Verlingue set to make deals in the UK

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Move follows the merger of ICB Group and Finch Insurance Brokers.

Verlingue, formerly ICB Group and Finch Insurance Brokers, is set to start making acquisitions in the UK, according to joint CEO Neil Campling.

The move follows the two brokers’ merger into one entity, which will see the new company take the same name as its owner. French firm Verlingue bought Finch in February 2007 and ICB Group in August 2018.

The broker’s holding company, Adelaïde Group, is planning to double in size by 2022 and is targeting €500m (£450m) of revenue.

Acquisitions
Campling told Insurance Age: “In the UK, we’re very much expected to play our part in that. We are tasked with wider coverage in the UK, which will come through organic growth but also, we anticipate, by acquisition.”

According to the CEO, the firm will be targeting commercial brokers with an income of more than £5m and between 40 to 50 staff.

He continued: “The one thing that Verlingue does offer, which is different to a consolidator, is longevity.

“We’re a third generation family business and will remain a family business, the fourth generation is coming through now. That may possibly open a few more doors.”

Campling declined to say whether there were any deals currently in the pipeline, but stated that the broker has been “active” and that more news will follow in 2020.

In terms of locations, he stated that the business would ideally like to buy in the Midlands, the North East, Bristol and Scotland.

“But it’s more about the type of business rather than the location,” he added. “Ultimately, the plan would be to have national coverage, but that’s probably more towards the back-end of the 2022 plan.”

Staff
The combined business has 180 staff and a GWP of around £125m and will continue to be led by CEOs Campling and Mike Latham.

According to Campling, the merger, which was first announced in October 2018, will not lead to any redundancies.

He explained that the business has been operating as a single unit during 2019 and that changing the name was the final piece of the jigsaw.

Verlingue has previously been trading as Finch in the UK, and Campling noted that the company’s model was to have its overseas subsidiaries keep their brands and identities.

He concluded: “We had a chat about this and now that there’s more than one entity in the UK, it didn’t make a lot of sense to have a number of different trading names in the same territory.

“We were all quite keen to have a single name and this was the obvious choice.”

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