AmWINS Group, Inc. Agrees in Principle to Acquire The American Equity Underwriters, Inc.

May 14, 2007

AmWINS Group, Inc., the nation’s largest and most diversified wholesale insurance broker, today announced it has agreed in principle to acquire The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU). Based in Mobile, Alabama, AEU is a national provider of insurance programs for maritime employers with a special expertise in United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation (USL&H) insurance. Through its subsidiary AEU Management, Ltd., AEU manages American Longshore Mutual Association, Ltd. (ALMA), a mutual insurance association based in Bermuda that is licensed by the United States Department of Labor to provide USL&H coverage to its members. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007.

“Bringing AEU into the AmWINS family makes tremendous sense to us,” said M. Steven DeCarlo, AmWINS Chief Executive Officer. “They are one of the largest underwriters of USL&H coverage in the country and have a broad client base across 30 states. AEU’s product expertise and commitment to customer service have gained them significant clout in the industry and exceptional customer retention. We see strong opportunities to broaden their distribution while at the same time introducing new capabilities to our existing retail customers.”

Mike Lapeyrouse, AEU’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Teaming up with AmWINS is a natural fit for us, our customers and our employees. Their decentralized operating strategy means there will be virtually no change to our existing operations. Through access to AmWINS’ national distribution channel and extensive product expertise, we will be able to provide our clients with a greater assortment of insurance products and services to satisfy their insurance needs. We are excited about this transaction and look forward to becoming a part of AmWINS Group.”

About American Equity Underwriters

AEU ( is one of the largest underwriters of USL&H in the country. The company is licensed in all states and serves as the program manager for Bermuda-based American Longshore Mutual Association, Ltd. AEU has over 50 employees in its three locations: Mobile, AL; New Orleans, LA; and Houston, TX.