Consolidator seeks more acquisitions in the South.

Giles Insurance Brokers is looking for further acquisitions in the south of England after buying Kent-based Shephards Insurance.

The acquisition of Shephards Insurance, which controls of £14.4m in premium income and employs over 50 staff, is the second purchase in the region this month. Giles acquired Godalming-based Sutton Barnard two weeks ago.

The deal takes Giles’ annual premium income to £275m.

Giles regional managing director Howard Pearson said the company was under-represented in the South and that it was looking to make further acquisitions in the area.

“We are looking to make sizeable and significant moves forward. We are very much looking in Surrey and south east London areas.

“There is a huge potential for growth in the south of England and the acquisition of Shephards and Sutton Barnard will help us strengthen our presence across the area as well as bringing on board a number of new specialisms.”

Pearson said Shephards’ expertise in the construction sector and its schemes business were attractive. It also offers Furni-Cover, a service dedicated to the furniture industry.

Three of Shephards’ directors – Jeff Laidler, Mark Richardson and David Kinghorn – will remain with the firm while Mike Buckle will leave to pursue other interests.

Private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners and Bank of Scotland Corporate have recently provided Giles with £500m of investment funding.

The broker aims to grow to £1bn in gross written premium.

The acquisition of Shephards Insurance comes on the back of a number of recent acquisitions, including Tyne and Wear-based Elliot Garden, commercial lines specialist broker Robinson Leslie and Welsh broker DS Howell.