Broker Expo: Successful M&A all about culture say broker bosses

Buy and sell

According to Aston Lark group CEO, Peter Blanc, customers can gain from M&A activity.

Speaking at an M&A session at yesterday’s (7 November) Broker Expo, COO of Hamilton Fraser Graham Coates, said that a successful acquisition requires honesty and thinking about culture.

He stated: “Think about culture, what you want to achieve, be honest with yourself about that and then everything else falls into place.”

CEO at Erskine Murray, Tom Bartleet also detailed that those selling need to be aware of why they are selling and what they are trying to achieve.

He commented: “I think someone really needs to understand what it is they want from an exit, I think all of us would probably say culture is the most important thing for success, in any format of longevity, but then its also about what is a seller and knowing yourself.”  

Market
In reference to whether mergers & acquisitions are healthy for the UK broking sector, Bartleet highlighted the importance of moderation.

He commented: “My grandmother would say moderation in all things so I think as brokers we need some scale to give customers what they need, scale for insurers, so that they [brokers] have enough critical mass to be relevant to those insurers and scale to be able to invest in our people, technology etc, to make us better businesses.”

Meanwhile, Peter Blanc Aston Lark group CEO suggested that M&A activity can be good for brokers and customers.

He said: “For every broker in the land it’s a good thing, because actually the existence of M&A means that every broker as a business has got a value, I mean we’ve all got customers with businesses.

“And I’ve got some friends in the freight hauling industry who have built up some pretty substantial businesses which in broking would be worth many millions of pounds and they can’t sell them because it hasn’t got the same features as insurance broking, the renewable cash flows, customer retention rates, the positive Ebitda margins.”

He added:”From a customer perspective, I also think it’s really good, from an acquisition we hope to bring a new specialism or a new capability to the business.”

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