Insurance DataLab reveals which UK-based MGAs are ‘setting themselves up for a bright future’ with robust financial results

MGAs continue to be a driving force behind the UK general insurance (UKGI) market, often excelling when it comes to broker service levels and offering specialist products. But how are MGAs faring when it comes to financial performance?

The latest research from market intelligence firm Insurance DataLab has analysed the financial results of 41 MGAs across three pillars of performance – profitability, growth and productivity.

The Insurance DataLab MGA Performance Report 2024, published in July 2024, found that overall performance across the included MGAs fell slightly to an average of 52.7% – down 0.8 percentage points on last year’s 53.5% rating.

However, this is still higher than both 2022 and 2021, when the average rating stood at 50.9% and 50.0% respectively.

This year’s average score was buoyed by an improvement in the productivity rating, which grew by 0.6 percentage points over the last 12 months to 55.4%.

A notable driver of this uptick was an increase in the average turnover per employee, which grew by 2.4% in the last year to more than £164,000.

An increase of more than 25% in the prior reporting year means that average turnover per employee has increased from less than £132,000 just two years ago. The fact that the MGA sector continues to report improved productivity in a positive sign for the future.

Meanwhile, staff costs have remained steady relative to turnover. The MGAs in this year’s tranche of businesses reported staff costs as a percentage to turnover of 41% for 2024, up slightly compared to 2022 when the figure stood at 40%.

But it is growth that has remained MGAs’ greatest strength after the market reported an average rating of 55.5%, according to Insurance DataLab’s findings.

While this represents a 0.2 percentage point decrease on 2023, it is still some 4.9 percentage points higher than the 50.6% average for 2022.

This improvement was driven by an 8.5% increase in aggregate revenues over the past 12 months to almost £855m, which followed a 25% jump in revenues for the same group of companies the previous year.

This strong performance was, however, offset by a drop in operating profit to almost £51m – down nearly 40% on the previous year’s £84m for this same cohort of companies.

This fall in operating profit has also affected MGAs’ average three-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) margin, which fell to just 0.1% in 2024 as long-term profitability took a hit.

It is worth noting, however, that this score is skewed by a few large losses over the reporting period that have pulled down the market average.

Indeed, of the 41 MGAs analysed by Insurance DataLab, more than 80% reported a profitable three-year aggregate ebitda.

The aggregate ebitda position, which reduces the impact of outlying figures, resulted in a three-year aggregate ebitda margin of 11.4% – although a lack of historical data for certain companies means a comparison with previous years is not possible.

Ahead of the pack

As well as analysing the performance of MGAs across the market, Insurance DataLab has also rated the performance of individual firms, with top performers awarded an Insurance DataLab gold award.

Volante International has secured the top spot in the ratings once again, receiving an overall score of 75% for 2024.

This marks the third year running that the MGA has picked up a gold award – it ranked third in 2022 with a score of 68% before finishing top of the pile last year with 88%.

While the MGA’s latest score represents a 13 percentage point decrease on last year’s results, it is still some 23 percentage points ahead of the market average.

Volante International is joined on the list of top performers by Euclid Transactional UK (72%), MPR Underwriting (71%), Castel Underwriting Agencies (68%), Sutton Specialist Risks (66%) and Optio Underwriting (66%).

Volante International’s performance was fuelled by a market-leading profitability rating of 95% after the MGA reported a three-year aggregate ebitda margin of 62%.

This is some 12 percentage points ahead of the second best margin – the 50% reported by fellow gold award winner MPR Underwriting – as well as a four percentage point increase on the previous year, when Volante International achieved a three-year aggregate ebitda margin of 58%.

The MGA was also rated highly for productivity, with a 91% rating – some 36 percentage points above the market average.

This comes after Volante International reported average turnover per employee of more than £867,000. The MGA also reported staff costs equal to just 19% of turnover – less than half the market average.

Despite this strong performance, both metrics are down on the previous year, which has resulted in a three percentage point decrease in the MGA’s productivity rating over the last 12 months.

But Volante International’s overall score was dampened by a lower than average growth rating of 46% – down from 82% last year – after revenues fell by 11% to £20.8m. Operating profits have improved, however, growing by 4% in the latest reporting period to £14.7m.

Ratings by revenue band: 2022 - 2024


















Going for gold

The second ranked MGA for 2024 is another serial gold award winner. Euclid Transactional UK has scored highly in Insurance DataLab’s report for the past two years. For 2024, it recorded a rating of 72%.

While this is a one percentage point deterioration on the 73% achieved last year, it is a marked improvement on 2022, when the MGA received a score of 54%.

The MGA received its highest rating for productivity (93%), which was up two percentage points on the previous year after it reported turnover per employee of more than £1.8m.

Staff costs as a percentage of turnover, meanwhile, stood at 15% as the MGA continued to report high productivity results – a trait that has persisted since Insurance DataLab launched this research back in 2021.

Euclid Transactional UK also reported strong growth metrics, receiving a growth rating of 80% for 2024 as its revenues grew significantly to almost £53m, while operating profits more than trebled to £12.5m.

The M&A insurance specialist benefited from an increase in M&A activity over the reporting period, as well as its own acquisition of Incepty in May 2022, which secured “underwriting software owned by the target company”.

MPR Underwriting rounds off the top three for 2024 with a rating of 71%, which also earned it the accolade of the best performing small broker in this analysis – some 22 percentage points ahead of the small broker average.

Similarly to Volante International, this marks the third year running that MPR Underwriting has won an Insurance DataLab gold award – including a first place finish in 2022 with a score of 76%.

MPR Underwriting’s score was buoyed by a strong performance under the profitability metric, with a score of 85%. This represents a three percentage point improvement on last year after the MGA reported a three-year aggregate ebitda margin of 50% – the second highest in this analysis.

Castel Underwriting Agencies secured its first gold award this year with a score of 68% – an eight percentage point increase on the previous year’s score of 60%.

The MGA’s performance was underpinned by a 70% productivity rating after it reported turnover per employee of almost £350,000 – up from around £305,000 a year earlier.

The best performing medium-sized MGA, meanwhile, was Sutton Specialist Risks (66%) – the MGA picked up its first Insurance DataLab gold award for 2024.

Its result for this year marked a two percentage point improvement on the previous year, driven by a jump in the MGA’s growth rating to 71% – up from 62% after a 58% increase in revenues to £9.5m and a 12% increase in operating profit.

The final gold award winner of 2024 is Optio Underwriting with a score of 66%. This is the first time the MGA has received a gold award after receiving a score of 54% in 2023 and 53% in 2022.

Like many of the other award winners, Optio Underwriting reported strong productivity metrics to receive a rating of 94%, up from 90% last year. The MGA’s performance was boosted by an average turnover per employee of more than £1.3m and staff costs equal to less than 12% of turnover.

Productivity focus

It should be no surprise that so many gold award winners fared well in terms of productivity, with this measure being one of the main metrics for signalling a firm’s future success.

Insurance DataLab co-founder Dan King said: “It is fantastic to see so many of our award winners performing highly for productivity, as well as the wider MGA market.

“The average rating continues to improve, which is testament to a commitment to efficiency and continued investment in technology – an essential foundation for the modern MGA.

“High levels of productivity are essential for long-term success. We firmly believe that by focusing on further improvements in this area, the UK’s MGAs are setting themselves up for a bright future.”

Table of winners

Volante International


Euclid Transactional UK


MPR Underwriting


Castel Underwriting Agencies


Sutton Specialist Risks


Optio Underwriting