LOCKTON’S newly established Scottish corporate risk insurance business is on the verge of unveiling an acquisition that will more than double its revenues just three months after launch.
The deal is being supported by the Lockton parent group based in the United States, the world’s largest privately owned insurance broker.
It will give the operation – headed by Gordon Duncan, the former managing director of Marsh in Scotland – a presence on the ground in Glasgow.
“It is going to give us instant credibility, and it is going to give us seven-figure revenues,” Duncan said. “Also, more importantly, it is going to make us profitable.”
The business is an extension to the financial lines office that has been run by Lockton out of Edinburgh since 2007. That operation, headed by Lorraine Boyle, writes professional indemnity, directors’ liability and pension trustee liability insurance.
The Glasgow arm adds to this with lines covering material damage, employers’ liability, trade credit and similar corporate insurance needs.
“Essentially, we are completing that existing offering,” Duncan said.
His current team includes former Marsh director Gordon McLagan and Nichola Martin from Griffiths & Armour, and is already generating six-figure revenues after picking up business across a variety of industries.
Arisaig Property Partners, David Urquhart Travel and Belgate Estates are a few of the newest clients.
“Within a short time we have already got the tills ringing,” Duncan said. “We have got them ringing in real estate, we have got them ringing in travel, we have got them ringing in technology and we have got them ringing in manufacturing.”
The acquisition will take Lockton’s corporate team in Scotland to double figures, and there are plans for further organic growth.
“We haven’t ruled out Aberdeen yet either,” Duncan added. “We have got quite aggressive plans.
“We are in growth mode. It is going to be organic and through acquisitions, but predominantly organic.”
He claimed that now was a good time to be recruiting staff, as there is a high level of discontent across the broking industry.
While tighter regulation was inevitable in the wake of the financial crisis, many firms have gone too far in focusing on process and compliance, noted Duncan.
“It should be there to enable the business, not to control the business,” Duncan said. “Everything we do is client- focused.”
The Glasgow operation, reportedly backed by a £2 million to £3m investment, is focusing mainly upon clients with annual turnover of £25m or more.
However, it is also building relationships with smaller firms with high growth potential.
Lockton serves clients in more than 100 countries and generated revenues of $1.1 billion (£681m) in its latest financial year. Its other UK offices include Belfast, Birmingham, London, Manchester and Newcastle.
Duncan was named head of the Scottish corporate risk team in June after more than a decade with Marsh, where he was latterly national corporate leader.
Prior to that, he worked for industry giant Aon.