GRP to add two more regional ‘hubs’ next year

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GRP is on the hunt for two more large regional brokers to act as hubs in Essex and the Midlands, respectively.

The consolidator currently has seven regional hubs, which act as mini consolidators for smaller rival brokers in the area.

The business currently has Higos, Alan & Thomas and Greens covering the South of England; DCJ and Marshall Wooldridge/ECS in the North of the country; and County and Sagar in the Northwest and Northern Ireland.

GRP broking CEO Mike Bruce said it was a goal to add two more regional hubs in the coming year.

“We’ve got nothing in the heart of the Midlands, or Essex/North London,” he said. “Those are areas we will look at.

“We are looking to fill those gaps, but it has to be the right business. We are very selective about the businesses we invest in. We won’t be buying just so we can put a flag in a map.

“We would like to fill out the regional footprint, but that would only happen if we can find a business that fits out model and management that we want to work with.”

The company is financing acquisitions for each of its regional hubs, and Bruce points to acquisitive County as a poster child of the GRP model.

County is a great example,” he said. “They have already completed three acquisitions. They have three in due diligence plus a healthy pipeline. As a microcosm of the GRP model working, that’s a great example.

“Our model is that we look to [the hubs] to target and complete further bolt on acquisitions. We are believers that they know their regional market better than us.”

Bruce spoke ahead of the publication of the company’s annual results to 31 March. He said the business had so far accumulated gross written premium of £700m.

However he declined to say whether the business was still on track to achieve £1bn GWP by 2019. The date was revised after GRP initially said it aimed to achieve the amount by 2018. “That was never a hard and fast target,” he said.

“Looking at our trajectory and the pipeline we have, and no sign from vendors that interest is waning, we will see that £700m continue to accelerate. Whether it will be £1bn by 31 December next year, who knows. But it will be well on its way there.”

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