Insurance broker inks North-east deal

An independent insurance broker that describes itself as the largest of its kind in Scotland has swooped on a regional player on the back of a record financial year.

From left: Mark Richards and Edward Bruce of Bruce Stevenson. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
From left: Mark Richards and Edward Bruce of Bruce Stevenson. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

Edinburgh-headquartered Bruce Stevenson has acquired Aberdeenshire-based Youngson Insurance Consultants after the former closed out its most recent five-year growth plan.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also comes amid Bruce Stevenson’s plans for further growth by acquisition.

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Revenue in the year to 31 August came in at £7.3 million, up from £6.6m in the prior 12 months, while gross profit increased to £1.5m from £1.4m. Gross written premiums (GWP) grew to £33m, a £3m year-on-year increase.

Bruce Stevenson was founded in 1981 by current chief executive Edward Bruce’s father David, and said it has pursued organic growth, investing in its people and technology, and has achieved regular annual double-digit revenue growth.

Youngson Insurance Consultants, with a team of seven in Turriff, adds about £2.5m in GWP to Bruce Stevenson while boosting the firm’s offering in Aberdeen and the North-east.

Edward Bruce said: “Youngson is a great fit culturally and they have a loyal, local client base that helps to provide us with a firmer foothold in the North-east of Scotland. We fully intend to grow the team to take advantage of the opportunities we see in the region.”

Bruce Stevenson, which is a chartered broker and a founding member of the industry UNA Alliance, now has nearly 100 people working across five offices – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Galashiels, London and Turriff.

Ian Bremner, director at Youngson Insurance Consultants, said: “While we are well-established in the North-east, the firm had been considering how to accelerate our next phase of growth and Bruce Stevenson provides us with the platform to do that.

“We’re greatly encouraged that Edward has made it clear from the start of our negotiations that Bruce Stevenson wants to invest in the team and technology to make that happen.”

Key areas of growth for Bruce Stevenson include renewable energy and social housing, which now represent its two largest sectors.

Furthermore, a step-up in activity was also recorded in commercial, property, private client, art, and farms and estates over the last 12 months.

The firm also said it has made strong ground in hospitality and tourism, having forged partnerships with industry bodies such as Scotland Food and Drink and social enterprise Hospitality Scotland Trust – with food and drink, distilleries, B&Bs and self-catering all experiencing marked traction.

Looking ahead, its senior management team will also continue to actively consider further growth in niche areas and by acquisition.

Bruce also stated: “We are passionate about looking after our customers and building our reputation in the insurance industry with a view to becoming the broker of choice in Scotland and beyond.

“We are making this happen by investing in our people and technology and adding bolt-on acquisitions where we feel they can add expertise and geographic spread to our overall proposition.”