Giles enhances presence in Black Country
Independent broker Giles Insurance Brokers has expanded its reach in the Midlands after acquiring Dudley-based broker Lester Bashford & Webb.
The purchase of Lester Bashford & Webb comes hot on the heels of other Giles acquisitions in Scotland and Wales and means Giles now commands around £200 million in premium income.
Established in 1987, Lester Bashford & Webb is a successful community broker, which handles around £9 million in premium income, and employs 20 staff.
The acquisition of Lester Bashford & Webb gives Giles the ideal platform upon which to consolidate its position in the West Midlands.
Chris Giles, Chief Executive of Giles Insurance Brokers, said: “Lester Bashford & Webb are a well-established and respected broker in Dudley and we are sure the business will prove an excellent fit with our existing successful operation in Halesowen.
“This latest acquisition pushes Giles towards the £200 million in premium income mark, which cements our position as one of the leading independent brokers in the UK.
Sean Finnegan, Managing Director for the Giles Central Region commented: “The Birmingham and the West Midlands region is crucial to our expansion plans.
“This is just the first of a number of deals we are looking to do in the region, as we look to build on our existing presence in this very important market.
“We have a number of further acquisitions in the pipeline in the area and expect to do at least one more before the turn of the year.”
Two of the principals in the company – Tony Webb and Doug Bashford – will become directors at Giles, while the third, Roy Lester, will be retiring from the business.
Doug Bashford said: “We are delighted to be joining forces with such a major player as Giles.
“Teaming up with Giles will benefit our clients as it will allow us to pass on the economies of scale which come from being part of such a large group.
“We look forward to playing our part in helping the business grow in Dudley and throughout the West Midlands.”
The acquisition of Lester Bashford & Webb comes a matter of days after Giles purchased leading Welsh broker Hedges & Rose.
Giles’ ambitious acquisition programme stepped up a gear in October with the purchase of Scottish broker Crosbie & Jack.
Family-run Crosbie & Jack was established 40 years ago and controls approximately £20 million in premium income. Giles has also recently signed a deal which has seen a major investment in the business by Norwich Union and Gresham, the UK mid market private equity specialist. The company has also secured further funding from the Clydesdale Bank which will be used to fund further acquisitions in the coming year.