Ventures Preferences boosts GWP by £25m after broker acquisitions

Venture Preference (VP) has simultaneously acquired two brokers through its Smart & Cook business and one via its Stuart Alexander business further boosting the SME broker’s GWP by £25m.

Leatherhead-based Castlebank with a GWP of £8m, provides and advises on commercial and high net worth insurances. It also specialises in domiciliary healthcare schemes.

Kendal-based Talbot was established in 1961 and is a £10m GWP personal and commercial lines broker with specialist expertise in agriculture and farming. Acquired by Smart & Cook, Talbot also has a complementary financial services division which caters for corporate and personal clients.

Neville Insurance Consultants specialises in commercial insurance and operates from two offices in Slough and Egham. In 1996, the £7m GWP business, acquired Blake Marston Priest.

All staff within the three brokers will remain except Neville Insurance Consultants’ majority shareholder and Chairman Tony Neville 76, who will retire and will not be replaced.

VP joint chief executive Paul Meehan said: “I am particularly pleased that we have been able to conclude the acquisition of both Castlebank and Talbot. They are both extremely capable, well established businesses with a great understanding of their specialist areas. We now intend to utilise their expertise to further develop our healthcare sector offering.”

VP joint chief executive Stuart Reid added: “We are delighted to be able to announce three significant acquisitions for VP today. Each one brings something unique to our stable, further enhancing our overall skills and knowledge base. With the relaunch of Layton Blackham Business Solutions last week and with the recent announcement of our entry into the private healthcare market, VP intends to continue its growth in many areas during this exciting time of great change in our industry.”