The move is part of Markel's plans to further develop its portfolio of specialist insurance businesses

Markel International, a specialty property and casualty insurer, has signed an agreement to acquire Elliott Special Risks (ESR), a managing general agent in Canada.

ESR provides insurance underwriting and administrative services on behalf of other insurers. The acquisition is expected to close on October 1 and values ESR at C$75 million. In 2008, ESR had reported a gross premium income of C$113 million. ESR is being sold by Newport Partners Income Fund.

The acquisition is part of Markel’s plans to develop further its portfolio of specialist insurance businesses. ESR will continue to trade under its own name as a wholly-owned Markel subsidiary.

William Stovin, president and chief operating officer of Markel International, said: We’ve been working closely with ESR as an insurer and a reinsurer since 1993 and have the highest regard for its underwriting skills and capabilities across a range of specialist lines.

Mario Sousa, president of ESR, said: Markel International has the insurance expertise, the commitment to underwriting excellence and the access to capital to make it an ideal owner of our business. We’ve had the opportunity to get to know the company and its approach for over 15 years and we’re looking forward to being part of the company.