Grahame “Chily” Chilton has confirmed he will shortly return to Capsicum Re, the London-headquartered reinsurance intermediary that he founded in 2013.

The news comes three years after he agreed to manage AJ Gallagher’s leaderless UK-based broker Gallagher International following the defection of its management team to UK intermediary Towergate, which now trades as Ardonagh Group.

Earlier this week it was announced that Chilton would step down as CEO of AJ Gallagher’s UK arm to be replaced by Simon Matson, the former Aon broker who has built AJ Gallagher’s London wholesaler, Alesco.

Capsicum Re - like TigerRisk - has demonstrated the ability to create a reinsurance intermediary from scratch in spite of an uptick in broker consolidation and an increased emphasis on analytics that has emerged in the past decade.

Chilton’s move comes ahead of a 12-month window opening in December that gives AJ Gallagher an option to acquire Capsicum Re.

Although it is under no obligation to do so, most observers expect AJ Gallagher to consolidate the business, of which it currently owns 20 percent.

If so, it will be the second time the US broking group has established a reinsurance arm after an ill-fated attempt following the 2005 defection of a number of executives from Benfield, the reinsurance intermediary that was led by Chilton until it was sold to Aon in 2008.

If AJ Gallagher does acquire the remaining 80 percent of Capsicum Re then it will also reward the brokers who have joined the reinsurance intermediary since its foundation. Capsicum Re follows a private equity model with nine different LLPs structured around specific teams and each led by a managing partner.

Capsicum Re CEO Rupert Swallow said the firm “is on our way to becoming a top-five global reinsurance broker”.

Swallow continued: “The whole Capsicum Re team is looking forward to welcoming Chily back and benefiting from his expertise and experience as both a sales leader and the relationship manager of our joint venture with Gallagher.”

Chilton added: “Rupert and the whole Capsicum Re team have done a stellar job taking the business forward to become one of the market’s leading reinsurance brokers in just five years”.