Blackstone invests alongside Fairfax in USD500m Ki launch
Ki, a fully digital and algorithmically-driven Lloyd’s syndicate, has raised USD500 million of committed capital from two backers, funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (Blackstone) and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
The capital commitment will fund Ki’s expansion as it launches in Q4 2020, enabling the business to grow rapidly to significant scale.
Ki is a newly formed follow-only digital business which will write its’ first risk incepting in January 2021. It will underwrite using an algorithm-driven approach and offer instant follow capacity through its proprietary digital platform. Ki will write a broad range of specialty business following selected leaders in the Lloyd’s market, including Brit.
Qasim Abbas, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, says: “Matthew, Mark and the rest of the Ki team have created a unique opportunity in Lloyd’s to revolutionise the market and we are excited to be a part of this, in partnership with Fairfax. Ki’s first-of-its-kind digital model will deliver a unique advantage to its’ business partners which we believe will enable it to build to significant scale, while its algorithmically-driven approach represents an important evolution in the portfolio management of specialty risks.”
Burkhard Keese, CFO at Lloyd’s of London, says: “We are delighted to see Blackstone entering Lloyd’s at this key moment in our modernisation, illustrating the appeal of our market. Ki is fully aligned to the Lloyd’s Blueprint, driving the adoption of new technology to deliver a more competitive market, and we wish the team success as it launches later this year.”
Matthew Wilson, CEO of Brit and Chairman of Ki, says: “Our Partnership with Fairfax and Blackstone on the launch of Ki will allow the business to reach its full potential with significant committed capital. Blackstone has a phenomenal track record and is entering the Lloyd’s market at a pivotal moment, with increased acceptance of digital models and a flight to quality.”
Mark Allan, CEO of Ki and Group CFO of Brit, says: “Securing support from Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, is a significant statement of confidence in Ki and the vision we have set out. Blackstone’s commitment to Ki completes our world-class group of partners with Fairfax, Brit, Google Cloud and UCL already supporting the business. With our investors, we have the financial firepower to rapidly scale the business and support our plan to provide a truly differentiated offering to brokers and clients.”
The creation of Ki was first announced in May 2020. Ki will aim to significantly reduce the amount of time taken for brokers to place their follow capacity. Ki’s algorithm, developed with support from University College London, will evaluate Lloyd’s policies and automatically quote for business through an always available digital platform, built by Google Cloud and accessed directly by brokers.