Clive Nathan appointed CEO of GRP’s MGA division
GRP are delighted to announce the appointment of Clive Nathan as the new CEO of the Group’s MGA division. He will join the business in April.
Clive will succeed Stephen Ross, who has overseen the rapid growth of the MGA business to its current £100m+ GWP. Stephen, COO of GRP, will concentrate on the Group’s M&A activity as GRP expands its UK footprint in both broking and underwriting.
Peter Cullum, chairman of GRP, said: “Clive brings a wealth of experience to the rapidly growing MGA division following his executive roles at both Towergate and Primary Group.”
He added: “Clive is joining the Group at a time when we are looking to expand significantly our MGA business with further acquisitions, hard on the heels of the investment in Camberford Law.”
Clive Nathan said: “I am delighted to be joining the group as it continues its exciting trajectory in the UK insurance market. Its MGA division comprises a number of highly regarded specialty businesses and I look forward to working with them and the executive team at GRP.”
Clive Nathan brief biography
Clive joins GRP from Primary Group, where he fulfilled a variety of senior roles including non-executive chairman of Rural Insurance and executive chairman of One Commercial.
Between 2006-2016 he was CEO of Towergate Underwriting, having joined the business in 2003 as a regional managing director.
Clive began his career in 1987 as a graduate entrant with Commercial Union, where he had a number of different roles. He joined AXA UK in 1999 as national broker director and was involved in the acquisition of GRE that resulted in him becoming regional director.
Clive is a past member of the CII Underwriting Faculty and was awarded Industry Achiever of The Year by Insurance Times magazine in 2012.
GRP acquires Camberford Law
Global Risk Partners Group (GRP) has acquired a majority stake in Camberford Law PLC, the Bromley-based specialist MGA. The terms of the acquisition, which has received regulatory approval, are undisclosed.
David Ottewill will be leaving the business and Simon Carter will assume his role as managing director. Paul Cooper (director) will remain for a short period to assist in the transition to GRP. The ongoing management team will have an equity stake in the business.
Stephen Ross, chief operating officer of GRP and the CEO of the Group’s MGA division, said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon Carter and his team to GRP.”
“Camberford Law is an excellent business, underwriting a portfolio of client-focused specialist and niche products on behalf of its longstanding panel of insurer partners.”
“With our support, Simon and the team will gain access to our UK regional retail footprint and further develop their own broker relationships. We fully expect to achieve rapid growth in the business.”
Camberford Law was founded in 1958 and its business comprises a range of SME and commercial schemes with specialist expertise in security, contractors, professional services and property.
The business, which has capacity from composite insurers and Lloyds, was appointed an accredited Lloyds broker in 2006 and has offices in the City of London. The business wrote £38m GWP last year.
Simon Carter, Camberford Law’s managing director, said: “Peter Cullum and the GRP team painted a compelling picture of the opportunity with GRP to accelerate our growth. We look forward to working with our fellow businesses within the GRP family and our supporting network of brokers to improve and broaden our product reach throughout the UK.”
Stephen Ross said that, following completion of its recent £200m capital facility, GRP will continue to focus on acquisitive growth, where “we have a strong pipeline, but we are also growing organically.”
“Our investment in Camberford Law illustrates our ambition to acquire businesses which can assist us in providing a wider set of specialist products to our UK customers.”
About Camberford Law
Camberford Law is dedicated to providing specialist insurance products and a highly professional and personal service. Our aim is to maintain long term relationships with our Brokers and Underwriters through integrity, professionalism, transparency and service. We want to become the “Partner of Choice” for intermediaries and to be recognised as a market leader for developing schemes for regional brokers.
GRP acquires majority stake in
Country & Commercial Insurance Brokers
Global Risk Partners Group (GRP) has acquired a majority interest in Country & Commercial Insurance Brokers Ltd (CCIB), a specialist agricultural brokerage based in Lancashire. The acquisition has been approved by the FCA and the consideration is undisclosed.
As part of the deal, GRP will also acquire CCIB’s oversight of the Federation of Agricultural Brokers (FAB), a UK-wide network of agricultural brokers.
