New York-based insurance broker NFP has acquired boutique financial advisory firm Simon Shirley Advisors, its fourth deal in the Irish market in the past two years.
That acquisition sees NFP, one of the largest brokers in the US, expand its commercial insurance business as well as its Irish wealth management and employee benefits franchise.
The deal follows the acquisition of Malahide-based Resure Corporate Brokers by NFP last month. ReSure, which was established two years ago, generated gross written premiums worth more than €24m in 2021.
NFP also acquired Irish brokers HMP in April 2020 and Aiken Insurance in August last year.
The move highlights the ongoing consolidation in the Irish insurance industry as smaller Irish brokers have been snubbed by global players.
Last month, Kerry insurance firm Gallivan Murphy was bought by US firm Assured Partners for €100m, while Chill Insurance, the private equity-backed owner of Third Rock, acquired Cote Devil.
Matt Powell, NFP’s Managing Director for the UK and Ireland Irish independent That Brexit was a contributing factor to the NFP’s turn to Ireland.
“Ireland is proving to be one of the winners from Brexit in terms of investment coming in from the states and generally going to London,” he said.
He added that the company is ready to pursue Irish deals, particularly in wealth management, as well as in human resource consulting following its recent acquisition in the UK.
“We haven’t got a list of what we need, but we’re really interested in buying businesses that give us something new or something better than what we already have,” he said.
Based in Dublin, Simon Shirley Advisors (SSA) advises companies and individuals on employee benefits and pensions. At the end of last year it had funding under advice of €180m. and multinational businesses on employee benefits and pensions. It also works with individual clients.
“I saw a lot of change in the market,” founder Simon Shirley told the Irish Independent. “Regulatory compliance has increased, there is a need to invest in technology and digital platforms. [The acquisition] This is an opportunity to support the NFP with the resources and expertise to help them grow their business in Ireland and Europe, as well as the resources and expertise they have,” he said.