Rapidly growing Acrisure acquires Sutton Winson & Sutton Specialist Risks

New leadership promotions announced

Rapidly growing Acrisure acquires Sutton Winson & Sutton Specialist Risks

Mergers & Acquisitions

By Roxanne Libatique

Acrisure, a rapidly growing fintech that operates a top 10 global insurance broker, has swooped for UK-based insurance brokers Sutton Winson & Sutton Specialist Risks (SSR).

Sutton Winson, founded in 1955, is a commercial SME and specialist personal lines insurance broker and professional risk advisory business, with offices in Middlesex and West Sussex. It specialises in defined sectors and trades and offers bespoke insurance solutions and risk management services to clients across the UK and internationally.

SSR, formed in 1989, provides niche expertise and wholesale insurance products for clients security and fire protection industries. Since its establishment, it has maintained an exclusive relationship with QBE Insurance Group (QBE), enabling the firm to consistently meet the needs of high-risk industries.

The deal, expected to close soon and awaits FCA regulatory approvals, will see Sutton Winson and SSR continue operating under their brands as part of Acrisure. The existing management teams will also continue to run the businesses, with additional leadership promotions:

  • Gary Uren, who has been with SSR since its establishment in 1989, will take over the managing director role from John Ludley, who will remain at SSR as executive chair; and
  • Gareth Roberts, who joined Sutton Winson in 2018, will take over the managing director role from David Thomson, who will remain at Sutton Winson as executive chair.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ludley said: “Our independence has always been hugely important to us, and that is why we have chosen to partner with Acrisure. Over the last two decades or more, we’ve had countless approaches from a vast range of potential acquirers. All past approaches were rebuffed as we’ve simply never encountered another business that would allow us to make ourselves even better than we already are. That was the case until we met Acrisure.”

Thomson added: “Our management teams and shareholders were very clear that most of the consolidators were never an option for us. Acrisure’s model is the antithesis of the global brokers and consolidators; they are 73% management owned. This is a long-term business that was deliberately created to operate very differently. Businesses join Acrisure because of its culture and the opportunity to grow by leveraging its human and tech capabilities.”

In 2022, Acrisure has completed or has under a letter of intent more than 120 acquisitions, most recently CRK Commercial Insurance Services Limited (CRK). The rapidly growing fintech will make further announcements of new UK acquisitions and partnerships soon.

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