Gallagher breaks into top five of the definitive UK broker ranking

The tough trading conditions have taken their toll on the profits of the UK’s biggest brokers over the past year, the 2014 edition of the Insurance Times Top 50 Brokers reveals.

According to the ranking, compiled by mergers and acquisitions adviser IMAS, the average profit margin across the top 50 largest firms has fallen below 20% despite rising turnover.

There has also been disruption to the top five companies for the first time in six years, as acquisitive group Arthur J Gallagher surged into the number five spot.

Margin dip

The ranking data show that that the average profit margin for the UK’s 50 biggest firms was 19.9% in 2014, down from 20.5% in the 2013 edition.

This was despite a 1.9% growth in the Top 50’s collective brokerage to £7.3bn from £7.2bn, reflecting the tough operating conditions brokers have faced over the past year.

Of the 40 brokers for which profit data was available, 19 suffered a drop in earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).