Insurance, legacy and complex liability solutions

We have unparalleled experience in bringing innovative restructuring and operational consulting solutions to complex and long tail liabilities in the Financial Services sector. Our team has particular expertise in Legacy Insurance and Insurance insolvency having acted as scheme adviser or administrator on both solvent and insolvent schemes.

We help clients who are:

  • Considering the strategic options and implications of discontinuing business lines or operations
  • Keen to explore mergers and acquisitions or sell-side divestment opportunities to achieve capital and operational efficiencies through transaction support
  • Implementing restructuring options including Schemes of Arrangement and Part VII transfers to bring finality to non-core business or run-off by extinguishing liabilities and realising value releasing capital
  • Navigating governance, regulatory, competitor or market challenges
  • Looking to integrate, rationalise or enhance legacy operations to achieve operational efficiency and/or business growth or
  • In need of insolvency contingency planning and execution

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How can we help?

Strategic reviews

We have unrivalled experience of assisting businesses to identify and understand the options available in dealing with new and existing challenges such as:

  • Portfolio strategy, optimisation and asset management
  • Exit options (sale, run-off, schemes of arrangement)
  • Regulatory, market and competitive landscape review
  • Funding, governance and stakeholder support
  • Outsourcing vs 'insourcing'
  • Domicile and other tax structuring opportunities
  • Sustainable growth
  • Valuation and business modelling

Restructuring implementation

Our team has been responsible for creating and delivering many ground-breaking restructurings, including the first UK restructuring of a corporate with asbestos liabilities, the first scheme that dealt with mis-selling claims, the first scheme with electronic claim submissions and agreement, the first rectification scheme and the largest single non life insurance scheme.

We assist businesses in delivering the value associated with their strategic decisions by providing expert restructuring advice. We implement restructuring and finality solutions including the use of M&A strategy, schemes of arrangement, insurance business transfers, disposals and managed exits. Our advice allows capital to be released and recycled and certainty to be delivered to volatile liability issues.

We have advised on the majority of solvent schemes and some of the most complex and high-profile Part VII transfers and disposals in the sector, both UK and internationally, and delivered a wide range of redress to creditors and other stakeholders.


Our team will give an independent view of a business’ operations and use our expertise and experience to provide innovative suggestions for profit growth and overall improvement, such as:

  • Corporate strategy
  • M&A or sell-side divestment opportunities
  • Operational diligence
  • Cost reduction and process improvement
  • Claims management strategy and best in class practices
  • Skills and claims audits, complex and disputed claims and outsourcer / 'insourcer' reviews and
  • Reinsurance recoveries and commutation strategy

We invest in digital solutions to ensure our services are backed by cutting edge technology, data and insights.

This includes processing and solving important problems at speed, presenting clear and interactive information, providing detailed insights and facilitating confidence while protecting data integrity.

Insurance insolvency

We understand that your business can face many new and existing challenges and that sometimes when restructuring options are not practical, then protections available under a range of insolvency solutions may be required. We provide support in a number of areas, including but not limited to:

  • Advice for directors in situations where solvency may be an issue
  • Innovative options for avoiding formal insolvency
  • Acting as insolvency practitioners if insolvency is unavoidable.

We work with management and stakeholders such as creditors, policyholders, compensation funds, guarantors, regulators and shareholders in insolvency situations to optimise the outcome for all parties involved. We routinely manage run-off managers who assist with day-to-day operations of the estates. Our objective is to work towards a timely exit solution that returns value to creditors at the earliest opportunity.

We use insolvency processes together with our innovative approach and processes as restructuring tools to deliver optimal outcomes at pace for the business and stakeholders through continuity and the preservation of value. Our current portfolio of insolvency assignments includes some of the largest and most complex in the market, such as Elite Insurance, Orion Insurance, Chester Street (formerly Iron Trades) and Stronghold Insurance. Please see an overview and latest information on our insurance assignments.

Non-life insurance run-off deals snapshot review Q4 2023

Q4 2023 saw ten publicly announced non-life run-off deals involving eight different acquirers.