CCIB was founded by Debbie Airey and Anne Pickover in 2007, and provides commercial and personal lines insurance, specialising in farm, farm fleet, haulage, D&O and environmental liability
Debbie and Anne founded FAB in 2014 after they identified an opportunity for independent agricultural insurance brokers to join together to improve their trading terms with large insurance companies. Since then the group has grown to 31 members.
Mike Bruce, GRP’s CEO Broking, said: “Debbie and Anne have built an excellent business in CCIB, and we look forward to assisting them as they embark on the next stage of the journey. They are a dynamic team and we are delighted that they are joining GRP, where we have high expectations of growth for both CCIB and the FAB network.”
“Debbie and Anne are just the sort of entrepreneurs GRP admires, and we are confident that, under their leadership, CCIB and FAB will continue to thrive and prosper in the agri-insurance sector post Brexit.”
Debbie Airey, managing director of CCIB, said: “Brexit will bring about huge changes in the farming sector, not least because of the potential reforms to the farm payments system, which require farmers to supplement their income by generating revenue from means other than traditional farming, for example leisure, specialist food production and other rural business activities.”
“It will be vital that they get advice from specialist brokers such as CCIB who understand their needs,” she added.
“As part of the GRP Group, CCIB will be able to extend the help and support we give our customers, so that they make the most of the new opportunities provided by change in the rural landscape.”
GRP acquires The County Group
Global Risk Partners Ltd (GRP), the specialist investment vehicle for brokers and MGAs, has acquired The County Group.
Crewe-based County Group becomes GRP’s second acquisition in 2018 and is the next major step in executing the Group’s UK regional hub strategy. The acquisition has received regulatory approval and the consideration is undisclosed.
Mike Bruce, GRP’s CEO Broking, hailed the deal as a strategically important addition to GRP’s portfolio of entrepreneurial businesses. “We are delighted to welcome Dave Clapp and his team to GRP. The County Group is a highly respected and well-known business and will play a key role in achieving our growth plans as GRP’s hub for the North West.”
He added: “This acquisition follows the funding round we completed before Christmas, and adds considerably to our breadth and depth in UK retail broking. Our 2018 pipeline remains very strong and we anticipate making further deals this year, building on the 12 deals we completed in 2017, including acquisitions through our regional hubs.”
The County Group is one of the UK’s top 25 independent brokers.* It was founded in 2003 by CEO Dave Clapp. The County Group has since grown both organically and through acquisitions, thanks to the Group’s focus on high quality people delivering a great service to its customers. It employs 278 people and won Insurance Broker of the Year at the BIA Awards last July.
The County Group writes SME and personal lines insurance and delivered GWP of £72M this year. Dave Clapp said the business, which continues to focus on a local service ethos, is now aiming to double in size during the next five years.
He said: “With the firepower now available from a business the size and scale of GRP we can accelerate our ambitious plans, something that was becoming more challenging with traditional funding routes.”
He added: “Having worked closely with Peter (Cullum) during the past three years, we are totally bought in to GRP’s strategy and their owner driver philosophy. We have seen how other businesses they have acquired have retained their independence and made significant strides forward as part of a bigger group, taking advantage of GRP’s support to deliver a powerful mix of organic and acquisitive growth.”
Peter Cullum CBE is Executive Chairman of both GRP and MVP. MVP provides funding for UK insurance brokers, including The County Group, who wish to release some of the capital from their business but continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis and stay in control.
MVP has been a minority investor in The County Group since 2014, and valuable links between MVP and GRP had already been established prior to this acquisition.
Dave Clapp added: “The County Group will continue with its strategy of purchasing, nurturing and developing great businesses, increasing our footprint and delivering a high quality service to our customers across the UK with the support of the Group’s panel of insurer partners.”
The current management team will stay with the business as it moves to new ownership.
Mr Cullum said: “Following a transformational year for GRP in 2017, we are marking the New Year with an important addition to the Group, building our GWP to well over £650m.
We have high expectations for The County Group as the centerpiece of our North West hub, and look forward to further rapid growth, bringing benefits to customers, employees and insurer partners alike.”
