GCP Capital Partners Announces Investment in ClearView Risk Holdings, LLC

Dec 28, 2010, 08:30 ET from GCP Capital Partners

NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- GCP Capital Partners LLC ("GCP") announced today the completion of a $23 million investment to purchase a controlling interest in ClearView Risk Holdings, LLC, whose principal subsidiary is Southwest Risk, LP, a Dallas-based wholesale insurance broker that specializes in certain property and casualty coverages, including real estate and construction risks.  

Southwest Risk will change its name to ClearView Risk where Bryan Wilburn, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Risk, and his management team will lead operations. Prior to this transaction, Southwest Risk was wholly owned by Houston International Insurance Group ("HIIG").  Both HIIG and Bryan Wilburn are co-investors.

Bob Deutsch, Managing Director of GCP, said, "We have made a number of investments in the insurance industry and have evaluated various opportunities in the brokerage sector over the last several years.  ClearView Risk is our first investment in our third private equity fund, Greenhill Capital Partners III, LP.  We believe that the insurance brokerage industry presents an attractive investment opportunity due to its large size, high degree of fragmentation and significant recurring cash flows.  Southwest Risk has built an impressive, specialty franchise and has a solid business model for future growth.  We are very confident that Bryan and his talented colleagues will be able to profitably grow the business, and we look forward to working closely with them."

Mr. Wilburn stated, "I am excited to partner with GCP as our company embarks on its next growth phase.  Since inception, Southwest Risk has provided thoughtful insurance solutions to a select group of retail agents through its transactional brokerage platform and a number of unique niche programs.  As ClearView Risk, we plan on growing into an even larger, more diverse wholesale broker, offering a wide variety of property and casualty placements throughout the U.S.  This expansion will benefit our retail agents, insurance carriers and insureds by increasing our ability to offer them creative solutions to their risk management needs.  Over time, we will grow both organically and through strategic acquisitions."  

Stephen L. Way, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HIIG, has agreed to serve as Chairman of ClearView Risk Holdings.  Mr. Way said, "I have had the pleasure of working with Bryan since 2007 and watching Southwest Risk successfully grow its business during this period.  I believe that with the addition of GCP's investment, its strong track record and its insurance industry experience, ClearView Risk can substantially expand its business in the years to come.  I am pleased to serve as Chairman and work with the company in its future plans."    

About GCP Capital Partners

GCP Capital Partners currently manages five private equity funds totaling $1.9 billion in committed capital, consisting of three U.S. private equity funds, a European private equity fund and a U.S. venture capital fund.  GCP has had a successful track record investing $1.4 billion in approximately 60 portfolio companies.  GCP's managing directors have over 180 years of combined private equity and senior operating experience and have substantial personal capital invested in the funds.  GCP has made significant private equity investments in the business services, education, energy, financial services, insurance and telecommunications industries.

GCP Capital Partners was formed in 2009 as the successor to Greenhill Capital Partners, the merchant banking business of Greenhill & Co., Inc. (NYSE: GHL).  With the support of Greenhill & Co., the founders and senior investment professionals of Greenhill Capital Partners founded GCP Capital Partners to manage the existing Greenhill Capital Partners funds and to raise successor funds.  For more information about GCP Capital Partners, please visit www.gcpcapital.com.

About ClearView Risk

ClearView Risk, based in Dallas, Texas, is a wholesale insurance brokerage company providing insurance services to a large number of retail agencies with risks located throughout the United States.  The company specializes in transactional placements of commercial property and casualty coverages, along with the development and implementation of niche programs using traditional and alternative risk transfer strategies.  

About Houston International Insurance Group

Houston International Insurance Group is an insurance holding company headquartered in Houston, Texas, with property & casualty insurance companies, a life & health insurance company and underwriting agency subsidiaries.  HIIG has more than $1 billion in total assets, $625 million of investment assets and over $250 million in shareholders equity.  

For further information please contact:

At GCP Capital Partners:

Bob Deutsch / Boris Gutin – (212) 389-1500

At ClearView Risk Holdings:

Bryan Wilburn – (214) 206-4900

At Brunswick Group:

Steve Lipin / Gemma Hart – (212) 333-3810

SOURCE GCP Capital Partners