Arachas promotes Joey Wynne to CEO role

Move comes as current boss moves to new position at Ardonagh

Arachas Corporate Brokers, one of the largest insurance brokers in the State, said on Wednesday that it was promoting its deputy chief executive, Joey Wynne, from January to the role of chief executive as the current head of the business takes on new position at the company’s parent, Ardonagh.

Mr Wynne joined Arachas in 2019 with its purchase of Murray & Spelman – a year before that acquisitive Irish company was taken over by UK-based Ardonagh, led by Mullingar native David Ross, for €250 million.

Conor Brennan, who has led Arachas since 2018, is set to become executive chairman of Ardonagh’s international portfolio, which brings together the group’s Europe and global partners units. He had been heading up the European division under a dual chief executive role for the past two years.

He will be joined by Des O’Connor, previously chief executive of Ardonagh global partners, as chief investment officer of the international division.


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Mr Brennan oversaw the successful sale and growth of Arachas from 200 to 700 employees over a five-year period, and will now work with Ardonagh’s in-country chief executives across Europe and the rest of the world.

Arachas, which is chaired by former minister for finance Charlie McCreevy, saw its net profit jump by 35 per cent last year to €30.9 million, as deal-making across the industry continued at pace. The company paid out €77.7 million in dividends in 2022 to holding companies within the wider corporate family, according to filings with the Companies Registration Office.

The wider Irish market has seen a flurry of broker deals in the past six years as it followed waves of consolidation in the UK and North America.

The ultimate backers of most of the purchasing vehicles are private equity firms, attracted to a sector that is fee-based and delivers steady revenues through the economic cycle. This allows buyers to service the debt needed to finance further deals.

Ardonagh is backed by US private equity firms Madison Dearborn and HPS Partners as well as the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

“Ardonagh had the foresight to invest in our business three years ago and they have seen how it has flourished and have now asked both Des and I to help grow the international footprint of the business in a similar fashion,” said Mr Brennan.

Ardonagh is one of the world’s largest independent insurance distribution platforms with a network of more than 200 locations with 10,000 people.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times