The combined total of estimated gross liabilities transacted in the period was $760m, with a range of business types and transaction structures contributing to deal flow. Six deals took place in North America and Bermuda, two in Continental Europe and two in the UK and Ireland.

See our snapshot review

Case studies

Rapid distribution for Special Administration

Following the insolvency of a stockbroker, Beaufort Securities, who was facing various regulatory restrictions and serious fraud allegations, around 17,500 investors had their accounts frozen and could no longer access their £600m of cash and securities.

Large scale preservation needed to be implemented at speed. A team of over 30 specialists covering insolvency, financial services, forensic technology, tax and client assets were mobilised within 24 hours. After extensive support and reconciliation of client positions, alongside legal advisors, we developed and implemented the first ever Distribution Plan under the special administration regime. This helped to facilitate the fastest ever distribution under the Special Administration regime, with the first distribution for over 12,000 clients taking place in only seven months.

Over 98% of client assets and 99.8% of client money by value were returned to investors. The CEO of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme described the outcome as “a tremendous achievement, thanks to the continuing collaborative approach by both organisations (PwC and FSCS) to ensure that the majority of clients are now back on track.”

Claims management expertise

As Scheme Administrators, we are driven by our purpose and strive to do the right thing for Chester Street and its Creditors. Ensuring a continued delivery of high service and retaining the trust we have built up over the last 20 years, providing a market leading service to all Creditors, including the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Following challenges with the incumbent run-off provider, as a result of COVID, and driven by our ambition to transform the project and increase service delivery standards, we established an in-house claims management service with a ready made expert claims team who now manage the claims activity.

The transition has gone exceptionally well and a Creditors’ Committee member remarked that “The early PwC analysis and subsequent novel strategic approach to bring the claims handling in house was not without risk, but the potential pitfalls have all been addressed and the Committee left in no doubt that this was the correct and least risky approach from the Creditors’ perspective. Accordingly, the PwC team are to be congratulated for their insight, implementation and successful delivery of this difficult project.”

Delivering great outcomes

An overseas corporate identified a £250m portfolio of reserves relating to legacy business in their UK Branch that they decided to exit utilising a reinsurance arrangement, followed by an insurance business transfer.

We worked with their local and head office teams to develop a transaction rationale, which assessed the type of covers available and the different markets which could provide those covers. We examined the economics of completing the transaction, as well as key documentation explaining the transaction requirements, cover requirements, details of the reserves and any inherent risks and opportunities in the transaction.

After receiving multiple quotations we were able to achieve an increase in the security provided by the counterparty and a very significant reduction in the premium against their provision.

Efficient wind-down across multiple countries

Elite Insurance wrote general insurance business, primarily through intermediaries, including motor, general liability, professional indemnity, warranty, legal expenses (including after-the-event), construction defect policies and surety bonds across many markets in Europe.

Elite’s reinsurer entered liquidation and this matter, together with continued reserve deterioration experienced in a number of business lines as well as issues with the collection of some of the assets base, led to the Elite becoming balance sheet insolvent and being placed in Administration.

Elite is a complex, multi jurisdictional insolvency and it is relatively early in the Administration. We are working vigorously to pursue asset and other recoveries, ensuring policyholder claims are dealt with appropriately, and paid by relevant compensation schemes, and reviewing the major books of business to implement strategies that will benefit creditors as a whole.

Complex liabilities solution

The largest UK non-bank lender faced financial uncertainty because of claims against it, as well as operational challenges that took up significant, valuable management time. PwC advised on a Scheme of Arrangement to bring finality to the volume of complaints. The scheme enabled the company to enter a managed wind-down of its business and its customers to obtain a better outcome than the alternative if the business had entered insolvency. This scheme was designed and promoted during the first half of 2021 and was successfully implemented following sanction by the High Court. PwC advised on scheme design, communications, scheme meeting arrangements and voting, provided data analytics and digital support to develop an automated claims assessment tool, developed a claims portal for customers to lodge claims and communicate with the company about the progress of their claims.

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Contact us

Dan Schwarzmann

Dan Schwarzmann

Head of Market Initiatives and Non-Executive Director Programme Chair, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7778 211066

Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward

Liability Restructuring Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7902 792216