New York-based insurance broker NFP has moved to double the amount of business being written by its fledgling Irish operation by acquiring ReSure Corporate Brokers in Dublin for an undisclosed sum.
NFP, which is backed by US private equity firms Madison Dearborn and HPS Investment Partners, entered the Irish market in 2020 through the purchase of HMP Insurance and Pension Advisors and followed up last year with the purchase of Aiken Insurance.
The purchase of ReSure, which was itself only established two years ago, will almost double the Irish operation’s annual gross written premiums, based off 2021 figures, to €50 million, according to a spokesman for NFP.
He added that NFP is also exploring “further potential acquisitions”, as consolidation of the sector in the Irish market has ramped up in recent times.
ReSure's directors Aidan Brady, Ross Barron and Garry Fitzroy, who each previously worked with global broker Lockton's Irish operation, and its 11 other employees will continue in their roles.
ReSure’s business to date has focused on complex insurance risk placements in industries such as recycling, real estate, construction, corporate restructuring, domiciliary homecare and financial lines.
It is currently on track to see its gross written premiums rise to €30 million in 2022 from €24 million last year, according to the statement.
News of the deal comes days after Kerry-based Gallivan Murphy Insurance Brokers said it had agreed to be bought by a private equity-backed US insurance broking group, called Assured Partners, in a deal believed to be worth more than €100 million.
Flurry of deals
The wider Irish market has seen a flurry of broker deals in the past five 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. Assured Partners is controlled by GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity company.
The attraction for financial investors lies in the fact that insurance broking is a fee-based business that delivers steady revenues through the economic cycle, and strong cash flows that allow buyers to service the debt needed to finance further deals.
The most active dealmaker in recent times has been Arachas, whose name is Irish for insurance. Arachas was itself acquired in 2020 by Ardonagh, a UK brokerage group that, like NFP, is backed by Madison Dearborn and HPS.