GRP hails ‘transformational year’
- GWP increases to £550m (2016: £400m)
- Run rate income of £76m (2016: £45m)
- Run rate EBITDA of operating entities £20.4m (2016: £12m), a 70% increase on 2016
- War chest of £200m earmarked for further acquisitions
- Twelve acquisitions in 2017
“This has been a transformational year for GRP, following twelve acquisitions since March. We have plenty of firepower for more deals after securing a £200m facility from Ares Capital Europe and HSBC, and our very strong pipeline means we remain on track to reach our £1bn GWP target.“ David Margrett, Chief Executive, GRP Ltd
Global Risk Partners Ltd (GRP), the specialist vehicle for acquiring brokers and MGAs, has joined the list of the top 20 largest brokers in the UK, following a stream of acquisitions in 2017.
Chief Executive David Margrett said the team had received strong financial backing to continue its buy and build strategy and the market should “fully expect more of the same from GRP next year, on our way to becoming a £1bn GWP business.”
Commenting on GRP’s performance during the past 12 months, Mr Margrett confirmed that “GRP’s core focus has been on building out our regional hub strategy.”
“Marshall Wooldridge (North), Higos (South West), Greens (South East) and more recently Alan & Thomas (South) were foundation acquisitions. With our support and capital, local management teams have wasted no time in adding new businesses to their regional portfolios.”
Mr Margrett said: “Business owners like our owner-driver philosophy, where, in our major hubs, we make sure the key individuals who produce business and hold the client relationships retain an equity stake in the company we acquire.”
“It means that experienced executives can focus specifically on business growth enhancing the service they provide their clients.”
He added that where acquired businesses held particular specialisms, GRP looks to cross-sell those specialisms throughout the group. “This process underscores our ambition to enhance our product proposition and improve outcomes for our customers.”
Turning to GRP’s London Market and MGA platforms, Mr Margrett said Lonmar and Ropner continued to show strong growth, both organically and through targeted recruitment.
GRP’s MGA segment continued to deliver a strong performance in 2017, with EBITDA more than doubling year on year. “Each of the businesses continues to grow in their respective marketplaces, based upon a service led proposition and providing specialist products to their broker panel and customer base.”
Mr Margrett added: “We retain our appetite to grow our MGA division through acquisition and recruitment, with our preferred targets having strong management teams, a specialist product range and robust underwriting performance.
GRP’s accounts to financial year-end 31 March 2017 report 141% growth in turnover to £41.2m (2016: £17.1m).
The accounting treatment of GRP’s financing costs, amortisation of goodwill and central finance and M&A costs relating to the Group’s acquisitions result in a pre-tax loss of £11.5m for the period (2016: £7.0m). In addition, a number of acquisitions were completed towards the end of the financial year and their impact is only partly included with the accounts as at 31 March 2017.
GRP secures new funding
Mr Margrett confirmed that Ares Capital Europe, the leading global alternative asset manager, has provided significant new funding in conjunction with HSBC as GRP’s banking partner. He said: “Our partnership with Ares gives GRP access to significant new capital which will be deployed to execute our ambitious growth strategy.”
The £200m funding is in addition to GRP’s equity capital, which is provided by private equity investor Penta Capital, chairman Peter Cullum and GRP management.
Peter Cullum, Chairman, said: “We have brought some quality businesses into GRP and delivered strong organic growth, reflected by our excellent results this year. The Ares funding illustrates great confidence in GRP’s highly experienced management by making capital available to accelerate the current strategy.”
“We remain fully focused on building a high quality portfolio of growth businesses and delivering value for customers, staff, insurer partners and investors.”
Global Risk Partners invests in Alan & Thomas Insurance Group
- Alan & Thomas will be GRP’s Southern Hub
- Alan & Thomas will continue to grow organically and through acquisitions
- The deal is GRP’s eighth transaction since March 2017
“Having considered all opportunities, GRP was the stand out solution for us as we seek to execute the next chapter in our journey. This is a great chance to build upon the strong foundations and legacy we have created over many years.”
Julian Boughton, CEO, Alan & Thomas
Global Risk Partners Ltd (GRP), the specialist investment vehicle for brokers and MGAs, has acquired a majority stake in Alan & Thomas Insurance Group (Alan & Thomas). The consideration is undisclosed.
