The Clear Group completes refinancing to fuel future growth


The Clear Group (“Clear”) has announced that it has attracted significant new investment as part of a refinancing plan from ECI Partners, the UK’s leading growth-focused, mid-market private equity firm.

Clear is an award-winning independent insurance broker with over 30,000 clients and handling over £100m of premiums.  It is focused on the UK corporate and SME market and has a strong expertise in niche insurance verticals including property and construction.

Since its inception in 2001, Clear has expanded through a combination of organic growth and the successful completion and integration of 23 acquisitions.  Its focus has been on creating sustainable value, and it has differentiated itself as an acquirer by adopting a consultative approach to change, engaging all key stakeholders including management, employees and insurers through the process.

The new investment from ECI Partners will enable Clear to continue to grow its business across niche SME markets whilst providing significant investment in people, technology and innovation. The investment will also see Clear continue to expand its reach through targeted M&A activity.

Howard Lickens (CEO) and Gary O’Donnell (Deputy CEO) will continue to lead the business in conjunction with the current Chairman Paul Druckman through the next stage of its exciting growth plans. Clear will also remain a key member of the Brokerbility group.

Howard Lickens, CEO of Clear said: “We have made no secret that we needed more money to support our acquisition plans for the next stage of our growth and have spent the last 6 months or more working towards securing the right finance.  This deal signals confidence both in our business and in the long-term direction of the market in which we operate.   It’s a real endorsement that ECI has seen the value in our company and are keen to back us as we put the next phase of our strategy into action.”

Paul McCreadie at ECI Partners commented: “Clear operates in a very large and stable market and is a business with a strong reputation. It has deep knowledge of product specialisms and has long-standing relationships with insurers and customers. Clear has a successful track record pursuing sustainable acquisitions which have been well integrated into the core business and we want to continue this strategy. We are really pleased to partner with Howard, Gary and their team as they advance to the next stage of growth.”