Steadfast has signalled more acquisitions and the addition of more brokers to its “hubs”, after announcing strong mid-year financial figures.
The cluster group’s Managing Director and CEO, Robert Kelly, told journalists this morning the company had $120 million on its books to finance new acquisitions, with a particular focus on brokerages and underwriting agencies.
“We’ll certainly be targeting some underwriting agencies,” Kelly says.
“We’re very interested in anything that is niche, that is being run well, that we understand the business of and that we’ve had lots to do with.”
“Our pathway between now and the end of FY14 will be almost exclusively in underwriting agencies, all of whom are strategically tied up with Steadfast, and brokers that didn’t sell into the business but watched the development of the float and have seen opportunities to come in.”
He says Steadfast will also continue to focus on its hubbing strategy, already well-established in Sydney and Melbourne and recently rolled out in Perth and Brisbane. Similar projects are also forecast for Tasmania, Adelaide and Darwin.
Kelly says within two years the hubbing strategy should be delivering savings of 7%, as the brokerages gain efficiencies.
Overall, Steadfast Network Brokers generated $2 billion in gross written premium in the first half of the current financial year, up 9% on the previous year.
“The 9% year-on-year growth in GWP placed by Steadfast Network Brokers is due to price and volume increases as well as new brokers joining the network,” Kelly says.
“It reflects the resilient SME market where our business is focused and is in line with our market outlook for the financial year.”
“The solid growth in our Network as well as from Steadfast Group Limited reflects our efforts to continue to enhance the services we provide to our brokers, and expand our strategic relationships with insurers and other parties. Plans to deliver back office cost synergies are progressing well with the completion of four hubs to date (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane) and the common back office platform in its final planning stages.”
Kelly also discussed the company’s strong interest in increasing its recent expansion into New Zealand, where they now have 17 offices.