Wilton Re is a life (re)insurance company specializing in the acquisition of in force life insurance and annuities as well as with assisting life insurance clients with product development, underwriting and new business strategies designed to serve the middle market.
Wilton Re was led by Chris Stroup, who founded the company with Trident in late 2004 and is also an Operating Partner of Stone Point. Wilton Re’s focus is the U.S. life insurance market where it provides risk capital and related services including M&A and In Force acquisitions, middle market products, and longevity solutions. Wilton Re also partners with companies to implement new business strategies for middle market sales, with an emphasis on worksite, senior market, and simplified term products.
Stone Point helped Wilton Re write its business plan to launch company. Additionally, we managed the successful $628 million initial equity capital raise and helped the company make presentations to A.M. Best to explain just-in-time capital structure and to obtain its initial “A-” rating.
The company outsources investment management in order to contain operating risks and to leverage the talents of larger asset management organizations. Stone Point introduced Wilton Re to AAM, which won a mandate to manage part of the fixed income portfolio for Wilton Re. Stone Point also helped originate a material private investment opportunity (Harbinger convertible preferred), which was a very successful investment for Wilton Re.
Stone Point sourced Wilton Re’s acquisition of Texas Life (and nine years later this has proven to be Wilton Re’s most successful and enduring franchise investments), and provided a letter of support to the seller in order to add credibility to the proposal. Texas Life became the platform for the company’s primary life insurance business, representing approximately 20% of its underwriting margin at the time of exit.
Stone Point helped Wilton Re research the market opportunity for longevity solutions (a new business segment) through its work in the life settlements and pensions buyouts sub-sectors.
Stone Point helped to recruit Wilton Re’s former CEO Chris Stroup, and its CIO Perry Braun, as well as the Head of Longevity Solutions, Cormac Treanor. Additionally, Stone Point created an equity incentive program tailored for just-in-time capital.
Stone Point assembled the equity sponsor group for Wilton Re, and executed two follow-on rounds of capital at progressively higher valuations in order to fund Wilton Re’s growth. Stone Point supported buybacks from certain distressed shareholders at accretive valuations.
Stone Point identified a non-traditional buyer as a good long-term owner of Wilton Re, and educated the buyer on the strategic benefits of owning the company.
If there exists a PE firm with greater expertise in launching new insurers, I have yet to make its acquaintance. Stone Point has been instrumental in our development, from capital raising to risk management and business development. Without Stone Point, there would be no Wilton Re.
Chris Stroup currently is an investor in one or more Stone Point funds and has, and may have in the future, other business relationships with Stone Point and its affiliates. Chris Stroup’s views with respect to Stone Point are not necessarily indicative of the views of other investors in Stone Point funds.
Investments highlighted or discussed in this selection have been selected to illustrate SPC’s investment approach and/or market outlook and are not intended to be an indicator of past or future performance. Each investment discussed in this selection has been selected solely for this purpose and has not been selected on the basis of performance or any performance-related criteria. The investments discussed herein do not represent an entire portfolio and in the aggregate may only represent a small percentage of holdings. Nothing in this presentation shall constitute a recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security or other financial instrument referenced herein.