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Insurity Announces Growth Investment from TA Associates – Financial Post

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This investment will help accelerate growth of Insurity’s cloud-native, configurable software and analytics platforms

HARTFORD, Conn. — Insurity , a leading provider of cloud-based software for property and casualty (P&C) carriers, brokers, and MGAs today announced that TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, is making a strategic growth investment in the company. TA, along with Insurity’s current investor, GI Partners, plan to further accelerate Insurity’s growth and expand the delivery of the P&C insurance industry’s most configurable, cloud-native, and intuitively analytical software platforms.

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Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Hartford, CT, Insurity has built a team of nearly 1,500 team members globally. The team’s deep industry expertise and software offerings supporting the entire policy lifecycle have enabled it to build a strong customer base of P&C carriers, brokers, and MGAs. Insurity’s customers include 15 of the top 25 P&C carriers in the U.S. and 7 of the top 10 P&C MGAs. Insurity also leads the industry with more than 250 cloud-based customers, a 97% customer retention rate, and over 50 go-lives in the past year.

With an original investment in Insurity dating back to 2014, TA executed a successful sale to GI Partners in 2019. Today, TA’s renewed commitment to Insurity’s growth is a testament to the company’s significant momentum and future direction.

“We are thrilled to have TA renew their investment in Insurity,” said Chris Lafond, CEO, Insurity. “In the past two years, we have built leading cloud-based and data-driven products, expanded our total addressable market, acquired eight leading companies, and onboarded 16 system integrator partners. Insurity is proud to work with over 500 customers. We are pleased to partner with both TA and our existing investor, GI, as they collectively provide us with greater access to resources to best serve the P&C insurance industry.”

“At TA, we have always seen Insurity as a company with outstanding growth potential,” said Harry Taylor, Managing Director at TA, and Amit Jain, Senior Vice President at TA. “They have built a comprehensive portfolio of offerings from underwriting to advanced data and analytics capabilities, along with a deep commitment to customer success. We are excited to partner with GI Partners and Insurity’s world-class team to help accelerate growth and expansion.”

Insurity Board members, Travis Pearson, Managing Director and Co-Head of Private Equity at GI Partners, and Sendil Rajendran, Director at GI Partners, added, “Our continued investment reflects our deep commitment to Insurity’s growth, and we look forward to collaborating with TA. In 2019, we invested in Insurity due to its differentiated cloud platform, relentless focus on customer success, and a leadership team that is committed to driving innovation in P&C insurance software. We have now seen Insurity launch new cloud-based software products, seamlessly deliver and implement them across the policy lifecycle, and enable P&C insurance carriers to quickly capitalize on new and emerging opportunities. Insurity’s products, strategy, and team make it well-positioned for further acceleration.”

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Lazard is serving as the exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is providing legal counsel to Insurity. Goodwin Procter LLP is providing legal counsel to TA.

For more information, please contact Laura Krause at Laura.Krause@Insurity.com .

About Insurity

Insurity is a leading provider of cloud-based software and analytics for insurance carriers, brokers, and MGAs. Insurity is trusted by 15 of the top 25 P&C carriers in the US and has over 250 cloud-based deployments. Through its best-in-class digital platform and with unrivaled industry experience and thought leadership, Insurity is uniquely positioned to deliver exceptional value, empowering customers to focus on their core businesses, optimize their operations, and provide superior policyholder experiences. Insurity is a portfolio company of GI Partners. For more information, visit www.insurity.com .

About TA Associates

TA is a leading global growth private equity firm. Focused on targeted sectors within five industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – the firm invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in more than 550 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in high quality growth companies. TA has raised $47.5 billion in capital since its founding in 1968. The firm’s more than 100 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA can be found at www.ta.com .

