XPT GROUP ACQUIRES WSS AND WEST-PRO
NEWLY-FUNDED SPECIALTY LINES INSURANCE DISTRIBUTION FIRM BUYS ESTABLISHED WHOLESALE BROKER AND MGA WITH LEADING BAR & TAVERNS PROGRAM
XPT Group announced today the acquisition of WSS, a wholesale broker and MGA including Western Security Surplus Insurance Brokers, Inc. and its MGU program division West-Pro. Based in Plano, Texas, WSS serves retail agencies through placement of General Liability, Package Liability, DIC, Property and other policies through binding authority contracts with U.S. and Lloyd’s markets and through open market wholesale brokerage. WSS is licensed in 20 states with producers located in Texas, California and Florida. West-Pro is a leading provider of bar & taverns coverage via wholesale insurance brokers in over a dozen states.
XPT was formed by industry veterans Tom Ruggieri, the former CEO of Swett & Crawford along with Jeff Heath who founded Heath XS before selling it to Hallmark and Mark Smith who was an executive with RT Specialty, AmWINS and Stewart Smith. XPT is backed by investors led by B.P. Marsh & Partners, the London-based specialist private equity investor in early stage insurance and financial services companies.
“WSS serves a blue-chip client list with unique product offerings through a team of highly-experienced underwriters supported by dedicated staff and new technology. We have long admired what Richard Polizzi has built and are lucky to be able to add Kyle Stevens to our partnership,” said Tom Ruggieri, CEO of XPT Group.
WSS was formed in 1981 by Richard Polizzi who will step down as the Chairman of WSS but remain with WSS to launch a new program that is already under development. A family-run business, Kyle Stevens, nephew to Richard Polizzi took over as President of WSS in 2008 and obtained majority interest of WSS in 2014, and will remain as President of WSS and West-Pro after the acquisition by XPT.
“Hats off to Richard for building a company with a team of experienced and talented staff and I am glad Richard will remain part of WSS to pursue new programs with us. It’s important to our clients that XPT is committed to the wholesale business model and is not acquiring retail brokers and agents. The capital provided by XPT and the expertise of its founding partners gives WSS exactly what we need to offer more products to our customers,” said Kyle Stevens, President of WSS, an XPT company.
The transaction closed on October 31, 2017 and WSS will continue to operate under its established brand name so client business will not be affected. XPT was represented in the acquisition by TAG Financial and WSS was represented by Succeed Advisors.