About Us

We are an advisory firm for the insurance industry covering Strategy, Digital, M&A and Risk.

Oxbow Partners was founded to provide the insurance industry with practical and effective advice harnessing our Partners’ decades of executive experience in the industry.

Our Partners advise some of the world’s leading insurers, brokers and industry associations, as well as many insurance technology start-ups.

Business leaders choose us because our deep understanding of the industry allows us to assess opportunities and threats more realistically than traditional external advisors.  Management value our experience as real-world executives to help them implement solutions.

What we do


Our strategy practice advises the senior management of insurers, brokers and other members of the general insurance value chain on a broad range of topics, harnessing our Partners’ broad range of executive and consulting experience.

For some specialist topics such as telematics and big data we work together with recognised industry experts to ensure that we consistently deliver market-leading advice.

Our Partners have extensive expertise of global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets as well as European and Asian personal lines and SME markets on both the broking and underwriting side.

Topics on which our Partners have advised include:

  • Growth and business turn-around
  • Operational optimisation, including target operating model design, performance measurement and incentives, cost and efficiency
  • Distribution
  • Underwriting effectiveness
  • Business structure, e.g. legacy portfolio strategy


Our Digital practice advises established insurance businesses on innovation and the use of the latest technology. Our advice takes clients through from opportunity to implementation. We focus on getting practical solutions into your customers’ hands at pace.

Our Partners are also active in advising technology start-ups on their insurance propositions, route to market and execution.

We have extensive experience and networks in the insurance, technology, and start-up space. This experience gives our clients the full spectrum of advice required to build and launch new digital propositions and businesses.

For established businesses our services include:

  • Market analysis and digital health check
  • Digital strategy
  • Piloting, measurement and execution

For start-ups our services include:

  • Market orientation
  • Partner access and negotiations
  • Piloting and execution


Our M&A practice supports clients on a range of activities, whether corporate M&A or bespoke insurance transactions. Our services span the full transaction lifecycle for both vendors and purchasers starting with transaction readiness and culminating in diligence processes and post-transaction work e.g. integration, separation, 100 day plans.

On the sell-side we support the transaction process for clients. We ensure our clients are optimally prepared for the transaction process, preparing materials and running the interface to our client’s corporate finance advisors, potential purchasers and their advisors. We have a strong network in the trade and private equity community and can make introductions to suitable purchasers of our clients’ businesses. On the buy-side we support strategic, operational and risk diligence processes.

Our clients recognise that the specialist support that Oxbow Partners brings to their situations can significantly raise the value of the deal.

Our Partners have deep experience of:

  • Company acquisitions and divestments
  • Business unit and client portfolio carve outs
  • Broker exits to private equity
  • Private equity acquisitions and financings
  • Insurance transactions such as ADCs, LPTs or Portfolio/Part 7 transfers


Our Risk practice supports clients to make risk management a true value contributor to their business. Our objective is to help clients create a value focused risk culture, improve the measurement of risk within their portfolio, enhance capital efficiency, leverage insightful data and enhance decision making.

Our clients value our deep knowledge and track record of successful risk management within the insurance industry, which assists in extracting real value from their risk frameworks.

Our Partners have deep, practical experience in:

  • Risk Governance
  • Risk, stress and scenario framework design
  • Risk culture and appetite definition, measurement and monitoring
  • Measurement of capital and related performance metrics through internal capital models, rating agency and regulatory formula based models
  • Capital and risk based performance and reporting
  • Understanding operational risk, creating process maps and measurement frameworks

Our Partners

Michael Steel

Prior to founding Oxbow Partners, Michael was Group Chief Risk Officer at AXIS Capital. Michael joined AXIS in 2008 from Benfield. During his 12 years at Benfield he founded and led the ReMetrics team, was Head of the Structured Products team and in the later years was also Head of Benfield Capital Markets.
Michael is currently the Chairman of the Geneva Association’s CRO Network. His consulting focus is enterprise risk management and economic capital modelling, strategy, transactions and business building. Areas of market specialism are reinsurance, specialty and corporate and Bermuda.



Chris Sandilands

Prior to founding Oxbow Partners, Chris was an independent consultant specialising in strategy and M&A for insurance companies and brokers. Most of Chris’s engagements were ExCo-level strategy projects and covered specialty and SME.  Chris worked in the UK, Continental Europe and Asia for both insurers and brokers. Prior to this, Chris was a Principal in Oliver Wyman’s insurance practice, which he left in 2012 in order to found executips.com, an online community for personal assistants. During his time at Oliver Wyman, Chris advised clients in the UK, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa on a variety of strategic themes and transactions.

Chris speaks fluent German and passable French and Russian. He has a first class degree from Oxford University and is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute.



Charles Burgess

Prior to founding Oxbow Partners, Charles was Global Head Distribution & Marketing for the Direct channel at Zurich Insurance. Charles joined Zurich in 2013 from DirectAsia.com, a greenfield insurance business he launched in 2010 and the first pan-Asian B2C-only insurer. Prior to moving to Asia, Charles spent 8 years at Benfield where he was a Director of Benfield Advisory, a leading advisor to the insurance sector for M&A, start-ups, securitisation and alternative capital. Charles is currently on the board of Unico Sigorta, the recent buy-out of Aviva’s GI business in Turkey. His consulting focus is distribution, innovation, strategy, transactions and business building.



Tony Strachan

Prior to founding Oxbow Partners Tony was Global COO of JLT Re having joined them with the acquisition of Towers Watson’s Insurance and Reinsurance broker. Tony initially joined Denis M Clayton as Finance Director and was heavily involved in the sale to Towers Perrin in 2002, the merger with Watson Wyatt in 2009 and eventual sale to JLT in 2013. He took over responsibility for the operations side of the business in 2002 following the acquisition by Towers Perrin. Prior to joining Denis M Clayton he was Finance Director and subsequently Managing director of Norex Insurance Brokers and orchestrated the sale to Lowndes Lambert. His consulting focus is Operational Strategy and Implementation, and M&A in the Broking sector.



Greg Brown

Prior to founding Oxbow Partners Greg was Head of Strategy and Propositions at Monitise, a fintech company. During this time he defined corporate strategy, set up an innovation-focused JV with a large bank and created client-led digital propositions. Prior to Monitise Greg was a consultant and part of the management team at The Foundation, a boutique consultancy, where he helped global companies such as M&S, VWFS, O2, Friends Life and HSBC with corporate strategy, proposition development, and operational strategy and design.
Greg started his career at Accenture as a technology consultant. Greg brings a cross-sector perspective, helping clients find new ways of tackling challenges by taking ideas from other organisations both within and outside of insurance. He has a first class masters from Oxford University in Engineering and Computing Science.




Oxbow Partners is growing. We are currently looking for individuals who have strong insurance industry experience or a background in a top-tier strategy consulting firm to join our team. If you want to be a part of a fast growing consultancy focused on practically tackling the major challenges facing the industry then get in touch at careers@oxbowpartners.co.uk.

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