Brendan McManus named UK retail chief executive

Arthur J Gallagher has today completed its £233m acquisition of Giles.

The deal, announced in September, will add £90m to Gallagher’s UK turnover next year, and £35m to its profits after 2015.

The acquisition makes Gallagher the third-largest UK retail broker, with specialisms including transport, health and social care, and professional indemnity.

Giles’ former chief executive, Brendan McManus, has been appointed chief executive officer of UK retail with immediate effect. He will sit on the international executive and report to UK and international chief executive David Ross.

Ross said: “While it feels great to have completed our largest ever deal here in the UK, the hard work really starts now. With the acquisition of Giles comes a huge acceleration of our UK retail ambitions, as well as outstanding growth prospects for our underwriting operation.

“We will work tirelessly to bring the various divisions of the two businesses together and the successful integration of Giles within Arthur J Gallagher will be our number one priority.”

Dave Partington, currently managing director of UK retail offices, will work with McManus on a handover before moving to Chicago to start a new job with Gallagher in January. McManus’ remit will be wider than retail offices, however.

On McManus’ appointment, Ross added: “Brendan has made a huge difference to the Giles business over the past 18 months and his experience and strong leadership will give us just the focus we need at such a critical time to drive forward what is now one of the largest retail businesses in the UK.”

Of Giles’ brokerage, £57m of turnover comes from its retail commercial lines broking division and networks – enlarging Gallagher’s UK regional operations by two-and-a-half times.

Giles’ underwriting arm, Ink Insurance, will expand Gallagher’s own underwriting operation OIM with the adddition of specialist motor trade, motor fleet, and solicitors professional indemnity products.

The networks division, comprising Compass and Westinsure, has a combined membership of 200 brokers and is Gallagher’s first network.

Gallagher expects integration costs of £1.5m to £2.5m per quarter until early 2015.