About GI Partners

Founded in 2001, GI Partners is a private investment firm with over 100 employees and offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Greenwich, and Scottsdale. The firm has raised over $29 billion in capital from leading institutional investors around the world to invest in private equity, real estate, and data infrastructure strategies. The private equity team invests primarily in companies in the healthcare, IT infrastructure, services, and software sectors. The real estate team focuses primarily on technology and life sciences properties as well as other specialized types of real estate. The data infrastructure team invests primarily in hard asset infrastructure businesses underpinning the digital economy. For more information, please visit www.gipartners.com .

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211109006158/en/

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Laura Krause
Laura.Krause@Insurity.com

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Bukele steps up El Salvador’s bet on sliding bitcoin; buys another 150 coins

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El Salvador President Nayib Bukele said the Central American country had acquired an additional 150 bitcoins after the digital currency’s value slumped again, enlarging his bet on the cryptocurrency despite criticism.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, is down about 30% from the year’s high of $69,000 on Nov. 10. Bukele said last week that El Salvador had acquired 100 additional coins to take advantage of the currency weakening.

Late on Friday, Bukele announced the government had stepped into the market again.

“El Salvador just bought the dip! 150 coins at an average USD price of ~$48,670,” Bukele wrote on Twitter.

Until Nov. 26, El Salvador had 1,220 bitcoins.

In September El Salvador became the world’s first nation to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, a move that generated global media attention but also attracted criticism from the opposition and foreign financial institutions.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that El Salvador should not use bitcoin as legal tender, considering risks related to the cryptocurrency.

 

(Reporting by Nelson Renteria; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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Trump's Media Company to Get $1 Billion in Investment From SPAC – Bloomberg

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Former President Donald Trump’s media company said Digital World Acquisition Corp. has agreed to a $1 billion investment following the combination of both companies. 

Trump first announced the plan to merge with the so-called blank-check firm in October that would help enable him to regain a social media presence after he was kicked off Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. platforms. The new enterprise will be in operation by the first quarter of 2022 and plans to start a social media company called Truth Social. 

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Gold Is a Green Investment. Owning it Can Be Tricky. – Barron's

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Gold bullion bars


David Gray/AFP via Getty Images

Most investors don’t think of gold as a sustainable investment. Historically, it has required large amounts of water, energy and toxic chemicals to mine and refine. Mining companies have been accused of exploiting developing countries and their workers.

Yet gold bullion—as opposed to miners—is surprisingly green. Once fashioned into bars, it just sits in vaults, having virtually no carbon footprint. According to the World Gold Council, there are 201,296 metric tons of previously mined gold in storage. https://www.gold.org/goldhub/data/above-ground-stocks Gold miners increase that stock by just 1.5% a year—3,000 tons.

Two money managers,




Franklin Templeton

and Sprott Asset Management, recently filed with regulators to launch the Franklin Responsibly Sourced Gold https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/nyse/markets/nyse-arca/rule-filings/filings/2021/SR-NYSEArca-2021-73%20Pdf.pdf and the Sprott ESG Gold https://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/nysearca/2021/34-92506.pdf exchange-traded funds. 

According to its filing, the Franklin ETF will seek “to predominantly hold responsibly sourced gold bullion, defined as London Good Delivery gold bullion bars produced after January 2012 in accordance with London Bullion Market Association’s Responsible Gold Guidance.” https://www.lbma.org.uk/responsible-sourcing/guidance-documents The Sprott one seeks to buy gold from miners that meet its proprietary environmental, social and governance criteria in addition to market association approval. 

Neither Sprott nor Franklin Templeton were available to speak while seeking regulatory approval. 

The London bullion association’s 2012 Responsible Gold Guidance required gold to be sourced from refiners not linked to human rights abuses or armed groups, i.e., “conflict gold.” The association’s standards have evolved since then to include environmental criteria. Still, gold sourced after 2012 before those criteria were added could come from dirtier sources.

A 2021 open-letter https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/open-letter-lbma-concerns-responsible-sourcing-programme-fails-curtail-human-rights-abuse-and-illicit-gold-supply-chain/signed by five human rights groups said “downstream customers cannot have confidence that the LBMA’s Good Delivery gold is free of human rights abuses and not linked to conflict.”

