Business

Howden to acquire Aston Lark from Goldman Sachs Asset Management

The union “completes” Howden’s UK broking business, with Aston Lark joining A-Plan Group and Howden UK to create a full-service broker

Howden has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Aston Lark from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Bowmark Capital.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

The union “completes” Howden’s UK broking business, with Aston Lark joining A-Plan Group and Howden UK to create a full-service broker.

The transaction marks Howden’s largest acquisition to date and creates a UK business managing over £6bn of gross written premium for more than 1.7m policyholders who are served by over 5,000 employees from 160 locations in the UK and Ireland.

Aston Lark is one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers specialising in complex commercial and private client insurance and employee benefit advice, placing over £1bn of gross written premiums for 200,000 clients, on behalf of the UK’s leading insurers.

The business will be led by a combined management team. Upon completion, Aston Lark chief executive Peter Blanc will become executive chairman of Howden’s UK retail broking operations while current A-Plan chief executive Officer, Carl Shuker will be appointed chief executive officer of the new platform.

Andy Bragoli, chief executive officer of Howden UK, will lead Howden’s International specialty business. The management team will report into Jose Manuel Gonzalez, chief executive officer, Howden Broking Group.

David Howden, CEO Howden Group, said: “The completion of our UK Broking platform is a deal a decade in the making and I’m thrilled that Aston Lark’s highly respected and experienced management team has chosen Howden as its final home.

“Not only is Aston Lark the missing piece of our UK broking strategy but our new strengthened platform signals a new beginning for the Group, accelerating our significant international ambitions by bringing a fresh and energetic dynamic to all our markets and even greater value to our clients.”

Peter Blanc, Group CEO of Aston Lark, said: “I’ve always been determined to make sure that the business we have been building in Aston Lark finds its forever home and I’m absolutely delighted to have done that through Howden.

“Together we will be the major force in the UK broking market and I’m extremely excited about what we can achieve over the coming years. Our combined products, services and footprint will enable us to capture every customer in the market.”

Michele Titi-Cappelli, managing director in the private equity business within Goldman Sachs asset management, said: “Leveraging our deep financial services expertise and operational support capabilities, we are proud to have supported Aston Lark’s success under Peter and the broader management team.

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