Steadfast Group, the largest general insurance broking network and the largest underwriting agency group in Australasia, has become a major shareholder in unisonSteadfast, the largest global network of independent insurance brokers.
This strategic move, in which Steadfast Group increased its shareholding in unisonSteadfast to a majority stake of 60%, marks a significant evolution in the partnership of the broking networks and solidifies their commitment to growing the global distribution platform for their network brokers.
Both networks are already significant in scale and geographic reach. Steadfast Group provides services to broker businesses across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and London. In 2020, Steadfast Network brokers and underwriting agencies generated billings of more than AU$10 billion. Meanwhile, unisonSteadfast, which is based in Hamburg, Germany and Chicago, USA, has network brokers in over 140 countries, generating US$30 billion of gross written premium.
“The focal point of the future strategy will be making unisonSteadfast stronger and putting it into a position to grow into the future,” said Robert Kelly (pictured), Steadfast managing director & CEO. “We will start this by rolling out our risk management tools worldwide, our London market opportunities, and ultimately our bespoke software solutions.”
Following the transaction, unisonSteadfast chairman Joerg Hofmann, representing AdVertum AG Versicherungsmakler, has resigned from the board in his function as chairman of the supervisory board and will continue to participate in unisonSteadfast with a minority share of 0.5%. He released a statement saying that his decision to transfer the complete stake to Steadfast was a difficult one for him as founding shareholder of the company, but that he believes this decision was necessary to secure the future of unisonSteadfast with Steadfast Group.
Heinrich Eder, former managing director of Munich Re Australia, has been named the new independent chairman of the Supervisory Board, with Robert Kelly the new deputy chairman. Steadfast Group now holds three seats on the board, while two seats remain with the German brokerages RVM and NW Assekuranz. Wolfgang Mercier, founder & CEO of unisonSteadfast, who also sold down some of his shareholding, will continue to lead the organisation.
“The current development in the international insurance market marked by massive consolidation, high demands on digitalization, significant price changes and low capacities call for a strong and professional positioning for mid-sized insurance brokers,” Mercier commented. “With Steadfast Group now having the majority stake, we’re excited to provide our member brokers with full access to the expertise and resources of Steadfast – both internationally and in the local markets.”