The Ardonagh Group has today revealed its agreement to acquire the insurance operations of BGC Partners, Inc. for a cash consideration of $500 million (approx. £353.33 million). The group intends to house the entities within the Ardonagh Specialty segment, which is currently comprised of Price Forbes, Bishopsgate and Compass London Markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, Ardonagh will acquire 100% of Ed Broking Group and Besso Insurance (collectively now grouped under the Corant Global brand), comprising global wholesale and specialty (re)insurance broker Ed, Lloyd’s broker Besso, aviation specialist Piiq Risk Partners, German marine broker Junge, UK based MGA Globe Underwriting, Australian MGA Epsilon Underwriting and European MGA Cooper Gay.
Around 900 people currently work across each of these insurance brands, which contributed approximately $191 million (approx. £134.97 million) in revenue during the 12 months ending March 31, 2021.
Ardonagh intends to fund the acquisition via a combination of equity and debt.
Commenting on the announcement, Ardonagh CEO David Ross said the group was delighted to welcome each of BGC’s insurance brokerage businesses to its Ardonagh Specialty platform. This offers a “compelling shake-up” of the global wholesale landscape, he said, and brings together two of the last remaining independent outfits of scale to create the largest privately-owned specialty broker in London. This, he said, safeguards choice for both clients and employees.
“A backdrop of unprecedented levels of consolidation has created a vacuum in the market,” Ross stated, “a space from which the BGC and Ardonagh businesses will emerge together as a preeminent force, restoring balance and cultivating a preferred destination for top-performing talent.”
Meanwhile, CEO of Ardonagh Specialty, James Masterton, said that this was a complementary acquisition, aligning and accelerating the company’s ambitions in the global specialty arena. He highlighted that the specialist broking and underwriting teams within the BGC operations are highly respected in their fields, with market-leading progress in digitisation that matches Ardonagh’s.
“We know that clients are looking for more innovation,” he said, “for both product and capacity delivery, and our joined-up efforts in this space will ensure we remain competitive.”
Steve Hearn, CEO of BGC Insurance, said it was exciting to announce the sale of BGC’s insurance operations to The Ardonagh Group and it was thanks to the efforts of colleagues and under the parentage of BGC, that the business had seen a tremendous period of growth. The plan, he said, is for that upward trajectory to continue.
Andrew Wallin, president of BGC Insurance, added: “Becoming part of The Ardonagh Group marks the start of a new and exciting chapter for us all. We are joining an organisation that has scale, a track record of success in our industry and a shared vision to empower our broking and underwriting businesses.”