The Belfast insurer expands its presence in Yorkshire with this latest purchase

Independent insurance business Willis Insurance and Risk Management (Willis IRM) has acquired Leeds-based general insurance broker Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum.

Willis IRM, based in Belfast, aims to extend its gross written premium (GWP) in Yorkshire with this latest acquisition to £10m.

The firm, which was established in 1978 in Northern Ireland by Robert Willis, has completed an acquisition a year since 2017; it bought Hull-based Kennett Insurance Brokers in September 2017 as well as McCausland Light and Rankin, another Belfast broker, in January 2018.

Broker business

Hale Kavanagh, which was founded in 2011, currently employs 10 staff in Leeds who will remain with the business – current managing director Julian Hale, on the other hand, will leave the firm following the acquisition.

The broker will begin trading under the 40-year-old Kennett brand.

Willis IRM’s group managing director Richard Willis said: “We’re very excited to be furthering our business outside Northern Ireland with the acquisition of Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers.

“Over the last four years, our firm has grown significantly with staff numbers trebling during that time to 108, something which we are very proud of. It also highlights our growing client base across the UK with our Kennett Insurance Brand, all of which have access to our full-service offering of risk management, health and safety, financial services and employment law.

“It is well known that we are always striving to expand the group’s portfolio through the strategic acquisition of like-minded independent brokers. We’re looking forward to working alongside the Hale Kavanagh staff in Leeds and we will continue to seek further opportunities to grow our business.”

Luigi Maggio, managing director at Kennett, added: “Hale Kavanagh, Kennett and Willis IRM all share high level service-orientated values and as independent brokers we strive to put the customer first.

“Leeds is the UK’s fourth most populous region and the major financial and commercial hub in West Yorkshire with a diverse economy, making it an ideal location to expand our expertise and breadth of services”.

The wider Willis IRM group has GWP of £45m.

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