The association responded to these accusations with its own open letter,  https://www.lbma.org.uk/articles/lbma-responds-to-ngo-open-letter-on-responsible-sourcing stating that it “recognizes the challenges that all audit programs face, and whilst no program is perfect, we remain committed to continuous improvements, and ongoing engagement with stakeholders in addressing the supply-chain risks.”

The new Sprott ETF should have a higher standard for sourcing gold because of its unique ESG criteria.  But its regulatory filing acknowledges that it may not be able to find enough ESG-approved gold, so that the trust expects to hold some amount of unallocated [i.e., non-ESG approved] gold at any given point in time.”   

All of which is to say these new ETFs may not be much greener than traditional bullion ones. 

Yet gold’s carbon advantages are real. According to one study https://www.gold.org/goldhub/research/gold-and-climate-change-decarbonising-investment-portfolios by climate-risk analysis firm Urgentem, for a portfolio of 70% equities and 30% bonds, introducing a 10% allocation to gold (and reducing the other asset holdings by equal amounts) reduced portfolio carbon emissions intensity by 7%, while a 20% gold allocation lowered it by 17%.

“The emissions associated with holding gold are frankly a lot less than holding equities,” says Terry Heymann, CFO of gold trade-group World Gold Council.

While bullion as a low-carbon investment makes sense, Heymann posits that the mining industry is also becoming ESG-friendly, pointing to the World Gold Council’s 2019 publishing of its Responsible Gold Mining Principles https://www.gold.org/about-gold/gold-supply/responsible-gold/responsible-gold-mining-principles, which the Council’s 33 member companies—including the world’s largest miners—have all committed to following. The principles support the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of producing zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

“You’re going to see a lot more use of renewables [at mines]— solar, hydro, or wind,” Heymann says. “Secondly, you’re going to see a move towards electric vehicles.” He points to miner Newmont’s (NEM) “all-electric mine” in Northern Ontario, https://mining.ca/mining-stories/goldcorp-electric/ which has a fleet of battery-powered trucks as an example of the industry’s future.

Yet miners have a long way to go to convince ESG experts. The differences between bullion and mining stocks are “night and day,” says Adam Strauss, co-manager of Appleseed (APPLX), an ESG-focused fund which has 7% of its portfolio in the




Sprott Physical Gold Trust

(PHYS).  “Gold mining is a very dirty business.”

A 2020 report by the Columbia Center on Sustainable Development and the Responsible Mining Foundation called the mining industry’s efforts to achieve its sustainable development goals so far “cosmetic.”  https://www.responsibleminingfoundation.org/app/uploads/RMF_CCSI_Mining_and_SDGs_EN_Sept2020.pdf Although she acknowledges individual miners differ, Perrine Toledano, the CCSI’s mining analyst, says that some miners “just cherry-pick the [sustainable goal] they want and then communicate on its positive impact.”

Could an ESG ETF tracking just the 33 World Gold Council member companies that have agreed to its principles be sustainable? Sustainalytics, one of the largest ESG ratings services, gives mixed grades to different members, calling the ESG-risk of Chinese miner Zijin Mining Group “Severe,” and rating it one of the worst companies in its entire coverage universe.

That said, those ratings could improve in time. “Every single one of our members is committed to implement the responsible gold mining principles, and I know that work is under way,” says Heymann. “We’ve got four members in China, and they’re all committed to doing this.” This March, Zijin issued a release regarding its “ESG Report to emphasize Sustainable Development,”stating  it continues “to improve our ESG performance in environmental and ecological protection, human rights protection, anticorruption, responsible supply chain and community engagement.” and that it invested 1.92 billion renminbi in 2020, a 51% increase over 2019, on environmental protection.

“Having some sort of [ESG] guidance is very positive,” Sustaianlytics mining analyst Dana Sasarean says about the Council’s principles. “If the world requires gold, I think it’s important to make sure that this gold is produced in the most responsible way. But there are challenges.”

Write to editors@barrons.com

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