Miles Smith Insurance Group, which was snapped up by London-based private equity and credit manager Pollen Street Capital in February, is about to be merged with two new acquisitions.
Subject to regulatory approval, Pollen Street’s investment company Specialist Risk Investments Limited (SRIL) is making the swoop for the entire share capital of independent Lloyd’s broker The Underwriting Exchange (TUE) and its sister company LIME (London Ireland Market Exchange).
Combining the two intermediaries with UK-focused specialist SME insurance broker Miles Smith will result in an entity which controls premium in excess of £300 million. Meanwhile SRIL, which was established to make acquisitions in the European SME broking sector, will continue to explore further complimentary deals.
“The Underwriting Exchange and LIME have grown rapidly in recent years to become market leaders in the broking of specialist risk in the Irish market,” noted Pollen Street partner Ian Gascoigne.
“We have been impressed by the high regard with which customers and insurers hold the businesses and are delighted to have the opportunity to back employees and management of the business through its exciting next phase of growth.”
Stephen O’Connor and Adrian Butler, founders of the acquired firms, not only will remain major investors but also continue the day-to-day management of TUE and LIME. In addition, they will be part of the SRIL board.
“We are delighted to be joining the Specialist Risk Investments group,” commented the two in a joint statement. “We are proud to have built The Underwriting Exchange and LIME into recognised leaders in Irish broking SME and wish to thank our employees for their hard work in getting the companies to where they are today.
“We believe that the new investment from Pollen Street Capital will offer exciting opportunities to expand The Underwriting Exchange into new products and markets, and that Specialist Risk Investments is well-placed to benefit from trends in the industry.”
Meanwhile Miles Smith chief executive Paul Chainey described the transaction as a wonderful opportunity for the group.
“The growth culture of both companies will only enhance our brand reputations in both of our respective markets,” said Chainey. “Having known Stephen and Adrian for a number of years I look forward to working closely with them in developing new products and markets for the benefit of our clients.”