Global Risk Partners reported strong growth in 2020 fuelled by its acquisitions and underwriting performance

GRP has posted a 22% boost in run rate EBITDA in its financial results for the year, released today.

Run rate EBITDA increased from £50m in 2019 to £61m this year, the company said.

Run rate income grew by 17% to £163m for the period, while gross written premium rose to nearly £900m, compared with £800m this time last year.

GRP made 18 acquisitions this year, bringing its total to 71 since the business was set up.

Chief executive Mike Bruce lauded the success of the company’s ‘hub and spoke’ model, whereby the business acquires regional hub brokers that in turn buy smaller ‘spoke’ entities.

“These are tremendous results after a hugely challenging year for broking and the wider economy”, Bruce said.

”We are in excellent shape to accelerate our growth as the economy emerges from the pandemic in 2021.

 “After the investment from Searchlight Capital Partners in June, we had a clear mandate to continue our buy and build strategy, not only in retail commercial brokers, but in building out the portfolio into new lines and regions, including digital broking (Insync), healthcare insurance (Premier Choice) and the Irish Republic (Crotty).”

In August, GRP bought the renewal rights to seven books of business from broker Aon, including its Northern Irish, affinity and micro portfolios.

The company’s acquisition pipeline “remains strong”, Bruce said.

“We anticipate adding new hubs to our UK footprint shortly, and to completing further deals as vendors see the advantages of being part of a bigger group, especially during the current economic uncertainty, and broking businesses continue to hold attractive valuations.”

Bruce added that the firm takes a longer view of its investments, ”especially for businesses where the vendors are young and ambitious, and this focus on the value of long-term growth feeds through to the acquisition strategies of our senior management teams across GRP’s portfolio.”

On the issue of hardening commercial markets, Bruce said the business was well placed to help clients. 

“Our significant investment in data analytics and our own bespoke data warehouse has given us added resilience and ability to flex our product and service propositions for the benefit of clients.”

Despite the pandemic, Bruce said 2020 had been “a momentous year” after the investment from Searchlight Capital Partners. 

The private equity firm had been “strongly supportive” of GRP’s business and strategic direction, Bruce said.

“Notwithstanding Brexit and further Covid-related challenges, our 2020 performance, built on the professionalism of our people and the fruits of our increasing focus on digital capability and data analytics, gives us added confidence that GRP will further accelerate its growth trajectory next year,” Bruce added.