Kent-based Michael James Insurance will combine with the existing Aston Lark Maidstone office in the coming months

Aston Lark has announced the purchase of specialist independent commercial broker Michael James Insurance & Property Services LLP, a based in Maidstone, Kent.

Established in 1984, Michael James Insurance is based in Maidstone, Kent, has a GWP of around £2.5m and serves the needs of over 1,000 clients. 

The broker has a strong focus on the care sector and real estate and is led by the partners Ian Andrew and Michael Allbutt.

Andrew and Allbutt will remain with the business initially to ensure a smooth transition for staff and clients. The business will combine into Aston Lark’s existing Maidstone office in the coming months.

Peter Blanc, chief executive of Aston Lark, said:We are delighted to welcome the whole team from Michael James into the Aston Lark family. 

“Ian and Michael have worked hard over the years to create a strong business with high quality independent client service at its heart – we look forward to building on this and we are confident the team will fit in really well to their new home.

“Their specialist knowledge of the Care sector was a particular attraction for us and we will be looking to build on this and expand our involvement in this sector going forward.

“We have a number of other acquisition opportunities in play at the moment and we have seen an increase in interest in Aston Lark on the back of our determination to develop the newly combined group into the leading Chartered Insurance Broking brand in the UK. We hope to announce more deals during 2018”.

Second acquisition

This deal represents Aston Lark’s second acquisition of 2018 and the first since the group completed its full integration and launch of the new brand to clients earlier in July. 

And the acquisition comes following the news revenues were up 6% at the group since the merger of Aston Scott and Lark Group.

Ian Andrew, partner of Michael James, said: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction.

“It was clear to us from our initial discussions with Peter that Aston Lark will be a great home for our clients and staff, and this was really important for us.

“Selling a business you have put heart and soul into for over thirty years is a big step, but we have been really impressed with the professional manner in which Aston Lark has handled the whole process and have every confidence that the future is bright.”