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Business & Economy

Newcastle-headquartered marine insurer North P&I buoyant as Standard Club merger moves closer

A global shipping and marine insurer has moved a step closer to a merger.

Members of Newcastle-headquartered North P&I have backed a proposed deal to join forces with fellow mutual Standard Club.

Officials say the tie-up – to be known as NorthStandard – will create one of the world’s largest maritime insurance groups boasting around 300 years’ of combined experience, assets of £1.5 billion and about 700 staff.

It will also bring together two North East companies, with Standard Club understood to have been founded by Northumberland-born Charles Taylor, who operated out of Sunderland before moving to the capital.

Subject to regulatory approval, bosses hope to officially confirm the partnership by February 23 next year, when shipping owners traditionally renew insurance.

Paul Jennings, North P&I chief executive [pictured above], who previously told North East Times the merger will “create a company that is capable of growing further”, said: “This is terrific news for our businesses, our people and our members.

“North members expressed overwhelming support for the merger, welcoming the proposal on the grounds that it would reinforce stability and strengthen competition in the marine insurance sector and encourage innovation and drive further product diversification.

“A larger organisation will also attract and retain even more of the best talent to ensure that NorthStandard delivers the highest levels of service and support.”

Under the terms of the deal, Paul will jointly lead NorthStandard alongside Standard Club chief executive Jeremy Grose.

North will retain its headquarters on Newcastle’s Quayside, with Standard Club remaining in its London premises.

News of the merger approval comes after North P&I saw its annual premium income rise by $23 million to $429 million in the year to February 20.

Paul added: “This is a robust set of results, which shows North in excellent health ahead of the merger.

“Our team have done amazing work supporting members as they grapple with the many challenges in the shipping industry, from COVID-19 and conflict in Ukraine, to supply chain issues and the sustainability agenda.

“We can look forward with confidence to the coming year and a bright future ahead as NorthStandard.”