It’s been a busy start to the year for Saffron Insurance: after joining Broker Network in January, the firm announced the purchase of brokerage Grove Financial Management earlier this month, and then quickly followed it up with a second acquisition of Continuum Insurance Brokers.
Insurance Business spoke to Saffron’s managing director, Dave Beswick, who revealed that the firm is eyeing more acquisitions in 2018.
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Both the Grove and Continuum purchases came about after a process of meeting the business owners and establishing that they were a good fit, Beswick said, adding that Saffron will only strike a deal where there is a match culturally, business-wise, and financially.
“Both companies I knew would work with us well and fit in – you will struggle should this not be in place,” the MD said.
“We have, as you can imagine, an active pipeline of prospects. We are well-known in the area and have a very successful track record of looking after the businesses we buy – both the clients and the staff. We’re proud of our retention in both areas.”
With two new deals under its belt, Saffron “absolutely” has plans for more, and is currently in the “mature stages” of conversation with five other brokerages.
“Now that we have the financial backing of Broker Network, further acquisitions are a key part of our strategy,” Beswick said.
“We would love to hear from any prospective seller in the East of England especially. Our strategy of building our business local to vendors and not centralising remotely does, we know, appeal in a sales situation. Combine that with our strong desire to keep offices open where possible, and we believe we have a powerful offer.”
In 2018, the business will remain committed to intermediated personal lines – a factor which Beswick says sets it apart from competitors.
“We believe there remains a market for this and are seeing the market turn in our favour at last, with high retention rates and improving conversion rates on NB enquiries,” he said.
“We contact all clients for a pre-renewal review and this is especially valued. Our strategy of having local commercial executives serving their local community has always worked for us and it still does.”
That focus, combined with a “great team with extremely low turnover,” and the recent partnership with Broker Network, means that Saffron is facing the future confidence.
Besnick adds that the business wants to grow its GWP to £60m within three years – and from there, the sky is the limit.