Giles Insurance Brokers bags three in ambitious acquisition drive
Ambitious broker Giles Insurance Brokers has made the first three acquisitions following the massive £500 million private equity investment in the company. Birmingham-based Midland Risk Management, Robinson Leslie of Chester and DS Howell of Tonyrefail in Wales have all been snapped up as Giles’ steps up its regional acquisition programme.
Midland Risk Management was founded in the Acocks Green area of Birmingham in 1983 by partners Mike Le Resche and Gary Carroll. The two founders were later joined by Peter Jones and all three senior partners are taking key roles within Giles following the acquisition of the business. Midland Risk Management currently commands around £5 million in premium income and has a total of 12 members of staff.
Giles has also strengthened its presence in Chester following its purchase of commercial lines specialist broker Robinson Leslie. The business was formed in 1982 and commands over £7 million in premium income, with a specialism in fleet and motor trade lines. Current MD of Robinson Leslie, Andy Piggott will become Giles’ Chester branch manager following the acquisition.
The acquisition of DS Howell comes hot on the heels of the purchase of fellow Welsh broker Hedges & Rose in November last year.
DS Howell has around £6 million in premium income from a broad spread of SME trades and personal lines income. Current owners Keith Buckley and Peter Hicks acquired the business via a management buy-out in 2002 and have developed DS Howell from a family business to a progressive company focused on growth, supported by a 17-strong team. Both will remain as employees of Giles following the deal.
Chris Giles, Chief Executive of Giles Insurance Brokers said: "The significant investment made in Giles by our private equity partners Charterhouse has given us the means to realise the company’s potential and really escalate our acquisition drive. We have a track record of buying regional businesses and growing them and we see the purchase of DS Howell, Midland Risk Management and Robinson Leslie very much following this trend.
“For example, Wales is very much a target market for us. Following our purchase of Hedges & Rose last year, we estimate the integration of DS Howell will make Giles the fourth largest broker in the local market – from a position of nowhere six months ago." Midland Risk Management, Robinson Leslie and DS Howell are all natural fits with Giles - they have built solid businesses in their regions and we believe their expertise in their areas will add genuine and ongoing value to Giles. “The teams at all three businesses will remain intact and we have ambitions to grow the staff numbers in each location once they become fully integrated under the Giles umbrella.
"We are currently in negotiations with a number of other potential acquisition targets and expect to be in a position to confirm further additions to the Giles group in the near future."
Leading independent broker Giles Insurance Brokers was recently acquired by private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners. Charterhouse and Bank of Scotland Corporate have provided Giles with £500 million of funding in order to accelerate Giles’ consolidation of smaller commercial brokers across the UK. Giles is one of the UK’s fastest growing commercial insurance brokers and Charterhouse’s backing will allow the company to escalate its acquisition strategy and build a business with £1 billion of Gross Written Premium.