Argo Group is a Bermuda-based international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. In 2017, the San Antonio Express-News wrote that “The company has made more than $1 billion in profit over the last decade as a mid-sized player in a niche field insuring complex or hard-to-price risks other insurers won’t touch.” Argo was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2018.
|Traded as||NYSE: ARGO
Russell 2000 Component
|Headquarters||110 Pitts Bay Road
Pembroke HM 08
|Mark E. Watson III
(President & CEO)
Jay S. Bullock
(Executive VP & CFO)
|Revenue||US$ 1.58 billion (2016)|
|US$ 201.5 million (2016)|
|US$ 146.7 million (2016)|
|Total assets||US$ 7.21 billion (2016)|
|Total equity||US$ 1.79 billion (2016)|
Number of employees
- 3Argo Group Gold Cup
Argonaut Insurance was founded in California in 1948 as the Argonaut Insurance Exchange. It focused on underwriting workers compensation for the California construction industry.It was acquired in 1969 by Teledyne Technologies, then expanded into additional product lines and acquired Great Central Insurance.
In September 1986 Teledyne Technologies formed and then spun off Argonaut Group, with Argonaut Insurance and Great Central Insurance parts of the new company. It focused on underwriting large-account workers compensation policies.
In January 2000 Mark E. Watson III, a board member since 1999, became President and CEO. The company moved its corporate office to San Antonio, Texas, in 2001.
The firm acquired Front Royal, Inc. (along with its subsidiaries Colony and Rockwood), an insurance holding company headquartered in Morrisville, N.C. for $165 million in cash. The acquisition added products and underwriting capabilities in areas complementary to Argonaut’s previous products. Then they entered the public entity market by founding Trident Insurance. In 2002, they acquired Fulcrum, an excess and surplus lines underwriter from Scor. In 2003 they acquired Grocers from Royal & Sun Alliance USA, expanding their Great Central platform. In 2005 they acquired the renewal rights to business formerly written by Interstate Insurance Group, subsidiaries of Fireman’s Fund. In May 2005 they created Argonaut Specialty to underwrite accounts larger than what Colony traditionally wrote. In 2007 they merged with Bermuda-based PXRE, entering the reinsurance market.
The new company renamed as Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd., and moved its public company home office to Bermuda, which offered a more favorable tax structure than the United States.
In 2008, Trident Insurance Services acquired Massamont Insurance Agency, which specialized in insurance programs for public entities, expanding Argo’s public entity footprint into New England with offices in Greenfield and Boston, Mass. In April 2008, Argonaut Group re-branded as Argo Group. U.S. operations were packaged as Argo Group US. Peleus Re was renamed Argo Re. In Europe, it became known as Argo Solutions. In May, Argo Group acquired Heritage and its Lloyd’s syndicate for $272 million in order to create a broader underwriting platform with extended geographic capability.
In September 2008 they acquired Insight Insurance, a specialist in professional liability insurance for accounting professionals, architects, engineers, and insurance agents. In October they established Argo Pro, a consolidation of their professional liability operations.
In 2010, the company paid out $25 million in claims to everyone present at the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Argo also ensures concerts of the Irish rock band U2. In 2017, the company paid a claim to Disney, who had bought insurance against the possibility that actress Carrie Fisher would die before filming Star Wars Episode IX.
In 2018, Argo moved the listing of its shares from the NASDAQ to the New York Stock Exchange, and its ticker symbol changed from AGII to ARGO. On May 7, 2018, CEO Mark Watson III rang the opening bell of the NYSE.
Argo Group provides primary and excess insurance, reinsurance, and tailored risk products for the managing general agency market. It has four business segments: Excess and Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, International Specialty and Syndicate 1200.
Argo Group Gold Cup
Argo Group is the title sponsor for the King Edward VII Gold Cup, an Alpari Group World Match Racing Tour event held in Hamilton Harbour, Bermuda every October. The Argo Gold Cup is hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club racing to earn points towards the ISAF Match Racing World Championship.