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Ethos Broking Australia to drive Ardonagh expansion

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Ardonagh Global Partners has launched Ethos Broking Australia to drive further growth in the local market through merger and acquisition activity.

Ethos says it has a strong pipeline of businesses it plans to invest in and acquire, with opportunities emerging through succession planning, exit strategies and the provision of capital for brokers to grow their existing operations.

The announcement follows UK-based Ardonagh’s purchase of authorised representative network Resilium earlier this year and the appointment of Paul Lynam as Chairman of the group’s wider Australian operations.

“Through the strong backing of our parent company, Ardonagh, Ethos Broking Australia has the financial capacity to either fully acquire, or partly acquire, Australian insurance businesses that align with our own cultural fit, which is vitally important to us,” Mr Lynam said today.

Ardonagh Global Partners was formed in April to expand the group’s international presence. The company flagged then that Resilium would act as the centrepiece for the Australian operations and allow the group to leverage opportunities for the wider portfolio.

Adrian Kitchin, who led the Resilium management buyout from Suncorp in 2019, has been appointed Ethos Broking Australia CEO. Ben Hastie becomes Resilium MD, moving from his current role as Director, Broking.

Mr Kitchin says Ethos will offer brokers flexibility in how they work with the group to reach their individual aspirations.

“For those that want to stay in the business and partner with us to implement growth strategies, we are ready to support them long-term,” he said.

“Equally, for those thinking about taking a step back, Ethos provides an alternative to consolidation, bringing their business into a growing and connected group of strong regional brands.”

Ardonagh already operates Ethos Broking UK, a business that has grown from a standing start in 2016 to having 13 regional hubs and 27 satellites with a combined gross written premium of £301 million ($553 million) to date.

Mr Kitchin says Ethos Broking Australia will allow strategic investments in brokers holding an Australian Financial Services Licence, while Resilium is a brand focused "solely on providing services to authorised representatives”.

“Through Resilium Partners, we also are able to make strategic investments in authorised representatives,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. 

Ardonagh last week announced it planned to acquire the insurance operations of BGC Partners, including Sydney-based Epsilon Underwriting.

The acquisition also added global wholesale and specialty (re)insurance broker Ed, Lloyd’s broker Besso, aviation specialist Piiq Risk Partners, German marine broker Junge, UK-based agency Globe Underwriting and European agency Cooper Gay.

“A backdrop of unprecedented levels of consolidation has created a vacuum in the market, a space from which the BGC and Ardonagh businesses will emerge together as a preeminent force, restoring balance and cultivating a preferred destination for top-performing talent,” Ardonagh CEO David Ross said.