Marsh insurance firm Jelf acquires Clark Thomson

Marsh & McLennan firm Jelf said it agreed to acquire Perth-based Clark Thomson, Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker.

Established in 1965, Clark Thomson is headquartered in Perth and has offices in Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Kirkwall, Oban, Elgin, Thurso, and Nairn.

With more than 200 employees, Clark Thomson provides insurance broking services to small and medium-sized (SME) businesses, with particular expertise in the agriculture, renewable energy, food and drink, and retail sectors across Scotland, as well as providing personal lines insurance for individuals and families.

Jelf is one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies, with almost 3,000 staff serving 250,000 clients from over 75 locations.

Jelf will combine its existing Scottish operations and Clark Thomson into a single business unit.

Jelf operates across seven Scottish offices in Aberdeen, Bellshill, Dumbarton, Edinburgh, Forfar, Glasgow, and Stirling.

The combined business will, subject to regulatory approvals, be led by Ben Bailey, managing director of Clark Thomson, and a management team drawn from across Clark Thomson and Jelf.

Jelf CEO Phil Barton said: “This is a highly significant transaction that underlines Jelf’s commitment to building the leading community based advisory business across the whole of the UK.

“Through the acquisition of Clark Thomson, we are significantly broadening our geographic reach whilst also building on our capabilities in sectors that are vital to the Scottish economy, such as agriculture, food and drink, retail, and hospitality and leisure.

“The transaction brings together two leading community brokers with well-established offices in complementary locations across Scotland.

“The combined business will offer clients a compelling proposition across a wide range of insurance, risk management and employee benefits services and solutions.”

Bailey said: “This deal is great news for our clients and colleagues alike.

“Through Jelf, our clients will have access to a wider range of services and solutions, while colleagues will benefit from being part of Marsh’s wider global network.

“I look forward to bringing Jelf and Clark Thomson’s operations together, and building the leading advisory business in Scotland.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018. Terms were not disclosed.