Broker Ardonagh Group Launches Ardonagh Europe to Expand Buy-and-Build Strategy

July 27, 2021

The Ardonagh Group announced the creation of Ardonagh Europe as it prepares to take its buy-and-build model to Europe.

Ardonagh Europe will be headquartered in Dublin and led by Conor Brennan, who will also continue to hold the position of CEO of Arachas Corporate Brokers, a subsidiary of Ardonagh.

Ardonagh Europe will form part of the Ardonagh International segment and operate alongside Ardonagh Global Partners, led by Des O’Connor, which is focused on the rest of the world.

Conor Brennan

Brennan has been the CEO of Arachas, Ireland’s largest and fastest growing specialist corporate broker, since May 2018. Prior to Arachas he held a number of roles at Zurich Insurance, including head of UK general insurance and CEO of general insurance in Ireland.

The team is strengthened by the additional appointments of Maria Cospito as chief commercial officer for Ardonagh Europe, and Colin O’Reilly as chief acquisitions officer.

Cospito was most recently head of Navigators & General at Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd., while O’Reilly joins from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the €9 billion Irish sovereign wealth fund, where he held the role of senior investment manager.

John McCarthy, in addition to his current role as CFO of Arachas, will assume the role of CFO for Ardonagh Europe.

Arachas joined Ardonagh in 2020 and has gone on to make a number of acquisitions including Hooper Dolan and fintech Orange Bear. Earlier this month, it announced the opening of the Ardonagh Global Data and Risk Management Centre in Mullingar, Ireland, and the creation of 60 data science and analysis roles.

Under Brennan’s leadership, Ardonagh Europe will replicate Arachas’ model across Europe, acquiring platform businesses and then building organically and through bolt-on acquisitions.

Businesses that join Ardonagh Europe will benefit from access to Ardonagh’s commercial capabilities, funding and management expertise as part of a top 20 Global Broker which places over $10 billion in gross written premiums.

In the first quarter of 2021, the Ardonagh Group increased income by 24.8% to £199.7 million and adjusted EBITDA by 52% to £66.3 million, due to a combination of acquisitions and organic growth. The group expects further substantial growth and investment into international markets, including Ardonagh Europe, over the next 12 months and beyond.

Ardonagh will complete the $500 million acquisition of Ed Broking Group and Besso Insurance in 2021.

“The launch today of Ardonagh Europe signals our continued focus on increasing our global footprint. We have spent the last 12 months building a meaningful pipeline in geographies which present us with significant complementary opportunities,” commented David Ross, chief executive of Ardonagh Group.

“Almost a year to the day since we acquired Arachas, we are poised to execute on our campaign in Europe, with Conor and his newly formed team perfectly positioned to establish themselves as the partner of choice for extraordinary businesses,” Ross added.

Conor Brennan, chief executive of Arachas and of Ardonagh Europe, said: “Ardonagh has a special culture and a unique strategy to acquire and invest in brokerages, MGAs, and strategically significant service providers while retaining and empowering leaders. We have established a strong pipeline of acquisitions; making them a reality is a dream job.”

Formed in 2017, Ardonagh’s brands include Autonet, Arachas, Bishopsgate, Broker Network, Carole Nash, Compass Networks, Ethos Broking, Geo Underwriting, Price Forbes, Swinton, Towergate and URIS. With a UK headquarters in London, Ardonagh’s registered address is in St. Helier, Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of the UK.

Source: Ardonagh Group

Topics Agencies Europe

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