The County Group acquires Chester Insurance Services

The County Group, incorporating County Insurance (www.countyins.com) , completes fifth acquisition in three years

We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Cheshire based insurance broker Chester Insurance Services, located just outside Chester.

Chester Insurance Services has been established since 2004 and has a client base mix of both personal and commercial insurance. The business was founded 11 years ago by Tony Crute and Shaun Evans, preceded by 10 years of previously working closely together at The Co-Operative Insurance.

Current annual premiums are £1m and the company employs 3 staff. The company will continue trading as Chester Insurance Services and remain in the same premises in Ashton Hayes near Chester. All staff will remain with the business.

Co-founders Tony Crute and Shaun Evans will be staying within the business to help with the continuity of service for Chester Insurance clients.

This acquisition follows The County Group recent purchases of Whitchurch Insurance Services in May 2012 (£1.2m GPI), JSW Insurance Services in July 2013 (£6m GPI), Safe and Sound Insurance Centre in July 2014 (£1.5m GPI) and Clement Gallagher in September 2014 (£1.25m GPI).

Dave Clapp, CEO of the County Group (pictured right), explains the rationale for the purchase of Chester Insurance Services:

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Chester Insurance Services to The County Group. The business has been excellently run for the last 11 years with a loyal client base and a well-established brand in Chester and the surrounding areas”.

“I’m delighted that Tony and Shaun are remaining in the business.  Their insurance expertise and knowledge of the area is top notch and they will help us continue to deliver our strategy of providing a first class local broking service to local communities”.

“As with all 4 of our acquisitions in the last two years, it will be business as usual. We will continue to service the clients from the same premises under the same Chester Insurance brand, using the fantastic existing staff. The only noticeable change for Chester Insurance customers will be a greater choice of insurers and, in some cases, lower premiums as a result of being part of The County Group.”

“This branch fits nicely into our strategy to provide a local broker service to communities and expanding our branch network in the North West.”

“County Insurance will control in excess of £40 million this year; we have a branch network of nine offices and employ over 175 excellent people.

“We have a business plan we are working to. We have 2 further acquisitions that should complete by the end of 2015, and several more in the pipeline for 2016. With these acquisitions and our current organic growth rate, I’m confident we will become a £50m GPI broker in the next couple of years”.

The County Group’s CEO, Dave Clapp

CEO Dave Clapp

Tony Crute and Shaun Evans of Chester Insurance Services commented:

“We’re really pleased about joining The County Group. We have worked hard to build the business over 11 years and it was important to us that our brand and staff were in safe hands, and more importantly, our clients! We know from speaking with previous County acquisitions in our due diligence that there are only positive aspects of this deal from our point of view. None have any regrets whatsoever.”

“It was County’s business continuity plans that were most appealing for us and this made our decision to stay within the business post-sale fairly straightforward. Our brokerage and legacy remains in place to serve the local community but will now benefit from County Insurance’s increased purchasing power, in-house compliance and marketing capabilities.

We are really looking forward to the big leap forward in our history as part of The County Group.”

To summarise, post-acquisition County Insurance is now :

  • £40m premiums
  • Over 175 employees
  • 9 Branches

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For further information, please contact Tim Crighton on 07920 468493 or timc@countyins.com.

Further interviews or photos are available on request

Under the umbrella name of “The County Group”, this incorporates County Insurance Consultants Ltd, JSW Insurance Services Limited, Whitchurch Insurance and County Financial Services. We employ over 175 staff across 9 branches in the North West.

www.countyins.com is the company website