Marsh ramps up insurance footprint in UK with Bluefin acquisition

25 November 2016

Marsh has acquired Bluefin Insurance Group for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, following expected closure at the start of 2017, will be integrated with Jelf which was itself picked up last year. The combined business will be one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies, serving over 250,000 clients.

Bluefin Insurance Group (Bluefin) is a UK-based insurance broker, and a subsidiary of AXA UK. The company, which was established in 2008, has since grown to a team of more than 1,500 across a footprint of 45 UK locations. Bluefin today serves more than 150,000 businesses and individuals, and also operates as an insurance broker network and a Managing General Agent (MAG) business.

The acquisition, which has been rumoured for weeks and is expected to close in the first quarter 2017, creates one of the largest players in the insurance brokerage market with a focus on mid-size and SME companies. The combined forces from the two companies will allow for the delivery of highly technical advice and bespoke products, from claims consultancy to risk management. In addition, the growing cyber security risk segment will be covered by the new entity, as well as increasing concerns around employee benefits, from pension planning to stress managements.

Marsh ramps up insurance footprint in UK with Bluefin acquisition

The new entity will be integrated with Marsh's Jelf subsidiary, and fall under the direction of Phil Barton, CEO of Jelf. Marshes new business unit will have more than 400 network broker members, servicing more than 250,000 clients in 80 locations.

Mark Weil, Marsh’s CEO for UK & Ireland, says, “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.”

Bluefin's CEO, Robert Organ, adds, “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.”


SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

19 April 2019

UK consulting firm SQW Group has completed its first acquisition since it completed a management buyout in January 2019. BBP Regeneration joins the company having collaborated with SQW for more than 20 years.

Established in 1983, SQW Group now operates all over the world. Comprising SQW, Oxford Innovation, Oxford Innovation Services – one of the UK’s leading innovation centre operators – and Oxford Investment Opportunities Network, the organisation’s origins can be traced to Britain’s two ancient university cities: Oxford, through Oxford Trust founders, Martin and Audrey Wood, and Cambridge, through SQW’s work in producing The Cambridge Phenomenon.

The consultancy specialises in public policy, working with entities from the public, private and voluntary sectors to research, develop, implement and evaluate social and economic development interventions. It now employs over 250 people across regional offices in London, Oxford and Edinburgh, and provides business support to over 4,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses each year. At the start of 2019, SQW secured its independence in a management buyout, advised on by M&A experts from Liberty Corporate Finance and Penningtons Manches.

SQW Group purchases property-based regeneration consultancy

SQW has strengthened its position as a provider of services across the business spectrum with the acquisition of BBP Regeneration. Founded in 1994, the consulting firm specialises in land and property-based regeneration and growth schemes, and is a leading social and economic development consultancy. 

The two firms first worked together over 20 years ago, when SQW and BBP collaborated to develop the first Regional Economic Strategy for the South East. More recently, they developed an economic strategy for Thanet and are now working together in locations stretching from Cwmbran via Oxfordshire to London.

With the addition of BBP, SQW can now provide an integrated advisory service for organisations developing property schemes which deliver economic benefit to their local area. By joining SQW, meanwhile, BBP hopes to further enhance its ability to support clients in delivering property and place-making ambitions. 

Speaking about the deal, SQW CEO David Crichton-Miller commented, “The UK more than ever needs solutions to the challenges of places – of high streets under threat, of meeting housing delivery targets, and of both economically over-successful and economically challenged towns and cities – and the combination of SQW and BBP is uniquely suited to developing those solutions. [This deal] brings together critical and complementary services relating to places to serve our clients with leading edge and practical advice.”

Andy Smith, Director of BBP Regeneration, added, “SQW shares with BBP the same values of seeking to provide outstanding, practical, real world advice that helps get buildings built and places developed.  We greatly look forward to the opportunities that come from joining our two organisations together.”