Founder Peter Cullum is ‘delighted’ with GRP’s new majority stakeholder

Searchlight Capital Partners, a global private investment firm, has acquired a majority stake in independent insurance intermediary business Global Risk Partners (GRP), subject to regulatory approval.

Following the investment, GRP founders Peter Cullum and David Margrett will retain their minority stakes in the business, as will founding investor Penta Capital and the firm’s broader management team. Ares Management will also continue to act as a capital provider to GRP.

On the acquisition’s completion, Mike Bruce – GRP’s group managing director – will become the firm’s group chief executive.

Meanwhile, Margrett will step into the non-executive chairman role, while Cullum will stay on the board as a non-executive director.

Evercore and Slaughter and May advised GRP on the transaction, while Searchlight Capital Partners took advice from RBC Capital Markets and Willkie Farr and Gallagher. Penta Capital, on the other hand, was advised by Dickson Minto WS Management, Wyvern Partners and Proskauer Rose (UK).

Speaking of the investment, Bruce said: “Partnering with Searchlight enables us to continue to capitalise on the considerable market opportunity ahead; their experience and relationships will be invaluable to GRP in executing our acquisition-led growth strategy. The power of this strategy is demonstrated by the quality of the businesses we have acquired and the talented people who have joined GRP through these acquisitions.

“We are proud that our scalable platform attracts entrepreneurial companies that want to join GRP to accelerate their growth and enhance the value proposition that they can provide to their customers. We look forward to working closely with Searchlight to build on GRP’s rapid development and continue GRP’s ambitious growth journey.”

Majority holding

GRP, founded in 2013, has gross written premium (GWP) approaching £800m and employs more than 1,600 staff. The organisation operates retail broking, specialist MGA and Lloyd’s businesses.

Searchlight Capital Partners has more than $7bn in assets, with offices in New York, London and Toronto. The firm seeks investments where its long-term capital and support can help accelerate value creation for stakeholders.

Andrew Frey, partner at Searchlight, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with GRP and its management team. The group’s differentiated ‘hub and spoke’ model and entrepreneurial, owner-driver culture has enabled GRP to build a leading market position through impressive growth.

“By combining local presence with deep data-driven expertise, GRP offers a better product set and a superior service to its clients. This customer centric culture is at the heart of our investment thesis and our high confidence in the group’s exciting future. We look forward to partnering with Peter, David, Mike, Penta and the entire GRP team to drive the next chapter of GRP’s success.”

Cullum and Margrett added: “We are both immensely proud of the business we have helped build from a standing start. In little over six years, it has grown to become one of the largest insurance intermediaries in the UK.

“We are delighted that Searchlight will become the new majority shareholder in GRP. Searchlight is an ideal partner and it was obvious from an early stage that its ambition for the business and understanding of the opportunity was closely aligned with the Group’s values and vision.”