BHP Insurance Acquires Keegan Meredith & Williams

11 Aug 2021 | 08.20 am

BHP Insurance Acquires Keegan Meredith & Williams

Takeover funding from Melior Equity Partners

11 Aug 2021 | 08.20 am

BHP Insurance, specialising in the not-for-profit sector, has acquired Dublin broker Keegan Meredith & Williams Insurances.

BHP Insurance has a specialist focus on charitable and voluntary organisations. The acquisition follows investment from private equity firm Melior Equity Partners, and BHP says it plans further buys. 

BHP is the preferred broker for many umbrella bodies and national organisations such as Public Participation Network Members, The Wheel members, DSP Community Employment Scheme/ Voluntary Boards, charities, homeless services, Muintir Na Tire community alerts and mental health associations.

It will now expand into life and pensions, construction insurance and bonds, sports clubs’ insurance and specialist contents insurance for social housing tenants.

Keegan Meredith & Williams was established in 1978 and was owned by John Williams (50%) and Ingrid Williams (50%). In the year to October 2020, the company had turnover of €1m and booked an operating profit of €140,000 after accounting for €300,000 DC pension payments.

Income was made up of €660,000 in general insurance commission and €330,000 in life insurance commission. Including directors, the company had nine people employed in 2019/20. Year-end balance sheet cash was €780,000, up from €420,000 the prior year, and net worth at period end was €2.1m, including €1.55m owed by group undertakings.

BHP managing director Martina Westphal (pictured) said: “This strategic step will allow our group to enhance the level of customer service we deliver while also expanding the range of products and services we can offer.

“We are particularly pleased to have received investment from Melior Equity Partners, a local, Irish private equity firm managed by a team that has an in-depth understanding of the insurance broking sector, having previously led a successful investment in the AA Ireland. It will be business as usual from an operational perspective.”

Melior Equity Partners Fund II is backed by investors including the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the European Investment Fund and Bank of Ireland.

Melior investment director Esmond Greene added: “BHP Insurance is a market leader in a niche space, with a great team and extensive, specialist expertise. We are delighted to complete our first investment from our recently raised Melior Equity Partners Fund II with BHP which we believe is well positioned to continue on a path of strong growth.

“KMW is the first of many acquisitions that BHP is seeking to make. We are in discussions with a number of small and mid-sized brokers who appear excited about coming together with an Irish-owned platform.”

KMW managing director John Williams (58) will remain with the business. 

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