House insurance, car insurance — now there’s panda insurance too.
Last month Zoo Atlanta took out a policy on their quartet of fuzzy bears: mom and pop pandas Lun Lun and Yang Yang and their twins, Mei Huan and Mei Lun.
The policy, with San Francisco insurer Edgewood Partners Insurance Center (EPIC), protects against theft and loss in Atlanta and during transit between the U.S. and China.
Private equity underwriters (PEU) tout their strategic, long-term thinking. Did Mr. Rubenstein fund panda fertility in order to create demand for an innovative product, panda insurance? Here's a timeline:
December 19, 2011 - Rubenstein donated $4.5 million to National Zoo panda program
November 14, 2013 - Carlyle announced investment in leading insurance broker EPIC
January 9, 2014 - Carlyle added Atlanta's McCart Group to EPIC creating a national insurance broker
March 11, 2015 - EPIC issued a press release on its new product offering
EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants announced that it has added Panda Mortality and Transit Insurance to a growing list of specialty risk management products and consulting services that the national firm provides.
Carlyle's insurance footprint is intended to be national:
Since The Carlyle Group became the firm’s major investment partner in December 2013, EPIC has completed six strategic acquisitions/purchases, adding nearly 300 employees in 12 new locations across the United States.
That's strategic, long term thinking for an insurance firm announcing Panda-Monium. Think of how far the PEU mind can take this. Does the policy provide for replacement pandas? Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein has inside connections for new baby pandas.
Going one step further, pandas work for free. They have little interest in sex, thus pandas can focus on job tasks. They have no wages, health insurance or pensions. They eat healthy and don't smoke or drink alcohol. That's the kind of employee PEUs love. How far can Carlyle take its panda profit center?