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3 August 2023

M&A: JMG Group picks up the pace as market shows no signs of slowdown 

Read the latest in our regular series of quarterly blogs analysing the current trends in the UKGI M&A market

The M&A market has shown no signs of slowing down, with another active second quarter following on from the opening three months of 2023. 

Around 30 deals were completed, with JMG Group one of the most active players as it continued to pick up the pace of acquisition. 

The broking group made several regional acquisitions over the course of Q2, including North East-based commercial lines broker Insure Business, which was the group’s 20th acquisition. 

JMG followed this up with two further acquisitions in the form of Hythe-based GR Marshall and Cheshire-based Blackfriars Group. 

DR&P Insurance Group was another of the most active brokers last quarter, with the triple acquisition of Preston-based Berry Insurance Brokers and Yorkshire duo Radius and Sector Associates. 

PIB Group and GRP also continued their path along the acquisition trail with a couple of deals each in the commercial lines sector, while Assured Partners also acquired two commercial brokers from the South of England. 

So once again it was the commercial lines market that continues to attract the most interest from an M&A perspective, with acquirers being particularly keen on specialist solutions providers. 

The continued pace of deals should come as no real surprise given comments from JMG Group chief executive Nick Houghton at our Navigating the UK broker landscape webinar

Houghton highlighted several threats facing smaller brokers, including digitalisation, staffing issues, succession planning, increased regulation and higher premium demand from insurers, claiming that “it is no wonder a lot of brokers are thinking of selling”. 

Fellow panellist Peter Blanc, head of M&A at Howden, said brokers “should all welcome” the current wave of M&A as some could find themselves “stuck” when it comes to growth. 

Meanwhile, with changes to the tax regime anticipated after the next election, some brokers are expected to accelerate their exit plans, something Aviva’s Phil Bayles commented on when we interviewed him at this year’s BIBA conference. 

The current rate of deal making is therefore expected to continue for the rest of this year at least, with competition for deals likely to intensify. 

Insurance DataLab can help brokers who are interested in being acquired and those who are being acquisitive by providing data and insights on the financial performance of individual broking firms and MGAs. 

We also deliver insights on the underwriting performance and solvency of insurers, and the complaints and customer experience performance of a range of insurance providers.   

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