The consolidation of the brokerage market continues with the Gallagher deal

US brokerage giant Gallagher has made its second Irish acquisition in the rapidly consolidating insurance brokerage market with the purchase of Doyle Mahon Insurances.

The deal for Wexford, which specializes in commercial and agricultural businesses, further expands Gallagher’s presence in Leinster after the company bought Innovu in June for an estimated €30m.

It’s also a signal of the global giant’s intent in a local market where big brokerage networks and private equity firms are growing in size by regularly buying up small firms.

“As the market continues to rapidly consolidate, our ability to help smaller brokers grow and expand demonstrates why Gallagher is the partner of choice for brokers in Ireland,” said Ronan Foley, Chief Executive of Gallagher Ireland.

“We are on the lookout for additional acquisitions that fit Gallagher and continue to grow our business organically. In the years to come we will establish Gallagher as the broker of choice in Ireland.”

Foley is no stranger to consolidation. He founded Innovu in 2018 and, with the help of private equity firm MML Growth Partners, bought Sheridan Insurances, one of the largest brokerage groups in the North East.

The business quickly grew in size through a series of other acquisitions of regional brokers including Wexford Insurances, Goggin Insurance Brokers, Cullen Insurances and PE Kelly Insurances.

Innovu, now renamed Gallagher, gave the Americans a foothold in Ireland with 135 employees and a customer base of 45,000.

The company had a turnover of €7.9 million in 2020, the latest year for which accounts are available.

This launch pad will be important for Gallagher in a fragmented market that is seeing significant merger and acquisition activity as buyers seek companies with good income profiles and strong local customer relationships.

Aston Lark Ireland, owned by British giant Howden, has made more than a dozen bolt-on acquisitions in less than a year and a half, the most recent two being Gateway and Sparrow.

Irish group Arachas, also owned by a large independent UK company, bought Glennon Insurances in July, part of an aggressive move dating back to 2017.

Other big deals last year included the sale of Quote Devil, Chill Insurance and Gallivan Murphy, the latter two for €100m each. The consolidation of the brokerage market continues with the Gallagher deal

Fry Electronics Team

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