H.W Kaufman seeks to grow in UK MGA space

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Business will move forward in the UK under the Burns & Wilcox brand following the Barbican Protect buy.

H.W Kaufman is seeking to grow GWP at Barbican Protect following its acquisition of the MGA for an undisclosed sum.

The US-based family business is also keen to grow its UK footprint and this may lead to further deals in the UK MGA space, according to James Stevenson, managing director at H.W Kaufman Group.

Stevenson told Insurance Age: “We want to use it to build H.W Kaufman in the UK.”

Barbican Protect will soon be rebranded as Burns & Wilcox.

Stevenson explained that Burns & Wilcox, part of H.W Kaufman, is one of the largest family-owned MGAs in the United States.

He commented: “Burns & Wilcox is a very strong brand in the London Market and the USA. We are looking to build the brand in the UK.”

Barbican Protect currently has GWP around £50m and 19 staff. Stevenson confirmed that all staff would remain with the business following the deal.

He also pointed out that no private equity financing was used in the deal.

The organisation will consider further UK acquisitions as Burns & Wilcox but Stevenson felt there were also opportunities for organic growth. He said MGAs would be the target and ruled out brokers as potential buys.

He commented: “Yes, [there may be acquisitions], but we feel our strong ownership is going to mean we will also attract good talent to the business because it will be a stable home.”

The MGA will focus on niche lines – it currently specialises in property, commercial combined, marine and professionals.

Stevenson said he is seeking to develop news lines in addition to growing the ones the business already has, but remarked that it is still “early days” in terms of deciding the direction of travel.

He pledged to continue serving Barbican Protect’s UK brokers and added: “It is fantastic news amid the doom and gloom about Brexit. Here is a US business investing in the UK and wanting to grow. That’s a good thing for the country.”

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