Arthur J. Gallagher Announces Acquisition of Belmont International
Arthur J. Gallagher has today announced the acquisition of passenger transport specialist Belmont International, a market-leading independent insurance broker in the South-East, for an undisclosed sum.
Established in 1988 by managing director Barrie Etchells to service the newly privatised UK bus industry, Belmont has since grown to be one of the top commercial insurance brokers in the South-East, with more than 80 employees generating more than £55m gross written premium.
Belmont will become part of the UK Retail business - with the exception of its employee benefits division which provides a natural complement to Arthur J. Gallagher’s own specialist UK-based consultancy Gallagher Employee Benefits.
Located in Sevenoaks, Kent, the business will strongly enhance Arthur J. Gallagher’s UK retail presence in the South-East of England and deepen its offering of niche, client-focused expertise.
As part of the deal, founder Barrie Etchells will step down from the position of MD as he works towards a planned retirement, while being retained on a consultancy basis to ensure a smooth transition and integration of the business he has built up over the past 25 years. We are pleased to announce that his deputy David Hinton, who joined the broker in its formative year and has 40 years’ experience in the UK insurance industry, will now be joining Arthur J. Gallagher to lead the business going forward.
David Ross, CEO Arthur J. Gallagher International, said: “When the opportunity arose to make Belmont part of the Arthur J. Gallagher group, we knew it was one too good to miss. We have long tracked its success and admired its market-leading position. Not only is it synonymous with risk management expertise in passenger transport but Belmont also boasts a thriving commercial insurance business with other niche plays in property owners, renewable energy and motor trade.
“Bringing Belmont on board is in line with our strategic objectives for growth – we only buy strong, profitable businesses that are accretive to our value. Its undisputed strength in passenger transport will add to UK Retail’s existing specialist units within the public sector and education arena, as well as credit and surety.”
David Hinton added: “In Arthur J. Gallagher we have found a like-minded client-focused company that takes a passionate, hands-on approach to service and is keen to build its retail sector expertise. With a national and international footprint, it can help roll-out our knowledge and capabilities, plus bring all the benefits inherent in being part of a global broking and risk management group. This is all about taking the business to its next level, guaranteeing its future position and progression.”
Barrie Etchells said: “I am immensely proud of the business we have built over the past 25 years, firmly rooted in the provision of professional and personal service, alongside a sector expertise second to none. This is demonstrated by our long-standing client and insurer partnerships and, in passing the management of the business to David Hinton, I leave it in the most expert, client-focused and dedicated hands.”
David Ross added: “We would like to wish Barrie all the best in his planned retirement and acknowledge his fantastic achievements, building Belmont into a business admired by so many in both the insurance and transport industries. We are delighted David Hinton is going to join Arthur J. Gallagher and build on Belmont's success.”
For further information, please contact:
Ross Gow, Acuity Reputation
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Notes to Editors:
Arthur J. Gallagher
Arthur J. Gallagher, the brand name for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. outside of the United States, employs 2400 staff across the UK, Australia, Singapore, Caribbean, Canada and Chile.
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), an international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, is headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, has operations in 20 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 140 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants.
Belmont International was established in 1988 by Barrie Etchells and two fellow directors, to service the newly privatised bus industry. In 2004 it acquired Bishops, a top 10 regional commercial broker based in Ashford, Kent, significantly enhancing its general corporate and commercial client portfolio.
Based in Otford, in the Sevenoaks district of Kent, Belmont employs more than 80 staff and provides risk and insurance solutions to businesses and private individuals. It has been the preferred supplier of insurance, risk management and financial services and products to the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s members since 2005 and worked in partnership with CPT for many more years.
Belmont was the inaugural sponsor of the UK Bus Awards and the UK Coach Awards and remains main sponsor to this day.