Avid Insurance agrees sale of majority stake to Beech Tree


Avid Insurance Services Ltd [‘Avid’], the specialist MGA, has sold a majority stake to Beech Tree Private Equity [‘BTPE’].  

Avid managing director Stephen Gibson, who will continue to run the business with commercial director John Inwood, said the investment from BTPE will give Avid the firepower to “accelerate our growth and build on the investment we’ve made during the past year in both people and systems.”

Gary Edmondson, a director and co-founder of Avid, will leave the business as part of the deal.

Stephen said: “We have grown significantly in the last 12 months, and this investment will fuel further organic profitable growth and also enable us to acquire new underwriting teams.” 

Stephen explained that Avid, which he founded in 2006, specialises in travel, social housing and council leasehold markets. It is based in Leeds and London and is both a Lloyds broker and a Lloyds coverholder, writing over £40m of gross written premium.

“Our aim this year to grow significantly through a combination of building out our existing lines, especially in leasehold, and attracting underwriting teams who have been held back by the recent reductions in capacity and who have unique skillsets and access to distribution and want to be part of the growth story.” 

“We have the systems and tools in house, and A rated paper from our Insurer partners which together will prove highly attractive for talented underwriters who control niche and specialist books of business, and want to grow. Ideally, we would like to have hired at least two new teams by this time next year.” 

He said: “BTPE are as ambitious as we are, and have deep experience of the sector from previous investments. It was a big move for us to partner with BTPE after 13 years as an independent but we are convinced we have made the right decision, and look forward to working with them to take Avid on the next stage of its growth journey.”

Andy Marsh, managing partner of BTPE, said: “Avid is a stand out business with a profitable portfolio and a number of long-term relationships with capacity providers and distributers.”

He added: “The management team has done a fantastic job in building the business to date and we are looking forward to supporting their plans for the future.”    

The deal has received regulatory approval and the consideration is undisclosed.

About Avid

Avid Insurance is an established general insurance Intermediary and managing general agent. It holds both Lloyd's cover holder and broker status placing a wide variety of personal lines and commercial products into the market.

Avid specialises in the social housing sector, travel and associated insurance and property insurance, together with niche insurance schemes and products.

With its range of Insurer partners, Avid Insurance will be able to produce a bespoke insurance solution to meet clients’ specific needs together with ongoing product and management support.

About Beech Tree Private Equity:

Beech Tree Private Equity is a private equity firm providing capital and expertise to fast growing businesses across the UK. BTPE invest £10-30 million into high growth companies typically valued at between £10 and 75 million. The business was founded by two experienced private equity investors, Andy Marsh and Paul Franks.

Beech Tree Private Equity invests in businesses operating in high growth markets or with disruptive business models which, with additional capital and expertise, can take advantage of the dynamics of an attractive business model and expanding market.