3 Things – Skyward IPO, Mitsui/Transverse, Assurant API & Root Missing $9.5M

Hello Friends!  Happy New Year!  We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday break with friends and family.  It is good to be back and this week had plenty of news to follow including the Skyward Speciality IPO launch, Mitsui / Transverse acquisition close, Assurant launching API platform for partners and Root misplacing $9.5M of marketing funds.  Here are the three things we learned:


Skyward IPO and Mitsui Close

Continuing actions started in 2022… Skyward Specialty, who had previously filed an S-1 for an IPO, announced that January 13th their public shares will available.  It is an interesting time for an IPO with the current stock market volatility however there should be demand for this fundamentally strong upstart insurance company.  They have a veteran executive team and appear to be adding new talent for LOBS and distribution opportunities.  Mitsui Sumitomo (USA) completed the acquisition of fronting insurer Transverse.  The combination will expand Mitsui’s platform in North America and ability to connect insurance capital to risks throughout a variety of distribution channels and ecosystems.


Assurant Launches Embedded Platform

Another embedded play was announced this week with Assurant.  They are launching a platform that will allow partners create protection programs for devices, phones and other F&I products. The platform features APIs to integrate into the point-of-sale for these products.  They are hoping to have partner turn this on and let the cash machine start working.  It should play well in the product space they are in.  It also follows similar moves that Chubb, Zurich and others have made in recent months.


Root Misplaces $9.5M

As if things haven’t been tough enough for Root lately, it was reported in an SEC filing that a senior marketing employee allegedly redirected $9.5M of payment inappropriately.  They expect to have to write off most of this amount and are saying it will not affect their results.  Last year they cut their marketing spend drastically among other major cost cutting moves to turn the tide towards profitability.  Tough news as we await their earnings report next month looking to see if their cost cutting moves will help with the needed turnaround.  The last thing they need is scrutiny from the SEC and a reckoning may be coming as the stock price again approaches dangerous territory of trading under $1.00/share.

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