Miles Smith announces proposed acquisition by Pollen Street Capital


Miles Smith has announced the proposed acquisition of a majority shareholding in the business by funds managed by Pollen Street Capital (PSC), a private equity firm specialising in the financial services sector. The transaction is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Miles Smith is one of the UK’s leading schemes and affinities brokers and can trace its origins back to 1925. It is currently ranked in the country’s top 40 brokers and employs over 220 insurance, claims and risk management specialists, together with customer service and support staff. Its head office is situated in London and it also has offices in Suffolk and Bedfordshire. The Group writes in excess of £170 million GWP annually.

Miles Smith is a market wide problem solver for its customers, brokers, affinity partners and insurers. It leverages strong market relationships and has used its extensive industry expertise to develop quality, complex schemes and solutions for high risk industries, offering them to market through its diverse distribution channels.

The current company was formed following a re-structuring in 2000 under the stewardship of Paul Chainey (CEO). Paul remains head of the company today and, during that time, has overseen a number of successful acquisitions and led a specialist team providing an impressive and consistent organic growth rate.

To achieve its next stage of growth, Miles Smith worked with Deloitte’s Financial Services M&A Advisory team to present the opportunity to potential investors wishing to participate in a business with strong fundamentals and growth potential alongside an experienced and skilled management team and workforce. Miles Smith carefully selected a partner who they felt would support the business through this next exciting phase and who could facilitate retiring and exiting shareholders. They are now entering the final stages of the deal with investors PSC and, subject to regulatory approval, hope to complete in the first quarter of 2018.

PSC is a fund manager, which is focused on investing in businesses in the financial and business services sectors. They have invested over £1.2bn in a range of businesses across all stages of development, such as Moneycorp (provider of international payment and retail travel money products), Shawbrook (challenger bank), and Arrow Global (debt purchaser) to name but a few.

Ian Gascoigne – PSC Partner says “Miles Smith is a client centric business, which has an attractive market position within its focus areas of specialist insurance distribution. We are excited by the opportunity to invest in the expansion of a unique and specialist business like Miles Smith.

We share a common view of the opportunities for the business and as a potential future shareholder, we look forward to leveraging our experience and network within the UK financial services sector to support Miles Smith through its next phase of growth, building on the strong reputation and deep industry expertise the business has developed to date.”

PSC represents a unique combination of financial resources, hands-on approach, extensive experience of backing specialty financial services businesses, and involvement in adjacent sectors which creates an environment in which the growth of their portfolio companies can accelerate.

Paul Chainey – Miles Smith CEO says “PSC offers a great solution for shareholders, staff and Miles Smith’s strong market relationships. Miles Smith has many large and exciting opportunities, which we are determined to pursue with the strategic investment of our new partner and the PSC investment provides a spring board for these opportunities to crystallise and take Miles Smith to another level. Their portfolio of investments reflects values shared by Miles Smith in that they work with expert specialist businesses. They have a good track record of supporting the management teams of their investee businesses and we look forward to a long and successful partnership. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank MS Amlin and our retiring shareholders for their contribution to the business.”