Argo Group’s Alteris Announces Acquisition of Aris Title Insurance Corporation

NEW YORK--()--Alteris Inc., a services-oriented, complete solutions provider for the managing general agency community and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), announced today the acquisition of ARIS Title Insurance Corporation (“ARIS”), the world’s first underwriter of title insurance for fine art and collectible personal property. ARIS, a statutory insurance company domiciled in New York, was acquired through Argo Group US, Inc. and will continue to operate as a separate legal entity and title insurance underwriter with its established management team.

“Becoming a member of the Argo Group will significantly enhance our ability to serve this market across the many disciplines of the art industry,” said Lawrence M. Shindell, co-founder and Chairman of ARIS. “The financial strength, reputation and international platform of Argo Group will enable ARIS to continue expansion of our offerings and position our ATPI® title policy as the gold standard for securing title in transactions,” added ARIS co-founder and President, Judith L. Pearson.

ARIS pioneered the concept of art title insurance four years ago to address the inherent title risk assumed by buyers and sellers within the art and fine collectible marketplace.

“Argo Group’s acquisition of ARIS is an excellent strategic fit, providing us with an opportunity to expand our specialty operations to another industry sector in need of products not available in the traditional insurance marketplace,” said Argo Group’s CEO Mark E. Watson III. "ARIS is a great example of how a specialty insurer can play a role in supporting commerce and growth in a niche industry by providing customized risk management tools tailored to specific needs."

Although ARIS is not currently rated by A.M. Best Co., it was disclosed that the parties planned to enter into discussions with A.M. Best to seek a financial strength rating for ARIS as a member of the Argo Group following the acquisition. No other details of the transaction were disclosed.

ABOUT ARIS

ARIS Title Insurance Company is licensed by the New York State Department of Insurance and serves the art market and related businesses in the fiduciary banking, legal, museum and non-profit communities. ARIS developed the field of art title insurance and currently offers the world’s only art title insurance program, the ATPI® title policy. Coverage provided by ARIS assists museums, auction houses, financial institutions and individual collectors to mitigate the financial exposures associated with title when conveying art and other fine collectibles.

ARIS is headquartered in New York and has additional offices in Denver. More information about ARIS is available at www.aris-corpororation.com.

ABOUT ALTERIS

Alteris Inc., a holding company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII), provides services-oriented, complete solutions, operating through four business divisions: Trident Insurance Services, Alteris Public Risk Solutions, Alteris Alternative Risk Solutions, and Alteris Commercial Programs. Alteris offers offering managing general agencies and carrier partners a broad array of exclusive risk solutions for specialty programs and alternative risks, including program placement, risk bearing solutions, capital support, strategic alliances, policy systems solutions, claims services, and reinsurance solutions. Information on Alteris is available at www.alterisus.com.

ABOUT ARGO GROUP INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS, LTD.

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd. (NasdaqGS: AGII) is an international underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products in the property and casualty market. Argo Group offers a full line of high-quality products and services designed to meet the unique coverage and claims handling needs of businesses in four primary segments: Excess & Surplus Lines, Commercial Specialty, Reinsurance, and International Specialty. Although ARIS has not yet been rated, Argo’s other insurance subsidiaries are A.M. Best-rated 'A' (Excellent) (third highest rating out of a 16 rating classifications) with a stable outlook, and Standard and Poor’s-rated 'A-' (Strong) with a stable outlook. More information on Argo Group and its subsidiaries is available at www.argolimited.com.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains certain statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are qualified by the inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally and also may materially differ from actual future experience involving any one or more of such statements. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and uncertainties, see Argo Group's filings with the SEC. The inclusion of a forward-looking statement herein should not be regarded as a representation by Argo Group that Argo Group's objectives will be achieved. Argo Group undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contacts

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
Lisa Scannell, 617-478-5206
VP, Corporate Marketing and Communications

Release Summary

Argo Group’s Alteris announces acquisition of Aris title insurance corporation, the world’s first underwriter of title insurance for fine art and collectible personal property.

Contacts

Argo Group International Holdings, Ltd.
Lisa Scannell, 617-478-5206
VP, Corporate Marketing and Communications