Deal underpinned by RBS

Central Insurance Services Ltd, the largest broker in Aberdeen, has completed a management buy out (MBO) underpinned by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

In a statement the company said that its ownership had been retained within the company following the decision of majority shareholder and managing director, Dave Thomson, to relinquish his controlling stake.

Deputy managing director Iain Henry has assumed the role of managing director.

The restructuring of the company and formation of a new holding company has been approved by the FSA.

Central recently completed a move from Aberdeen city centre to a new £3 million HQ at Westhill on the outskirts of the city.

Thomson, who will continue to play an important ambassadorial role with key clients, said: “This is an excellent way forward for Central Insurance and underlines the company’s determination to remain an independent but major player in the UK and international insurance broking sector.

“I am supremely confident that I am handing over the reins to a very talented young team who will drive the business onward and upwards and they will lay the foundations for another 30 years and more of success.”

Henry added: “With our move to a new custom built headquarters there could not be a better time to set out our vision for further growth and the MBO is part of a prudent strategy which guarantees our continued independence in an ever changing market.

“In the last few years a number of insurance brokers have been bought over as consolidation within the industry held sway but we were determined to be in control of our own destiny and the MBO allows us to do so with confidence.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Structured Finance team in Aberdeen provided acquisition funding and working capital facilities to support the new management team. This further extends a banking relationship with RBS’s Aberdeen operation which dates back to the company’s formation in 1974.

Mike Willett, associate director of structured finance at RBS in Aberdeen, said: “We’re pleased to have been able to play a part in what has been a carefully mapped succession plan at Central Insurance Services. The company boasts a very impressive client base and we have every confidence that the new management team will continue to provide those clients with the expertise and sound advice they have come to expect from Central Insurance.”

The new board consists of directors David Binnie, Ian Fraser, Henry, Neil Kerr, Darren James and Thomson while Ken Matheson continues in his role as non-executive chairman.