BGC Partners, Inc.("BGC Partners", "BGC", or "the Company"), a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Besso Insurance Group Limited ("Besso"), an independent Lloyd's of London insurance broker with a strong reputation across Property, Casualty, Marine, Aviation, Professional and Financial Risks and Reinsurance.
Shaun D. Lynn, President of BGC Partners, commented on today's announcement: "We are excited about this strategic acquisition in the insurance brokerage sector. After extensively researching the insurance brokerage industry, Besso stood out as providing an excellent platform on which to establish a new vertical. Over time, we expect to build a sizable insurance brokerage division within the Company".
Besso generated revenue of approximately £44 million in the financial year ended December 31, 2016. The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive upon closing.
Through its previous acquisition of U.S. Real Estate Services business, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, BGC Partners has demonstrated a proven track record of successfully building new brokerage verticals. Since 2011, BGC has increased the revenue run-rate of its Real Estate Services business by more than five times to over $1 billion annually.
"I am delighted that Besso is joining BGC Partners, a large and well capitalised company with a global footprint and demonstrable success in building brokerage businesses", said Colin Bird, Chairman and CEO, Besso Insurance Group. "The opportunities this deal presents are substantial. BGC and its affiliates have deep relationships with leading companies in real estate, financial services, and other industries, which we believe will help us grow our franchise".
Upon the close of the transaction, Mr. Bird will continue as Chairman of Besso Insurance Group Limited. Robert Dowman and Russell Nichols will become joint CEOs, each reporting to Mr. Lynn. Until insurance brokerage becomes a larger part of BGC's business, it is expected to be recorded as part of "Equities, insurance, and other asset classes" brokerage revenues within the Financial Services segment. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, and completion of the transaction is subject to legal and regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions.