Insurer invests in specialist broker

Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical is acquiring a minority shareholding in broker Lycetts.

Lycetts specialises in insurance for farms, estates, historic houses, fine art and bloodstock. They are also known as a commercial broker and have a financial services division.

The broker’s head office is based in Newcastle and has 12 offices in the UK & Ireland with over 180 staff.

Ecclesiastical’s group chief executive, Michael Tripp, said: “Acquiring a stake in Lycetts makes perfect sense for Ecclesiastical. They operate in very similar markets. They share our values and commitment to protecting important aspects of our heritage. They are also a very successful and well-regarded player in the broker market. This purchase is part of our review of distribution. It ensures we can get even closer to our customers, understand our target markets better and broaden our earnings base.”

Lycetts’s chief executive, Angus Keate, said: “Selling a minority stake to Ecclesiastical has achieved our objectives both for retiring shareholders and ongoing management and staff. We did not wish to burden the company with high levels of debt which would need to be serviced and repaid, and in the process would likely prejudice the future prospects of our employees.

"Equally we have been determined not to lose our operational independence through, for example, submitting to the control of another broker or becoming involved with a venture capitalist. During the negotiations it has become quite clear how strong a cultural fit the two businesses are and we are all looking forward to working together to build on this for the benefit of all.”

For more, see this weeks issue of Insurance Times, out today or read it online: Ecclesiastical poised to take over specialist broker Lycetts