Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. said late Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with Trisura Group Ltd. to support its guarantee commitment as part of a business renewal.
Brendan Keating and Mark Farina, who were appointed in 2021 to jointly lead the surety business, recently left the Bermuda-based insurer along with several other senior surety staff.
In a statement, Argo said Trisura, a specialty insurer based in Toronto with U.S. surplus and excess operations in Oklahoma City, will provide underwriting services and Argo will retain control of claims.
The companies are negotiating the terms of shared surety and co-guarantee agreements, and fronting arrangements, Argo said.
“This partnership is an important step as we work to develop Argo Surety,”; Thomas A. Bradley, Argo’s executive chairman and CEO, said in the statement.
In addition, Greg Chilson, formerly vice president of surety at Peoria, Ill.-based RLI Corp., has joined Argo as an advisor. Mr. Chilson will work with Steve Boughal, New York-based interim chief bail bondsman, to develop and execute his bail bond strategy, Argo said.
A spokesman for Argo declined to disclose how much surety business the insurer writes.
The announcement comes after several turbulent years at Argo. In 2019, Mark Watson resigned as CEO following an executive compensation investigation and the company later settled with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Since then, it has sold various units, and last year Kevin J. Rehnberg, who replaced Mr. Watson as CEO, resigned for health reasons. The insurer reported a net loss and a decline in gross premium income, largely due to sales and divestitures of businesses, in the first quarter of 2023.
Earlier this month, Applied Surety Underwriters Inc. also announced that it had hired three former Argo surety managers. They join former Argo chief Joshua Betz, who started the unit last year.