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Management buyout at RFIB positions business for next phase of growth

RFIB Group Limited (“RFIB”), the international Lloyd’s insurance and reinsurance broker, is pleased to announce it has restructured its capital base through a management buyout from retired shareholders and the introduction of FFP Private Equity (‘FPE’), the private equity division of Fleming Family Partners, as an independent financial investor. The transaction is subject to regulatory and other approvals.

Following the restructuring, employees will retain a majority stake in the business while FPE will acquire a significant minority shareholding. FFP Private Equity is also prepared to make further capital resources available to RFIB in order to fund the expansion of the business.

As part of the restructuring, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, who successfully built up Granville plc, the specialist investment bank, has been asked to join the Board post completion as Non Executive Chairman and is investing alongside the existing management.

Lord Hodgson said: “This is an exciting time for RFIB. The pressure for consolidation in the sector continues to increase. We believe this will give us the opportunity to link up with businesses with complementary skills and philosophies. We also know of individuals and teams of experienced brokers who are interested in joining the entrepreneurial environment which exists at RFIB.”

Outgoing Chairman and RFIB co-founder, Clive Bowring, who will continue as Chairman of RFIB Pension Trust Limited, added: “This transaction is an important milestone in RFIB’s history. As a member of the team from day one, it is a great pleasure to be able to leave RFIB so well positioned for the future.”

Patrick Holcroft, Chief Executive, said: “Restructuring RFIB’s capital with the backing of a private, entrepreneurial investor and realigning RFIB’s ownership amongst existing staff has been a key strategic objective of the Group for some time. We are very pleased FPE has decided to support our plans and have been hugely encouraged by the investment of some £2 million by many members of RFIB’s existing staff. This additional financial commitment, much of which is from our next generation, is a further demonstration of the confidence we all share in the future. We are well structured financially and can offer potential partners considerable upside in our future growth.”

“We are delighted to be investing alongside the management and employees of RFIB to help accelerate the growth and development of the firm”, commented David Donnelly, CEO of FFP Private Equity. “We identified insurance broking some time ago as a sector that is undergoing interesting structural changes and which offers the opportunity for a financial investor to work with high quality teams to build a business of significant value. RFIB is well placed for growth and the support of the ‘next generation’ among the RFIB team was particularly important in our investment decision. We look forward to supporting the business over the coming years.”

RFIB was advised on the transaction by Hawkpoint Partners Limited. 

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