Broker Network and Compass-owner launches Ethos with £300m GWP target

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Broker Network Partners rebrands as Ethos to separate deals from its networks as CEO Des O’Connor reiterates that the networks will remain apart.

Broker Network and Compass are not being brought together according to CEO Des O’Connor.

O’Connor, who leads networks owner Bravo Group explained that the organisation has rebranded its acquiring vehicle Broker Network Partners as Ethos in order to make it more palatable for Compass members to be bought.

Compass was acquired by the group last year.

So far Broker Network Partners has made eight regional partner acquisitions since 2016. Those regional partners have gone on to buy 12 further brokers. It spent £42m during the first wave of its buying spree.

It brings the GWP of the business up to £200m.

Structure
O’Connor explained there had been confusion around the new ownership of these brokers with many believing Broker Network was the buyer rather than Broker Network Partners.

He commented: “In 2018, when Andy Fairchild left, the board saw it as an opportunity to think about the design of the business.

“When I was invited to take the CEO role we agreed we needed clarity on organisational design.”

So Ethos was born and is the owner of all eight of the group’s regional acquisitions.

Bravo remains the umbrella company for Ethos, Broker Network and Compass.

He explained: “Part of the rationale was to make it [Ethos] more attractive to Compass members.

“They are more comfortable with the proposition now.”

Deals
O’Connor stated that Ethos will target further deals in 2019.

“Our objective is to have a complete regional footprint and we are only about two thirds complete. We have gaps in the south west, the Midlands, the north east and London.”

By the end of this year O’Connor is hopeful that Ethos will have three further regional partners and by the end of 2020 he is expecting the business to have 11 partners. And by 2020 it wants to control £300m in GWP.

He explained that Ethos could buy Broker Network brokers, Compass brokers and also any other brokers.

Ethos is led by chief development officer Richard Tuplin and group COO Susan Adcock. John Lincoln and Richard Pitt remain at the helm of Compass and Broker Network respectively.

Broker Network was bought from Towergate (now part of Ardonagh Group) in 2016 by Bravo, a vehicle for HPS.

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