This latest foray into M&A follows on from an acquisitive 2019

Insurance services company Davies Group has bought insurance law firm Keoghs, it announced today.

Keoghs, which provides dispute resolution and risk services to the UK insurance sector, will be incorporated into Davies Group as its legal solutions arm.

Davies Group told Insurance Times that the move would be positive for brokers, as it allows the firm ”to provide a broader range of solutions to the market, in one place.

”We found that the market is looking to consolidate its suppliers, and adding legal solutions was the missing piece to our proposition.”

John Whittle will continue as Keogh’s chief executive, reporting to Davies Group head Dan Saulter. 

Keoghs handles over £1bn in insurer claims and resolves more than 100,000 cases a year, representing defendants only.

It added that ”the addition of Keoghs will see Davies’s global team grow to more than 3,700 colleagues, with operating centres across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada.

”The combined business serves more than 500 insurance, highly regulated and global clients.”

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval.

Expanding solutions

Commenting, Saulter said: “Keoghs and Davies were both founded in 1968 and have proudly served the insurance market and our clients for more than 50 years. Both firms have a big focus on values, culture and employee success. At Davies, we place considerable value on disruptive thinking and new ideas.

“To compete and win in an increasingly integrated global insurance market, it is essential that we can offer our clients valuable solutions right across the insurance, claims and risk value chain.

”The addition of Keoghs to our growing Davies platform provides an exciting opportunity for us to take a new message to our clients, and to provide new opportunities for our teams across the world.”

Whittle added: “The insurance market is undergoing exciting change with the wide scale adoption of technology offering new innovative opportunities to provide services to the market on an industrial scale.

”The Keoghs strategy has always been to place our business, our clients and our people at the heart of this change, driving forwards to create the pre-eminent law firm in the insurance legal sector.

”The opportunity to join forces with Davies was too good an opportunity to miss to deliver on this and we are delighted to be a part of an organisation that has a single, shared and unified vision for the future.”

Last year Davies Group made several acquisitions, including consultancy and technology group FWD in the UK, loss adjuster Thornton Group in Ireland and claims businesses TMS, GBB and Banwells.

Davies Group told Insurance Times that the acquisition would not lead to job losses as part of the integration.

LV=GI claims director Martin Milliner said: “I can absolutely see why this deal makes sense for both businesses.

“[The acquisition plugs] an obvious gap in Davies’s full service model and [creates] the security, investment and additional technology that will see Keoghs confront the forthcoming disruption in the defendant legal market. Seems like a win-win to me.”