Purchase puts consolidator on track for £350m GWP target.

Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV) has become the leading broker in Wales after it acquired the largest independent broker in the region, Protectagroup.

CCV’s 27th acquisition, revealed by insurancetimes.co.uk last week, is the third significant buy the consolidator has made this year, following the purchase of several divisions of Lockton’s retail business, worth £40m GWP and the £10m wholesaler, Berkeley Alexander.

Protectagroup, which controls over £33m in premiums, takes CCV’s GWP to over £200m, more than double the £93m figure at which it began the year. Chief executive Tim Johnson said that with the imminent conclusion of two further buys, the broker’s GWP would rise to £220m, on course for its £350m target by next year.

Johnson said he planned to expand Protectagroup’s premiums to over £50m by the summer. He said: “Protectagroup is widely recognised as Wales’s largest independently-owned insurance broker and, under [chief executive] Paul Ragan’s leadership, has successfully diversified and grown into the major insurance force in the principality.”

Protectagroup is predominantly a personal lines broker, but recently laid out plans to grow its commercial lines business to 40% of its portfolio by the autumn. At the time, Ragan said he aimed to increase its brokerage ten-fold to £70m within three years, and said that combining the business with another was a possibility in order to achieve sufficient scale.

He also raised the possibility of floating the business, which is unlikely to remain an option following the acquisition.

Ragan said the sale would allow the company to accelerate its growth: “The huge benefits of access to enhanced products and markets will accelerate the growth of the business and improve our client offering. We felt the time was right to secure the future of our staff and take advantage of CCV’s access to funding. The prospect of further acquisitions in the immediate future has created a real buzz among management and staff.”

Protectagroup has made 11 acquisitions to date, including its first move into the London market with the purchase of Hodge Insurance Brokers in September.