Electra replaces Lloyds Development Capital as major stakeholder in the loss adjuster

Davies chief executive Charles Crawford wants to take the firm into the top tier of loss adjusters after securing investment from a new private equity partner.

Electra Partners replaces Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) as the major stakeholder in Davies. Crawford added that the management retained a “substantial stake”.

He said that Electra would pave the way for growth. “We want to grow the business and focus in particular on the larger loss and liability side of the business,” he said. “You can grow it through recruiting individuals, team hires or acquiring companies, so certainly, part of the story is that [Electra] is keen to support us by growing the business through acquisition.”

“There are two clear market leaders in size, which are Cunningham Lindsey and Crawford. It depends on what measurements you use, but [in the other group] us, GAB Robins and Merlin are the obvious ones. I would certainly like us to be the clear leader in that group and moving well on the way to top tier, in terms of size.”

Davies Group will continue to be led by Crawford, who will be supported by other Davies managers including Darren Coombes, Gary Lumsdon, Gary Liptrot and Vanessa Greatbatch.

Reflecting on the management buyout in 2008, which opened up the partnership with LDC, Crawford said: “The group’s first management buy-out allowed the business to transition from a partnership to a dynamic claims solutions business.

“Since then, the group has undertaken a significant programme of operational development, driven by major investment in people, infrastructure and systems.”

Crawford said the market for loss adjusters was very competitive and believed great service would win the day. “I think it’s a business that’s always in a state of change,” he said. “But I think the one constant is delivering a great service and giving evidence to brokers and insurers of the value we bring.”

Pass notes: Davies

What’s the story behind the deal?
Davies has been on the lookout for a new investor for some time. The firm was in talks with Morgan Stanley, but that deal stalled a couple of months ago. Canadian loss adjuster SCM Insurance Services was also rumoured to be in the frame. The deal with Electra has been rumbling on for a couple of months.

How much is the company worth?
Last year Davies made an operating profit of £6.4m, against a turnover of £36.9m. The firm is thought to be worth about £60m. It was originally bought for £27m by Lloyds Development Capital in partnership with the management.