Broker hints at future plans, as UBS hired as corporate financial adviser

Cooper Gay denied that it was planning an imminent initial public offering (IPO) but would not rule it out in the future.

“We have a number of development strategies and we are considering a number of different things on the future of Cooper Gay. One of them is IPO. We have not made a decision to float the company; there is no defined timeline or date set,” said group business development director of Cooper Gay, Geoff Kinsella.

Kinsella admitted that the privately owned insurance and reinsurance broker has appointed Swiss bank UBS as a corporate financial adviser but said this was not to solely advise on an IPO.

“We have appointed UBS as we are getting to a size now where we need more advice,” said Kinsella.

He said the acquisitions of brokers and particularly of managing general agents (MGAs) in the UK were at the heart Cooper Gay’s growth strategy.

“We are also keen on acquiring MGAs and we put a new team in place called Underwriting and Distribution Management, which is being run by Chris Butcher.”

In May, Insurance Times reported that Cooper Gay was eyeing up to 12 acquisitions and Kinsella confirmed that talks with parties were still on: “We are looking for other broking companies that complement our product offering and our geographical reach.”

Last year, members of the wholesale and direct aviation team from Benfield joined Cooper Gay after it bought the aerospace, reinsurance and UK wholesale divisions of Heath Lambert. The broker also made a 100% purchase of Canadian MGA Creechurch International Underwriters.

In addition, last month Cooper Gay hired Keith Harris and John Whiter as non-executive directors of the board. Harris is executive chairman of Seymour Pierce, while Whiter was formerly the chief financial officer of Benfield Group.