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Airborne Insurance soars

Specialist aviation insurance brokerage Airborne Insurance is set to take the industry to new heights with its recently concluded management buy-out deal with Cyan Capital.

“Our partnership with Cyan Capital enables us to grow the company and offer an extended product range to our clients,” says Airborne Director Scott Smith. “Essentially we can now offer business and high net worth insurance at the same standard that we have always offered aviation insurance.”

According to Cyan Capital’s Managing Director Matthew van den Heuvel, Cyan Capital invests in premium insurance businesses that are leaders in their field. “Our strategy is to invest in businesses that are the best in their industry, highly skilled and where the management team is invested in the business. As one of the biggest aviation insurance brokers in the country and a niche player in the market, Airborne is the ideal partner to Cyan Capital.” In terms of the new deal Scott Smith has been retained as Chief Executive Officer and still owns shares in the company. Jacques Greyvenstein, the Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer Debbie Ray are both familiar faces at Airborne and are part of the transaction.

“Whilst Jacques has only been with us for 18 months, he has been instrumental in facilitating the buy-out,” explains Scott. With a background in insurance and investment management, Jacques has worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers, Solenta Investment Holdings and Solenta Aviation, where he started as the Group Financial Manager and later the Chief Financial Officer. With over 20 years’ experience in the aviation insurance industry, Debbie has been part of the Airborne team for over six years already, working alongside Scott and playing a crucial role in the success and rapid growth of the business.

“We’re still the same great team that we have always been,” adds Scott. “However its phenomenal to have the backing of a company like Cyan Capital to assist with Airborne’s strategic development. Airborne has grown in leaps and bounds since its fledgling beginnings in 2005, and we are now entering another new and exciting phase for the company.”

Airborne specialises in all aviation related insurance, such as aircraft, airports, engines, pilots and even flight schools. Founded by Scott and his then partner Ryan Forrester, the company is now a major player in an increasingly competitive and cutthroat industry. Committed to providing a complete range of aviation and aircraft insurance options, Airborne’s team of dedicated brokers has secured large general and corporate aviation insurance accounts in South Africa.

Airborne boasts a number of high profile names as its clients, but services a range of customers, from the individual small plane owner to $40 million jets and airlines throughout Africa. The company currently insures over 800 aircraft.

As one of the continent’s leading and fastest growing aviation insurance brokers, the company deals with top underwriters both in South Africa and overseas, including long-established specialists Lloyds of London. This enables Airborne to find the best aviation insurance solutions for its clients that are also internationally recognised. Programs are designed to meet the current and future needs of clients, including insurance against eventualities such as accidents and injuries, third party damage, loss of revenue and loss of license, thereby making the aviation process safer and smoother for pilots, crew members and passengers. Airborne also offers advice on pricing levels and insight into the latest developments in the aviation insurance market.

Both Matthew and Scott are excited about the road ahead. “This deal has given us the opportunity to break into a highly specialised field,” says Matthew. Adds Scott: “We can now cater for all of our client’s commercial insurance needs, and we are looking forward to a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with Cyan Capital going forward.”







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