Belfast insurance firm acquires Leeds-based broker

Willis IRM group’s managing director Richard Willis

BELFAST based Willis Insurance and Risk Management (Willis IRM) has purchased Leeds firm Hale Kavanagh Insurance Brokers for an undisclosed sum.

Willis IRM, which was established in Northern Ireland in 1978 by Robert Willis, purchased Kennett Insurance Brokers in Hull in 2017.

They followed this by acquiring Belfast-based McCausland Light and Rankin in January 2018.

And this latest acquisition brings the group's total gross written premium (GWP) to £45 million, and expands the Yorkshire GWP alone to £10 million.

Hale Kavanagh, which specialises in general insurance broking, has been operating since 2011 and employs 10 members of staff at its office in Leeds. In the near future, it will begin trading under the 40-year-old Kennett brand.

Willis IRM group managing director Richard Willis said: “We're very excited to be furthering our business outside Northern Ireland with the acquisition of Hale Kavanagh.

“Over the last four years, our firm has grown significantly with staff numbers trebling during that time to 108, something which we are very proud of.

“It also highlights our growing client base across the UK with our Kennett Insurance Brand, all of which have access to our full-service offering of risk management, health and safety, financial services and employment law.

Luigi Maggio, managing director of Kennett's, said: “Hale Kavanagh, Kennett's and Willis IRM all share high level service-orientated values and as independent brokers we strive to put the customer first.

“Leeds is the UK's fourth most populous region and the major financial and commercial hub in West Yorkshire with a diverse economy, making it an ideal location to expand our expertise and breadth of services.”

Richard Willis added: “We are always striving to expand the group's portfolio through the strategic acquisition of like-minded independent brokers.

“We're looking forward to working alongside the Hale Kavanagh staff in Leeds and we will continue to seek further opportunities to grow our business.”

As part of the deal with Hale Kavanagh, principal Julian Hale will leave the company but other existing staff will remain.

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