Former owner of Shephards joins trend of bosses quitting consolidators

A broker boss who sold his business to Giles two years ago is set to quit to start a new business. Jeff Laidler sold Shephards Insurance, the business he part-owned, to Giles in April 2008.

Restrictive covenants placed on Laidler at the time of the sale are coming to an end, and he will soon leave Giles to set up a consultancy business.

Giles declined to comment but Insurance Times understands the split is amicable.

Kent-based Shephards had more than 50 staff and gross written premium of £14.4m when it was bought by Giles.

Two other former directors at Shepherds, David Kinghorn and Mark Richardson, left Giles in January to join MPW. The departed as part of the deal that saw Giles sell a construction book to MPW.

The departure of Laidler is the latest case of a broker boss selling to a consolidator then leaving once contractual obligations are complete.

Last month, Insurance Times reported that Eliot Powell was to start a new company after leaving Oval-owned Powell Insurance Brokers in Liverpool, and in December Steve Manning of Wilkinson Rodgers in Huddersfield and Andy Tett of Tett Hamilton in Cleveden, Bristol bought their businesses back from Oval.

However, the threat of vendors leaving has not affected Giles’s appetite for rapid growth as it plans to float in 2012.

Last week, Giles completed the acquisition of James Hampden Insurance Brokers, establishing a presence in the East Midlands. Hampden’s specialises in medium-sized enterprises and property insurance.

In April, the wholesale unit of reinsurance specialist Cooper Gay moved to Giles in a team transfer.

Giles also paid out for the team transfer of Brightstar Risk Solutions last December. The business was formerly owned by John McLaren-Stewart.