in both the London and global markets.

The target will maintain its own brand and operational autonomy under the terms of the deal, while benefitting from the technology and capital resources of Sequel and its ultimate owner, Verisk, which has a market value of more than $27bn.

A multi-year business plan has been agreed by the two companies, which will involve significant investment in the growth of Whitespace’s platform.

Since Whitespace went live with its platform in August 2019 it has added over 140 customers to its platform, the main rival to PPL. Businesses including MS Amlin, Convex and Axa XL are all users of the platform.

Sequel offers technology solutions to insurers, providing a suite of software to help manage insurance and reinsurance business, and the addition of Whitespace will help customers to achieve an end-to-end digital underwriting process.

In an interview with Insurance Insider, Sequel CEO Ian Summers said that Whitespace’s technology “connects really well” into Sequel’s Rulebook underwriting and distribution product, and will help to offer comprehensive digital underwriting solutions to clients.

“That combination will allow risks to come in and underwriters negotiate the price and have a much more informed decision about those risks,” Summers said.

“Not only can you bind the risk and negotiate it online, you can have a lot more information around that risk.”

He added that the combination would “make the Lloyd’s Blueprint Two vision a reality”.

Central to Lloyd’s latest modernisation initiative was the promotion of data-led digital underwriting.

Whitespace chief platform officer Marcus Broome said that expansion plans did not focus solely on the London market, with “more and more interest” across the globe in areas such as the US, Europe and South Africa.

He said that the Sequel deal was an opportunity to put a global organisation behind Whitespace.

“This moves us immediately to that point where we have global reach and scale and we are tremendously excited,” he said.

“Coupled with the product alignment and being left sufficiently independent that anybody who is not a Sequel customer we can continue to support and integrate, we think it’s a very exciting moment.”

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