Aquiline closes $1.1bn debut fund

The joint venture between Venturion Capital and former Marsh & McLennan chief Jeffrey Greenberg has closed its first fund.

New York-based private equity firm, Aquiline Capital Partners, has closed its debut fund on $1.1 billion (€837 million).

The financial services buyout firm was founded in 2005 by Jeffrey Greenberg, who also enlisted New York-based private equity firm Venturion Capital in the enterprise.

Greenberg, the son of former embattled AIG head Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, resigned from insurance broker Marsh & McLennan in October 2004 amid bid-rigging and price-fixing allegations levied by New York’s attorney general. Marsh eventually reconciled those charges via an $850 million settlement.

Aquiline’s 13 investment professionals include six general partners in addition to Greenberg: Matt Grayson, Geoffrey Kalish, Bruce MacFarlane, Chris Watson, Laurent Bouyoux, and Ian Smith.

Each of the general partners has a private equity-related pedigree. Grayson, Kalish and MacFarlane founded Venturion in 1998 after leaving Smith Barney. Watson worked previously in the property and casualty insurance businesses of Citigroup and its affiliates, and prior to that was at AIG. Bouyoux most recently served as the CEO of Paris-based online stock brokerage he founded, ProCapital, whose retail arm operates as Fortuneo; prior to that Bouyoux was the global head of equity derivative for Frankfurt’s Commerzbank. Smith was the chairman and CEO of Marsh prior to Greenberg.

The Aquiline Financial Services Fund has already made two investments worth $195 million. It invested $75 million in the Ireland-based wholesale financial services firm Structured Credit Holdings, and is the founding investor of Validus Holdings, a Bermuda-based reinsurance company which Aquiline soon hopes to take public. Validus was also invested in by Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Vestar Capital Partners, New Mountain Capital and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.