Completing its acquisition of Alterra Capital Holdings, Markel Corporation (NYSE:MKL) now has about $23 billion in combined assets, and $6 billion in shareholder equity. 

In the company's press release, Markel's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Kirshner provided customers and investors a broader view of the deal: "The combination of Alterra with Markel will create a strong company in global specialty insurance and investments, with a demonstrated track record of underwriting discipline in niche market segments and proven asset management strengths that should benefit all our stakeholders."

Specifically, Markel is interested in Alterra's underwriting, claims, and support teams to help Markel expand its product offerings and geographic reach. To put it another way -- greater underwriting depth gives Markel a greater financial scale. 

On the heels of the completed acquisition, the company will add two new businesses:  Markel Global Insurance (large commercial accounts), and Markel Global Reinsurance. They will join Markel's exisiting Markel Specialty, Markel Wholesale, and Markel International units. 

As Markel and Alterra have worked on the integration plans for some time, Kirshner said that, moving forward, customers and investors should expect "scale enhanced, business as usual." In completing the deal, Markel and Alterra passed all regulatory hurdle, and both companies' shareholders voted in favor of the transaction.