Marsh has today announced that it has reached agreement with AXA Group to acquire Bluefin Insurance Group Limited (Bluefin), a subsidiary of AXA UK plc. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Founded in 2008, Bluefin has approximately 1,500 colleagues based in 45 locations around the UK, providing guidance on creating insurance solutions to over 150,000 businesses and individuals. In addition to insurance broking, it also operates an extensive broker network and growing Managing General Agent business.
On completion, Marsh will combine Bluefin and Jelf into a single business unit to be led by Phil Barton, CEO of Jelf, and a management team drawn from both firms. This unit will bring together two leading community brokers with complementary regional offices across the UK, serving over 250,000 clients in 80 locations. It will also include around 400 network broker members as well as a strong affinity and digital offering.
The combined business will be one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies, offering a compelling proposition through its commitment to high quality technical advice, bespoke products and distinctive services including claims consultancy and risk management. It will also provide intelligent risk insights that will enable companies to address emerging risks such as cyber, as well as people-related issues through a strong employee benefits team.
“We want to make sure that businesses of all sizes are getting the very best risk and insurance advice to help them navigate the uncertainties of today’s environment. Bringing the Bluefin and Jelf teams together will give us a great platform to do just that,” said Mark Weil, Marsh’s CEO for UK & Ireland. “We are investing in new policies, products and analytic tools to help businesses make informed choices on how best to manage the risks they face. Under Rob Organ, Bluefin have built a fantastic business and we look forward to welcoming him and his colleagues to the firm.”
Mr Barton added: “Since Marsh’s acquisition of Jelf last year we have been able to deliver the value and expertise that comes from being part of a global firm to our clients while maintaining the entrepreneurial spirit we’re known for. By combining Bluefin and Jelf, we will now have the footprint and capabilities to provide better client service to companies of all sizes across the UK.”
Robert Organ, CEO of Bluefin, commented: “This announcement is great news for our clients and colleagues and gives Bluefin a strong, long-term owner from which to grow. Clients will benefit from access to unrivalled global expertise, delivered locally and our colleagues will have expanded career opportunities in a major broking business that puts them and their clients first. Together with colleagues in Jelf, we will present a leading risk and insurance offering to businesses and individuals across the UK.”
“We are very happy to be able to agree to this transaction with Marsh,” said Amanda Blanc, CEO of AXA UK & Ireland. “As market dynamics have evolved and our own strategy has progressed, it has become increasingly apparent that Bluefin’s ability to achieve its potential would be better served under a new parent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bluefin’s teams for their great contribution over the years.”