Chartered Broker Alan & Thomas was founded in 1975 and writes circa £30m GWP annually. It specialises in insurance for businesses and HNW individuals. Specialist divisions include property owners, motor trade, agriculture and estates, aviation, transportation, construction, marine trades, high value personal lines, churches, charities, and private medical and employee benefits. All the current management team will stay with the business.
Mike Bruce, GRP’s CEO Broking, said Alan & Thomas, which employs 81 people and is headquartered in Poole, Dorset, will become the ‘Southern Hub’ for GRP. It has four other offices, Basingstoke, Dorchester, Gillingham and Frome.
“I am delighted to welcome Julian Boughton and his team to GRP. GRP now has complete coverage of the South of the UK following our acquisitions of Higos (South West) and Greens (South East). We now write close to £120m of GWP across this part of the UK and expect further rapid growth both organically and through further deals.”
He added: “GRP’s retail hub model will benefit customers by enabling them to benefit from further improvements in service and a broader set of propositions, in line with our overarching strategy that focuses on creating value for our customers, as well as our insurer partners and investors.”
Julian Boughton said: ”GRP ‘s entrepreneurial approach is refreshing. Their model plugs straight in to our 2020 vision and beyond and is a logical alignment for us as we go into the next decade of our development. The combination makes us a stronger business, which will benefit our customers, staff and suppliers.”
He added: “Partnering with GRP allows us to ‘fuel up’ as we seek to facilitate our growth plans. We have a selective pipeline of opportunities which we are looking to overlay with GRP’s intelligence, aims and objectives.”
Mike Bruce said: “We have accelerated our acquisition strategy during 2017, and it remains our priority to build distribution through our network of regional UK hubs. Alan & Thomas is a high quality business with a management that is fully-focused on value creation and I look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
About Alan & Thomas Insurance Group
Alan & Thomas are leading insurance specialists based in Southern England providing commercial insurance solutions and risk management services for businesses, organisations, charities and personal insurance for high net worth individuals. Originally founded in 1975, we have now firmly established ourselves as a Top 100 independent insurance broker in the UK.
GRP extends hub strategy to South East England by taking majority stake in Green Insurance Group
Global Risk Partners Ltd (GRP), the specialist investment vehicle for brokers and MGAs, has acquired a majority stake in Bexhill-based Green Insurance Group (Greens). The consideration is undisclosed.
The acquisition, which has been approved by the FCA, comes shortly after the completion of GRP’s acquisition of Higos in the South West in Q1 2017. Greens was founded in 1973 and writes both commercial and personal lines business. The management team, including Clive Galbraith (Chairman) and Duncan Coleman (MD) retain equity and will continue to run the business, which employs 80 people.
Mike Bruce, CEO Broking at GRP, said that Greens will become a key element in GRP’s UK hub strategy and the vehicle for GRP ambitious growth plans for the South East of England.
“After Higos (South West), ABL (Northern Ireland) and Marshall Wooldridge (North) our hub strategy for the UK is now taking shape. The acquisition of Greens gives us a strong platform in the South East and we look forward to supporting them to meet their ambition to double the size of the business during the next few years.”
Green’s Chairman Clive Galbraith said: “Greens has itself been an acquirer of brokers for over 20 years, having bought 25 other brokers, and we are now in a good position to deliver our pipeline and expand the footprint to cover most of the South East. This acquisition is a vote of confidence in our people and our strategy and we look forward to a successful future with GRP.”
Peter Cullum CBE, Chairman of GRP, added: “I am particularly pleased to welcome Green Insurance Group to GRP, and feel sure that they will add considerably to our overall broking proposition. Our acquisition focus remains firmly on building out our hub strategy and delivering long term value for our customers and our insurer partners.”
GRP announces completion of Higos acquisition
Higos announces first deal since GRP acquisition to acquire Courtenay Insurance Brokers
Global Risk Partners Ltd, the specialist investment vehicle for brokers and MGAs, is pleased to announce that the acquisition of Higos Insurance Services Ltd has been completed, following regulatory approval. This transaction was previously announced on 8 February 2017.
In a separate announcement, Higos has agreed to acquire Courtenay Insurance Services, a broker based in Bude, Cornwall. The acquisition sees Higos, which has over 20 branches throughout Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Devon and Hampshire, expand its footprint into Cornwall for the first time.
