A little over two weeks ago the Jensten Group (Jensten) announced its third deal in eight months and now it’s up to four as the group has acquired Wiltshire-based Advance Insurance Agencies (Advance) for an undisclosed sum. Advance, a specialist personal and commercial lines broker with 82 staff, has offices in Chippenham, Swindon, Westbury, and Trowbridge and currently handles £16 million gross written premium (GWP).
The acquisition is the next step in Jensten’s ambitious buy and build growth strategy which focuses on evolving its specialist capability. In addition to commercial lines activity, the deal brings Jensten experience in sourcing specialist motor product solutions for niche customers, working with price comparison websites and online and offline lead generation.
In a Press release, Jensten noted that Advance will form a ‘centre of excellence’ for specialist personal lines within the group, which will allow it to offer an expanded service to customers of its Coversure franchises and its broking operation.
The Advance brand will be retained and the broker’s business development manager Matt Jones will become MD, taking over day-to-day leadership from Clive Woods who will move into a consultancy role for a period of transition. Meanwhile, director Sam Woods is retiring.
Group CEO Alistair Hardie (pictured) noted that adding Advance to the group is not just about supporting the continued growth of this local broking business but it also allows Jensten to add new capabilities that will enhance its specialist insurance market appetite.
“Clive and Sam have built a fantastic business and their niche orientation fits neatly with our strategic direction,” he said. “I am excited about how we can take their lead generation expertise and apply it across our group to drive further organic growth in Jensten brokers and our Coversure franchise network.”
Meanwhile, Woods stated that Advance was drawn to Jensten by the pragmatic and efficient approach of the M&A team, their strong cultural similarities and their innovative approach to buying brokerages. He said he believes that clients, staff and business will thrive under Jensten’s ownership and that he is looking forward to working with the team to take Advance to the next level.
Jensten, which currently controls around £245 million GWP, has a publicly stated ambition to reach £500 million within the next three to five years. Hardie noted that the deal, its second this month, demonstrates the value of the alternative model and proposition the group offers UK brokers. Jensten is at an advanced stage to acquire a number of brokers over the coming months, he said and sees a clear appetite from brokers looking to find new investors and protect their legacy.