Argo Group International, an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, has acquired Italian specialty insurer Ariscom.

Effective immediately, Matt Harris, head of ArgoGlobal’s European and Asian operations, will assume the role of Ariscom Managing Director.

Argo Group CEO Mark E. Watson III said: “Ariscom provides an established platform that we can use to efficiently expand our presence in continental Europe.

“Italy is one of Europe’s largest and best-performing P&C insurance markets. We’re also eager to tap into Ariscom’s existing broker and client network throughout Italy, with longer-term opportunities to develop capabilities across Europe – particularly in Spain and Portugal.”

In the coming months, ArgoGlobal will rebrand Ariscom to highlight the strength of the new combined organization.

Argo Group’s International segment head Jose A. Hernandez said: “Our international team has a great deal of expertise that will improve the effectiveness, efficiency and, ultimately, profitability of Ariscom.

“We are planning an aggressive re-launch strategy and intend to deploy some of the company’s proven digital solutions to enhance the value we provide to clients.”

This transaction follows a series of recent senior leadership appointments within Argo Group’s International segment, and follows last year’s acquisition of Bermuda-based reinsurer Ariel Re and addition of a new team of property underwriters from Ironshore.

Watson said: “We have the right team and most of the structure in place. I’m optimistic about the prospects for the future of the international business."