The deal marks the broker’s biggest acquisition to date - it will now manage around £200m in premiums and employ more than 400 staff

Private equity backed Clear Group has bought Brokerbility Holdings, the owner of broker BHIB, Churchill Insurance Consultants and the Brokerbility Network, as well as its technology businesses.

The Group’s biggest acquisition to date, the deal will see Clear handling £200m in premiums and employing more than 400 staff across 10 offices.

Clear, which is a Brokerbility network member, is led by chief executive Howard Lickens. Ian Stutz will continue as Brokerbility chief executive and Ashwin Mistry will also remain with the group as executive chairman. Both will join the Clear board.

The new group will focus on property and construction, SME, schemes, healthcare, professional and financial lines and mid-market corporate business.

Commenting on the deal, Lickens said: “This is a brilliant deal for Clear and everyone involved with Brokerbility, BHIB and Churchill.

”Both Ashwin and Ian have done such a fantastic job and I’m delighted that my friends will continue to lead Brokerbility in the next phase of its exciting journey.

”With the backing of ECI Partners, we have now secured a material step forward and are well poised to make further acquisitions.

”This exciting deal also enables investment to grow the network and to offer members a ‘soft’ succession option, which has been on the Brokerbility wish list.”

Meanwhile, Mistry said the deal provides Brokerbility with ”the firepower to invest and attract new members to our group”.

He continued: ”A change of ownership to a fellow member also means that Brokerbility can continue to be the torchbearer for independent brokers who, as a group, are operating to the highest standards of technical competency and ethical behaviour.”

Stutz added that joining Clear ”creates a substantial brokerage that differentiates itself not through scale but by shared values that underpin the business and the way we care for our people, our clients and our relationships with insurers”.

Clear’s other recent acquisitions include MPW and Morrison Insurance Solutions, as well as the rights of broker Light and Legal Indemnity Solutions earlier this year. Prior to purchasing Brokerbility, the business employed 260 staff across six locations and handled premiums in excess of £140m. It was established in 2001 with a focus on property owners, construction, legal indemnities and professional risks.

Clear Group will spearhead the business integration project.

BHIB Insurance Brokers and Churchill Insurance Consultants are both chartered commercial brokers. With a 50 year history, BHIB specialises in small business insurance, transport and logistics, contractors, welfare and schemes. Churchill, on the other hand, concentrates on professional indemnity, property owners and commercial insurances - the business will celebrate 40 years of trading next year.

Brokerbility Holdings’ board was advised on the deal by IMAS Corporate Finance, Browne Jacobson and Cooper Parry Group.