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AUB buys Bestmark as three-way merger sealed

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AUB Group has bought Bestmark Insurance Brokers from Principal Ian Garbutt and will merge the business with Comsure and Citycover to form Austbrokers’ largest Queensland brokerage.

Principals from the brokerages will form a management team for the combined business, which will operate as Austbrokers Comsure, with Mr Garbutt assuming the role of CEO.

Bestmark, which until now has been part of the Steadfast network, was started in 1990 and is located at Redbank Plains on the western outskirts of Brisbane.

Mr Garbutt has more than two decades experience in the insurance industry. Previously, he was CGU Queensland state manager and handled the response to events including the Brisbane and Ipswich floods and Cyclone Yasi. He has owned and run the Bestmark business for the past two years.

The opportunity to bring the three brokerages together came as part of succession planning, with Mr Garbutt initially approached by Comsure, which has a strong market position in the motor dealer sector.

“I knew of both businesses, Comsure and Citycover, and had great respect for those businesses,” Mr Garbutt told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “There was an opportunity to consolidate and bring my business in as part of that process.”

The combined group, which has a combined gross written premium of around $65 million, brings scale and service capability benefits and new opportunities, he says.

Comsure and Citycover have offices in the Brisbane suburbs of Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley and are majority owned by AUB Group.

“The newly acquired Bestmark Insurance Brokers significantly enhances the Austbrokers’ network and will form a core pillar of our strength in Queensland,” AUB CEO Mike Emmett said.

“The combined business will increase the scale and breadth of skills that our clients are looking for and will allow us to better service and grow in the Brisbane and broader Queensland market.”

The three-way merger is set to be finalised by the end of the financial year.