Departing Gallagher duo hired by private equity house AnaCap

des o connor gallagher - insurance times

Des O’Connor and Andrew Wallin are set to take up new roles at Brightside and Simply Business owner AnaCap in January, Insurance Times has learned.

O’Connor and Wallin resigned from their posts as managing director of Gallagher Insurance Solutions (GIS) and managing director of Direct at Arthur J Gallagher on 1 July.

Wallin reported into O’Connor and the pair are on gardening leave during their six-month notice period.

AnaCap has ramped up its exposure to general insurance brokers in recent months.

Its £127m acquisition of broker Brightside is expected to be completed today, and Brightside’s shares will be delisted from the London Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

The private equity house financed a management buyout of SME broker Simply Business, led by chief executive Jason Stockwood, a year ago.

AnaCap’s investment in Simply Business was reported at the time to be in the “high eight figures”.

And last week AnaCap backed an MBA of French insurance broker AssurOne Group, which sells personal lines products online.

O’Connor has a track record of building a specialist personal lines and SME business. Turnover at of GIS, Gallagher’s direct and partnerships business, has grown by 90% since he was appointed in January 2012 thanks to a string of acquisitions as well as organic growth. Its products include personal lines for over-50s, blocks of flats insurance, and affinity schemes for charities among its specialisms.

When AnaCap agreed to buy Brightside in May, it said it aimed to develop Brightside “into one of the leading person and commercial lines insurance brokers in the UK market”.

Paul Williams, who joined Brightside as chief executive in February, has said the broker would set up a managing general agent to underwrite motor, household and tradesmen liability products this year.