Broker Marsh also agrees preferred strategic partnership with HSBC Bank

Marsh has reached an agreement to acquire HSBC Insurance Brokers, the broker announced today.

The deal - which was revealed by Insurance Times last month (see: Marsh eyes HSBC Insurance Brokers) - has Marsh paying £135m, comprising a mixture of Marsh & McLennan Companies stock and cash. The transaction, which is subject to all relevant regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010.

Marsh said it has also entered into a Preferred Strategic Partnership (PSP) with HSBC which will provide additional revenue opportunities to the company. Under the terms of the PSP, Marsh will have preferred access to provide insurance broking and risk management services to HSBC’s corporate and private clients.

HSBC Insurance Brokers has approximately 1,400 employees located in 30 offices in the UK, Middle East and Asia. It holds prominent market positions in other countries where Marsh has both a significant presence and major plans to grow, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. It also has strong market positions in education, marine and specie, the broker said.

“Acquiring HIBL is a great opportunity for Marsh, our clients, our colleagues and for the HIBL team. We are particularly excited by the opportunities available to us through the PSP with HSBC. It will enable us to leverage HSBC’s global network and banking relationships to generate new business,” said Marsh's chairman and chief executive Dan Glaser.

“We also see good growth potential in placing third party business generated via HIBL’s accident, health and contingency, cargo, specie and North American practices. We will manage this specialist business through a dedicated business unit, called Gibbs Hartley Cooper – reviving the name of the venerable independent broker which can trace its roots back to 1808.”

Clive Bannister, group managing director, insurance, HSBC Holdings, said: “The beauty of this agreement is that on the one hand we are improving the breadth and sophistication of HSBC broking services for our customers, while at the same time sharpening our strategic focus on the bancassurance model with emphasis on life, pensions and investments.”

Marsh UK chief executive Martin South added: “My UK colleagues and I look forward to welcoming HIBL’s team to Marsh. Together, we will continue our shared commitment to delivering superb products, solutions and service to our clients as the UK’s pre-eminent broker and risk adviser.”

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