Group reveals 62% rise in turnover and £45m acquisition fund

Jelf has acquired Manson Insurance Group, one of the leading independent insurance brokers in the North West, as well as two brokers in the South West.

The Manson Group is Jelf's first acquisition outside its traditional heartland in Southern England and South Wales. In a statement the company said it would act as a hub for further acquisitions and organic growth in the North West.

The acquisition increases the group’s GWP by around £45m to £320m.

The Manson Group focuses on general insurance, healthcare and financial services, in the same core business areas as Jelf.

The Manson Insurance Group and its subsidiaries, Manson Insurance Brokers, Manson Warner Healthcare and Manson FS, will continue to operate from their Manchester location.

The Chairman of Manson, Jon Manson, joins the Jelf Board with immediate effect.

Commenting on the move, Manson said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining Jelf. We are genuinely excited about the opportunities that being part of Jelf will bring to us. We will be able to offer our clients a wider range of high-quality services, which means that the future for all our staff is also secure. A good move all round.”

Jelf has also acquired two Devon brokers, Bartlett Davies Bicks Ltd (BDB) and Carter & Co. Risk Management (CRM). These two firms will work closely with Jelf’s existing operation in Newton Abbot.

All Directors and staff are remaining and they will continue to operate from their existing premises. BDB and CRM will together increase premiums placed with insurance providers in healthcare and insurance by around £6m.

Jelf has also announced a placing of £45m, net of costs and fees, including a significant new investment by 3i QPE. The £45m will be used to capitalise on future acquisition opportunities, to fund infrastructure investment and also to reduce the Group’s debt. Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Managing Partner of 3i Investments plc (the investment adviser of QPE), will join the Jelf board. As the former UK head of Marsh Insurance, he brings a wealth of valuable experience and industry knowledge with him.

To match this significant company development, Jelf has also restructured its board. David Walker, an investment banker with over 25 years experience and who has been a Non Executive Director at Jelf Group since 2004, has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman. Christopher Jelf, the Group’s founder, will become Deputy Chairman. Michael King, the ex-Deputy Chairman, will retire from the board.

Commenting on these announcements, Alex Alway, Jelf Group Chief Executive, added: “This is a fantastic day for the Jelf Group and I am delighted to welcome around 120 new staff to the Group. Karl and Tina Hanson from BDB, and Paul Carter and Steve Joint from CRM, will significantly strengthen our presence in Devon. Equally, we are genuinely excited to be working with Jon Manson and his team in the North West and are looking forward to developing joint growth plans.

“The placing and investment by 3i QPE gives us the fire power to continue our rapid pace of growth and expansion whilst also paying down some of our debt. This is another landmark day in the history of the Jelf Group”.

Jelf Group plc also published a strong set of year-end results today. For the year ended 30 September 2007:

• Turnover rose 61.6% to £40.56m

• EBITDA was £7.19m, up 104.3%

• EBITDA margin was up 26.4% to 17.7%