Aon’s Henderson acquisition would push Aon back up the Top 50 Brokers ranking

Aon has agreed to buy Leeds-based broker Henderson Insurance Broking Group in a move that could allow the broking giant regain some ground lost to rival Marsh in the UK SME broking space.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, ends years of speculation about who would buy Henderson – one of the largest remaining independent UK commercial brokers with revenue of  £34.5m for the year to 30 April 2017. Henderson ranked 38th in the 2017 Top 50 Brokers.

The Henderson acquisition would allow Aon to leapfrog Willis and move to fourth place from fifth in the 2017 Top 50 Brokers, giving a combined revenue of £755m. It would put Aon just behind Arthur J Gallagher.

The deal is expected to close in December.

Rival broker Marsh has made a big push in the UK SME broking space by buying Jelf and Bluefin in quick succession. These deals have made Marsh the biggest UK broker with revenue over £1bn, stealing a march on Aon.

Aon said the acquisition of Henderson supports its ambition to grow in the UK retail space by increasing its footprint in the mid-market and specialist sectors.

Henderson will become part of Aon Risk Solutions UK – the global broking giant’s UK insurance broking business.

Aon Risk Solutions UK chief executive Julie Page said: “Henderson Insurance Broking Group’s success and the esteem in which it is held, both by clients and the market, is a real indication of the passion it puts into finding the best solutions for its clients.

“Its underlying ethos of putting clients at the heart of its business aligns perfectly with Aon’s approach, and I’m looking forward to working with the leadership team at Henderson Insurance Broking Group to empower results for clients of both firms.”