Benfield Sells Wildnet Group to Private Investors

April 22, 2004

Benfield Group Limited, the world’s leading independent reinsurance intermediary, announced the sale of Wildnet Group Limited, a subsidiary providing technology solutions to the insurance and reinsurance industry, to a consortium of private investors and current management of the company. The sale price was not disclosed.

Mark Birrell, CEO of Wildnet commented, “Since its establishment in 1998, Wildnet has grown from a two person start-up in to a 30 strong team of specialists with offices in the UK and US. Over this period Benfield’s support has been invaluable in helping to develop the Wildnet brand and business proposition.

“We are now in a position to become a truly independent entity within the re/insurance industry,” he continued. “The consortium’s five investors, who have extensive experience within the financial services and IT industries, are Ian Jackson, Neil Brown, Marcus Rule, Geoff Westmore and Ges Whitmore,” Birrell concluded.

Wildnet’s management team offers an impressive line-up. Jackson has 37 years experience in the IT industry, primarily in the finance sector. He gained his basic training with IBM Australia before working in the UK for the British Gas Council and Logica. He joined Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in 1992 to head up their Global Finance Sector and remained with them until 1999. Most recently, he joined the Board of Rule Financial Ltd. as a Non-Executive Director. Rule Financial is one of the fastest growing companies in the City of London with revenues in excess of £6m and a staff of 50, and it focuses on servicing the investment banking sector.

Brown has worked with many of the major international private equity houses on transactions such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co’s (KKR) $25 billion acquisitions of RJR Nabisco, the $5 billion purchase of Duracell. From 1996 to 2002, he was a member of the UK Operations Committee at Apax Partners, one of the world’s leading providers of private equity and first headed its buyout team, then built its financial services investment business.

Rule has over 15 years experience in the Financial Services Market. Commencing his career in 1988 in equity derivatives trading with Merrill Lynch, he subsequently joined Cap Gemini Ernst & Young’s sales team for the Finance Sector. His successful career with them was highlighted by being awarded the title of salesperson of the year in 1996. In November 1997, he founded Rule Financial.

Westmore is an experienced corporate financier, who is currently a non-executive director of a portfolio business. In 2002, he was one of the Founding Partners in the London based board advisory business, Subito Partners. He has over 20 years in corporate finance with M&A experience including over 100 completed deals with a value of nearly £50 billion (around $90 billion).

Whitmore has over 35 years experience in insurance and IT industries. He began his career in 1968 as a motor claims negotiator and moved into IT as a computer programmer in 1969. In 1971 he was promoted to chief programmer, and by 1977 had progressed to be IT manager of an insurance group in the UK. He retired from business in 2003, but remains active serving as non-executive chairman of an air conditioning company, and as a director of a UK based investment banking software firm, a financial services network business, and a property company, as well as Wildnet.

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