Clare broker O’Donovan Insurances snapped up by US giant

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Sarah Collins

Killaloe-based family broker O’Donovan Insurances has been bought out by US-headquartered insurer AssuredPartners.

It acquired O’Donovan Insurances via its Irish platform, Gallivan Murphy Insurance Brokers, the Killarney based firm it bought last year in a deal understood to have been worth around €100m.

The Co Clare deal is the third Irish acquisition in the last six months for the US firm, and the latest in a series of mergers in the Irish insurance market.

AssuredPartners is one of the largest independently owned insurance brokers in the world, with more than 450 agencies and 9,000 staff.

The deal will take AssuredPartners’ annual gross written premiums in Ireland to over €100m.

O’Donovan Insurances is a 42-year-old businesses with more than 4,000 clients, specialising in both personal and commercial insurance.

Existing staff at the company will keep their jobs, the firm said in a statement, with the merger due to be completed by May this year.

David Heathfield, chief executive of AssuredPartners UK & Ireland, said the partnership was “another important milestone” in its growth strategy for Ireland.

O’Donovan Insurances’ managing partner Sheamus O’Donovan said the firm is “well positioned to continue providing great insurance solutions for our clients in an insurance market that has gone through significant change over the last several years”.

AssuredPartners acquired Gallivan Murphy in June last year and since then the business has seen around 30pc organic growth. In December it acquired Dundalk-based O’Callaghan Insurance Brokers.

AssuredPartners is a 12-year-old business with more agencies across the US, the UK, Ireland and Belgium.

The Irish market has seen more than 50 brokerage deals in the last five years, with smaller family-run businesses increasingly being snapped up by international players, often backed by private equity.

Some of the most recent acquirers in the Irish market include Arachas/Ardonagh Group, Aston Lark and Arthur J Gallagher.

The news comes the same day that payments app Revolut said it was to launch a car insurance service this spring, promising its 2 million Irish customers premiums of up to 30pc cheaper than the next best provider in the market.