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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Steadfast acquires controlling stake in GSA

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Steadfast has acquired a controlling shareholding in GSA Insurance Brokers, giving the business “extra clout” and filling a “missing piece in the jigsaw” for the network.

Sydney-based GSA, which also has an office in Brisbane, was formed 30 years ago and has about 60 staff. Its corporate sector focus was particularly attractive to Steadfast.

Steadfast MD and CEO Robert Kelly and GSA CEO Paul Hines are good friends and Mr Kelly told insuranceNEWS.com.au today that he had watched the business grow and had been keen to take a stake for many years.

“I’ve never seen [Paul] put a foot wrong and we are really happy to take some equity,” Mr Kelly said.

“It’s a great move for us because we’ve been weak in the [corporate] sector and this gives us the opportunity to build some of our other assets that we've got that fit very well with GSA.

“GSA has great growth potential but we can bring some opportunity for acquisition growth to enhance and accelerate that growth.”

Mr Hines will become Executive Chairman, with James Telford, who has been with the business for 15 years, promoted to CEO. Current Chairman John Hewson will remain as an adviser to the board.

Mr Hines told insuranceNEWS.com.au that “numerous other parties” had made advances over the years but that he’d gone with Steadfast because Mr Kelly is “a person that gets things done”.

“It’s a very good union because we might form that missing link, as they don’t really have a strong representation in that corporate space.

“We are that missing piece in the jigsaw puzzle in terms of Steadfast’s broking armoury. That appealed to me and it obviously appealed to Robert. The two companies are culturally very much aligned. There is a comfort and trust factor there that you can’t put a price on."

He says that the deal will enable operational efficiencies and better access to market. "Importantly, it will increase our clout," he said.

Mr Hines says that by stepping aside as CEO he will enable other key staff to “spread their wings”.

The business, which was already a Steadfast member, will continue to operate under the GSA brand.