PIB Group Limited has acquired The COBRA group of companies (‘COBRA’), subject to FCA regulatory approval. This is PIB’s 20th investment since 2016 and follows on from PIB’s acquisition of Optis Insurances Ltd in Ireland earlier this year.
COBRA is a network-centric proposition to independent insurance intermediaries and provides a wide range of services for its Network members, agents and clients through its four main operating platforms: COBRA Network, COBRA Underwriting Agencies, COBRA London Markets and COBRA Insurance Brokers.
Following completion of the acquisition, the amount of premium placed or influenced by PIB will grow from £550m to £900m. Total headcount for PIB will also increase to over 1200 employees.
Brendan McManus, CEO for PIB commented: “I’m delighted that PIB has the opportunity to invest in the next stage of COBRA’s development and ambitious growth plans. Collectively and individually, all businesses within COBRA have established strong reputations and leveraged strong margins from insurers. This is another exciting milestone which brings additional scale and new complementary capabilities across several of our existing propositions. We plan to invest in all areas of the group.”
Steve Burrows, CEO for COBRA, commented: “I am very pleased that PIB has chosen to acquire and invest in the COBRA group. Established in 2003, COBRA Network was the first COBRA company and, since then, we have successfully built a dynamic insurance group that includes a strong, well-established Lloyd’s brokerage, a growing retail operation and a service-driven MGA, all of which have built loyal and profitable customer bases. The investment planned by PIB creates an exciting opportunity for us to strengthen and further develop our businesses in line with our plans.”
COBRA businesses will continue to operate under their established trading brands and integrate into complementary divisions within PIB, along with their existing management teams.
Steve Burrows has agreed to remain as a consultant for the foreseeable future and assist with developing and investing in the broker proposition. His position provides continuity for COBRA’s employees, clients, agents and its Network members and also allows Steve to pursue other personal ventures.
“We will be investing in all areas of COBRA and see many fantastic opportunities to collaborate. The products provided by COBRA Underwriting Agencies for example are very complementary to ours, and we look forward to working with them in developing their proposition and product range.” continued McManus. “At the same time, COBRA Network will remain independent. We will focus on investing in the expansion of their proposition and make all our resources available to COBRA members to help with development plans.”