The data collection for this year’s Insurance Times/IMAS Top 50 Brokers report is getting underway - the top spots are still to play for

By Content Director Saxon East


Saxon East

It’s that time of year again as we begin to assemble the data for our Insurance Times/IMAS Top 50 Brokers report. 

One to look out for is The Ardonagh Group versus Gallagher. Ardonagh chief executive David Ross and Gallagher boss Pat Gallagher are hardly the best of friends.

They had a bitter court battle over employee poaching in 2019, and another battle in 2015 over Ross and other Gallagher chiefs’ decision to quit the US broker for Towergate. 

Fuelled by private equity money, Ross is now breathing hard down the neck of his old master in our top 50 ranking.

The UK division of Gallagher posted a £725m brokerage last year, coming in fifth. This year it added Bollington to the business

Ardonagh trailed behind in seventh, with a £668m brokerage. But since then, Ross has pulled off a mega-deal to add BGC Partners’ insurance business to the broker’s portfolio - the $500m deal will add nearly $200m in revenue.

Battle lines

M&A specialist IMAS is soon to crunch the numbers, but it could be that Ross finally overtakes his old company in the UK. 

Ardonagh could also overtake Howden Group, another private equity-backed acquisitive broker. 

It appears that over the next few years, Ardonagh, Howden and Gallagher will be locked in a close battle on brokerage. 

Ardonagh made need to raise more debt to keep on acquiring, but don’t rule out this company’s abilities to raise funds.

Just when you think it might have peaked on brokerage, it keeps on growing. Towergate, Ardonagh and then whatever next - it just keeps on getting bigger. 

The Insurance Times/IMAS Top 50 Brokers 2021 will be online and available this autumn.