The broker group plans several more acquisitions this year
Private-equity backed Jensten Group is planning further acquisitions in the retail space this year under new chief executive Alistair Hardie, the broker told Insurance Times.
Jensten, formerly Coversure, unveiled Hardie yesterday as its new chief executive, replacing Bob Darling.
Last week it announced its second acquisition of the year, snapping up wholesale and retail broker, Senior Wright.
And company spokesperson Simon Taylor said a number of further acquisitions were in the pipeline, potentially as early as next month.
The broker is backed by private equity firm Livingbridge, and outgoing chief executive Darling was involved in the management buyout in the summer of 2018.
Taylor said the changing of the leadership had been planned for months with Darling always intending to step down at this stage.
The plan is to maintain a split between the retail broker business and wholesale side, and organic growth as well as M&A. Taylor said Darling will remain in the business as a major shareholder and will help with the M&A activity as he is “plugged into the market”.
Hardie was chief executive of Charles Taylor-owned travel firm CEGA. Taylor said Hardie had had a number of opportunities, but decided to join Jensten.
Senior Wrights is predominantly a London market and Lloyd’s broker with a specialism in construction liability. Jensten bought the firm to cover a gap it had, Taylor said.
He added that Jensten plans further acquisitions of similar sized firms around the UK that are attracted to Jensten because of the culture, growth amibitons, and financial backing.
Taylor said Jensten had been able to trade well despite the Covid-19 crisis. The staff were sent to work from home two weeks before the lockdown was implemented, with laptops and phones being provided to staff.
Its M&A strategy has also been unaffected so far by the crisis, as it had the bank facilities in place already.
Although Covid impact and exposure does play a part in its due dilligence process when making acquisitions, Taylor said that ultimately “a good MGA is a good MGA”.