31 January 2011, London - Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that it has agreed to make a £200 million investment in Towergate Partnership Limited (“Towergate”), Europe’s largest independent insurance intermediary.
Founded in 1997, Towergate provides both specialist personal and commercial insurance products to individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) through its sister company, Cullum Capital Ventures (“CCV”), and its group of companies which include Towergate Underwriting, Paymentshield, Broker Network and Towergate Financial. Towergate’s operations cover all aspects of insurance distribution and underwriting, with the exception of capital provision.
The business distributes over 200 insurance products, generates more than £2 billion of gross written premiums a year and employs around 4,000 staff located across its 100 UK offices. Since inception, Towergate has acquired and successfully integrated over 170 underwriting and broking firms yet the UK insurance broking market remains highly fragmented.
Nick Rose, Director at Advent International, said:
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to back the Towergate team. They have been one of the fastest growing companies in the UK over the last decade and are a clear leader in their market place today. Our investment will enable Towergate to continue its strategy of acquiring high quality specialist and SME brokers while continuing to provide the highest level of service to its customers.”
Humphrey Battcock, Managing Partner at Advent International, said:
“Towergate is representative of the type of business we look to partner with given its strong market position and leading management team, operating in one of our core subsectors in the financial services industry. We have long viewed Towergate as the premier insurance intermediary in the U.K. and we very much look forward to working with the management team.”
Advent International has been investing in the financial services sector for over 20 years and has backed more than 30 companies in a broad range of subsectors including insurance, transaction and payments processing and financial technology. Investments include Domestic & General, the UK’s leading specialist provider of extended warranty plans for domestic electrical goods; WorldPay, the the fourth largest provider of card payment services globally and the largest in the UK and Europe; Equiniti, the pre-eminent UK provider of share registration services, retail investor services and employee benefits solutions; and Xafinity, the UK’s leading specialist pension services and employee benefits group.
Andy Homer, CEO of Towergate, said:
“Advent’s investment reinforces the strength of our company and allows us to pursue additional avenues of growth. We are excited to have Advent as a partner as we begin the next phase of development of the company and look forward to their support.”
Peter Cullum, Chairman and Founder of Towergate, said:
“This marks an important milestone for Towergate and I am delighted to be working alongside Advent as our new private equity partner. Advent's investment provides real firepower as the group reignites its acquisition programme as part of our ambitious growth strategy.”
Advent International was advised by Goldman Sachs International, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, North Sea Partners and Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
Towergate is Europe’s largest independently owned insurance intermediary. Since being founded in 1997 the business has acquired 177 underwriting and broking firms and now employs around 4000 staff across 100 UK offices.
Towergate is the most significant provider of insurance to the SME market and partners with the Federation of Small Businesses. It has a number of leading positions in specialist fields from holiday homes and caravans, to medical professions and the military. Towergate’s group of companies includes leaders in their fields: Towergate Underwriting, Paymentshield, and Broker Network. They also have a significant presence in financial services through Towergate Financial and John Charcol.