AUB Group announces largest acquisition yet

ASX listed AUB Group’s New Zealand arm has announced the acquisition of the remaining 50 per cent shareholding of BrokerWeb Risk Services (BWRS), bringing AUB NZ’s shareholding to 100 percent, effective 1 January 2019.

BWRS is one of New Zealand’s largest insurance brokers, with NZD150 million in gross written premium (GWP). Discussing the announcement, AUB Group CEO & Managing Director, Mark Searles, said, “Strategic acquisitions across Australia and New Zealand continue to form a key element of AUB Group’s diversified growth model, whereby organic growth is complemented by acquisitions that demonstrate strong strategic and cultural alignment. BWRS is a leading insurance broker with immense opportunity, and is an ideal fit for our unique ‘skin in the game’ partnership model.”

AUB NZ purchased 50 per cent of BWRS in November 2014. The current announcement follows the Group’s AUD116 million capital raise in November, which also saw the announcement of an increased shareholding in Adroit Insurance & Risk. The Group has now committed over AUD67 million to acquisitions in the current financial year.

Serving 25,000 clients from seven branches throughout New Zealand plus its three associate companies, BWRS supports large corporates, SME and retail consumers alike, with their total insurance and risk management needs.

As part of this acquisition, David Archer – Founder and CEO of BWRS – will step down from his role. Recruitment for a new CEO is underway, and Archer will remain active in the business for a suitable period to ensure a smooth transition. He said, “BWRS is now very well placed to continue its strong momentum of growth. I look forward to supporting the BWRS team during this transition, and to seeing the firm continue to strengthen, with all the advantages of the AUB partner network.”

Discussing the announcement, Keith McIvor, Managing Director, AUB NZ, said, “BWRS has had a very successful few years, thanks to the leadership of David Archer and his executive team. We thank David for his ongoing support since the first 50 per cent acquisition in November 2014, and for his hard work in establishing a strong leadership team and business strategy to take BWRS forward.”

Over the past five and a half years, AUB Group has completed 39 transactions totaling AUD199 million (excluding BWRS), providing the Group with ownership of a robust network of diversified risk management enterprises, and continuing the success of Group’s unique partnership business model.