GRP’s County Group acquires majority stake in Guardian Insurance Brokers

Michael Lloyd

July 24, 2018

The County Group part of GRP, has acquired a majority stake in Guardian Insurance Brokers.

The deal has received regulatory approval and the consideration is undisclosed. This is the first deal that County, which is headquartered in Crewe, has completed since becoming part of Global Risk Partners (GRP) in January this year.

Dave Clapp, County chief executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce we have acquired a majority shareholding in Guardian. This is the first of many acquisitions planned under the banner of GRP Group, as we work towards achieving our plan to double our size over the next five years.”

“Guardian handles £14m in premium and, being based in Wigan, complements our current footprint perfectly.”

He said that Guardian co-founders Steve Smith and Adrian Mead will continue to run the business.

Clapp added: “Steve, Adrian and the team have built a fantastic business over the last five years, delivering phenomenal growth, and we are really excited about working together in the future.”

Steve Smith, managing director of Guardian, said: “County Group are the right choice for us as partners on the next stage in our journey.

“Dave Clapp and his team share our aspirations and ethos, and now we have joined forces with one of the most driven and ambitious insurance businesses in the UK, we are all really excited about the future.”

Mike Bruce, GRP’s chief executive, Broking said: “GRP is fully committed to accelerating growth through our UK regional centres, and we have a strong pipeline both via the hubs and through potential acquisitions at Group level.”

“Guardian is a very strong business with a tradition of excellent client service. I am delighted it is joining GRP, where I am confident it will go from strength to strength.”

With the acquisition of Guardian, County handles over £80m GWP, from 25 branches, predominantly in the Northwest.

The County Group was founded in 2003 by Clapp. County employs nearly 300 people and won Insurance Broker of the Year at the 2017 BIA Awards. It’s strategy is to continue the development of its branch network by acquiring commercial and community brokers across its region.

Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP) acquires brokers, managing general agents (MGAs) and teams trading in the UK retail and global, specialty, insurance markets. It was established in 2013 by Peter Cullum, chairman and David Margrett, chief executive.

The company has acquired 30 businesses to date and handles in excess of £650m GWP.

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