Giles acquires £13 million premium income broker Kerwin Smith
Fast-growing consolidator Giles Insurance has successfully completed its fourth acquisition since its MBO in July 2006 by acquiring Wigan-based brokers Kerwin Smith & Co.
The acquisition further strengthens Giles’ position in the north-west of England and adds a business collecting £13 million in premium income to its 26-strong network across the UK.
Kerwin Smith & Co was founded in 1988 and is a specialist in providing insurance to the courier and fleet industries – which compliments Giles’ existing commercial motor expertise in the haulage sector in Scotland, the motor trade throughout the UK and minibuses in the south of England.
The thriving Wigan company has recently won an endorsement from distribution giant DHL to provide insurance cover to its fleet of over 2000 van drivers, which is set to provide a major boost to the business over the next 12 to 24 months.
The deal to acquire Kerwin Smith highlights Giles’ ambition to become one of the top independent brokers in the UK with a network of regional offices across the country.
Chris Giles, Chief Executive of Giles Insurance said: “This acquisition fits extremely well with our business plan which sees 50% of our business coming from our specialisms and 50% from high-quality local commercial business from the communities served by our 26 branches across the UK.
“Clearly, Kerwin Smith has significant expertise within the commercial motor sector and this will allow us to increase our commercial motor penetration around our branch network. It will also help us develop our strategy to place commercial motor business through our own Lloyds Broker.
”We anticipate this acquisition complementing our Manchester office, which is where our PFI and construction specialist team led by former Marsh director David Laughlin, and our corporate team, led by Eric Taylor, formerly of Griffiths and Armour, is based.
“The majority of Kerwin Smith’s business is with AXA and we are extremely keen to work with them to grow this account, which we believe has huge potential.”
Following its MBO last summer, Giles has embarked upon an ambitious growth programme and aims to double the size of its business in the next two years, targeting premiums of £300 million.
Giles is a Provisionally Accredited member of Lloyds of London and will be seeking to expand its presence in the London market through developing this relationship.
Giles has sector specialisms in the provision of commercial insurance cover for recruitment, leisure, construction, charities, professional indemnity, motor trade, life sciences and estate agents.
The company has also recently secured the services of Jim Faulds as Non-Executive Chairman. Founder of the Faulds Group and Chairman of Dunfermline Building society, Faulds has a track record of working with companies who have undergone successful MBOs.