Ian Gosden, managing director of Higos, said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve Cowling, the owner of Courtenay, and his team, to Higos, where they will continue to run the business, and where they will be able to benefit from our support to further build their product and service offer for their personal and commercial clients.”
Gosden added: “Expanding into Cornwall has been a long-term ambition for Higos and we intend to continue to grow quickly, both organically and through acquisition, as we build a thriving hub in the South West, benefiting from GRP’s resources and firepower.”
Mike Bruce, CEO Broking at GRP, said: “Our acquisition of Higos is a growth story, and today’s news underscores our intention to help Ian Gosden build Higos’ reputation as the pre-eminent broker in the South West, with an acquisition strategy that enables owners to run their business but also create value from their life’s work.”
He added: “At the time, we said that Higos was a significant, high quality addition to our business and a key step forward in realising GRP’s UK retail hub strategy. The acquisition of Courtenay is the first of a number of local acquisitions which will complete during the coming months, and I warmly welcome Steve Cowling to our wider team.”
Global Risk Partners to acquire Higos Insurance Services
(8 February 2017) Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP), the specialist investment vehicle for brokers and MGAs, has agreed to acquire Higos Insurance Services Ltd (Higos), the leading commercial and personal lines insurance broker in the South West. The terms of the agreement are undisclosed.
Mike Bruce, CEO broking for GRP, said the acquisition “is a significant, high quality addition to our business and a key step forward in realising GRP’s UK retail hub strategy.”
He added: “There will be an immediate focus on accelerating Higos’ recent growth by completing a number of local acquisitions that have already been identified.”
“At our results announcement last November we made it clear that our priority is to build
distribution by growing our network of regional UK hubs. After Marshall Wooldridge in Leeds was acquired in September 2016, the acquisition of Higos ensures we are now well-placed to expand our presence in the South West, and I am delighted to welcome Ian and his team to GRP.”
Higos was founded by its managing director Ian Gosden in 1990 and serves the business community in the South West from over 20 locations. The company employs around 300 staff and handles in excess of £50m GWP. Bruce confirmed that Gosden and his existing management team will continue to lead the business.
Bruce said: “Under Ian’s leadership, Higos has become the pre-eminent broker in the South West. Its scale, commitment to local distribution and absolute focus on clients and the community makes it an ideal investment upon which to base our strategy in the region.” He added: “Higos has completed numerous acquisitions in recent years, and combining Ian’s local knowledge and market presence with GRP’s financial support will continue this success story.”
Ian Gosden, managing director of Higos said: “After 26 years of steering my own ship I am delighted for Higos to join forces with GRP, who are committed to supporting our core values of community broking and independent professional advice. With the support of GRP, and my senior management team, l am excited for the future and the increased opportunities we can now take advantage of.”
Peter Cullum CBE, chairman of GRP commented:
“Ian has built Higos to be the standout broker in the region and we look forward to working with him and his colleagues to accelerate its growth. This acquisition represents another key investment in our retail broking strategy and we expect to be announcing a number of further investments over the next few weeks, in line with our strategy of helping brokers who want to create value from their life’s work.”
“With the addition of Higos to the GRP group, our total premium is now in excess of £470m, well on the way to achieving our £1bn GWP target.”
Global Risk Partners opens new office in Newmarket
(22 September 2016) Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP) has opened a new GRP Retail branded commercial insurance broking office in Newmarket, Suffolk.
Managed by Mandy Turnbull and Anthony Gardiner, who were previously joint Branch Directors of Bluefin’s Newmarket branch, the new insurance broking team will provide clients with access to enhanced products and markets.
GRP plans to expand the existing Newmarket business and are currently recruiting additional staff to help them deliver their ambitious growth targets.
Mike Bruce, CEO Broking for GRP said: “We’re delighted to be launching a new GRP branded insurance broking office in Newmarket to add to our fast growing retail broking proposition.
GRP currently handles c £400m of insurance premium and offers an ideal, supportive environment for entrepreneurial businesses, teams and individuals who wish to grow as part of an independent, strongly capitalised, regulatory compliant intermediary business.”