Dallas-based insurance industry executive Gary Griffith announced the formation of APEX Global Partners and APEX Insurance Partners. APEX Global Partners is the holding company for the trade-operating entity of APEX Insurance Partners. The new company will be headquartered in Dallas and will focus on global risk management for commercial clients and retail agents and brokers.
Griffith also announced that APEX Global Partners has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Park Group, an international insurance brokerage firm specializing in alternative risk management, reinsurance and specialty wholesale for the brokerage community. The Park Group, with more than $325 million in premium sales, has operations in London, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco, in addition to its Bermuda headquarters. The acquisition of Park is expected to close within a few weeks.
APEX Insurance Partners will specialize in providing insurance and reinsurance brokerage services internationally through its offices in Dallas and elsewhere in the U.S., London and Bermuda. As part of the acquisition of The Park Group, APEX will retain Park’s 105-member staff. According to APEX , the Park Group is the leading independent broker in Bermuda, and is one of the top wholesale brokers in the U.S.
Griffith will serve as chairman and chief executive officer at APEX Global Partners. He has a long history in the insurance industry; most recently, he was founder, chairman and chief executive officer at Summit Global Partners Inc. of Dallas. He is a member of the board for the World Broker Network in London, as well as the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, which comprises the 300 largest brokers in North America, and the board of WFII (World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries.)
“I enjoy building profitable companies. With APEX, we are more agile and better capitalized than competitors, we have greater focus on alternative risks and reinsurance, and our international presence adds depth to our services,” Griffith said in the published announcement. “Additionally, we plan to deliver a more effective bundle of technology enhancements to our brokers and clients. Equally important, we are not burdened by ineffective legacy systems.”
Paul Scope, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer of The Park Group, was named a director and member of the board for APEX Global Partners. Mike Foulger, deputy chairman and chief operating officer of The Park Group, was appointed corporate senior vice president of APEX.
“The addition of Paul Scope and Mike Foulger, along with the other senior executives of Park significantly expands the professional and intellectual capacity of APEX,” Griffith said. “I have always admired their dedication to running a first-class organization and I’m proud to have the Park team as partners with APEX.”
The Park Group is being acquired from the IAS Park Group. The Captive Management and Rent-a-Captive operations will continue under the guidance of David Ezekiel and his team at IAS.
The Dallas offices of APEX Insurance Partners will include the business strategy and finance personnel who will work with The Park Group offices in their markets, and with new APEX offices and ventures.
APEX, through its offices and brokers, primarily caters to large, privately held firms, as well as public companies with $1 billion and more in annual sales that are nationally and globally traded. APEX Insurance Partners provides a variety of services, including: Marine and energy insurance; property/casualty insurance; property/casualty reinsurance; accident/health reinsurance; specialty broker services; professional liability services; alternative risk management; employee benefits; and security risk assessment.
For its future growth, Griffith said APEX will utilize a mix of acquisitions of other brokers who already represent APEX target clients and sectors, as well as add new brokers to the roster. Griffith is currently in discussion with several other brokers for possible acquisition.
The company noted that Dallas was the natural selection as the corporate APEX headquarters because of Griffith’s successful history with Summit Global Partners, his established business relationships and the convenience of D/FW International Airport. Plus, relocating to Dallas from Boston in 1995, and having spent 11 winters in Chicago, he prefers the “warm” North Texas winters.
Dallas-based Falcon Financial Advisors provided the financial consulting on the acquisition of The Park Group. Frost Bank, headquartered in San Antonio, has been selected as APEX’s commercial banking partner.
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