US insurance broker NFP expands Irish portfolio with acquisition of Simon Shirley Advisors

New York-based insurance broker NFP has acquired boutique financial advisory firm Simon Shirley Advisors, its fourth deal in the Irish market in the past two years.

he acquisition sees NFP, one of the largest brokers in the US, expand its Irish wealth management and employee benefits franchise alongside its commercial insurance business.

The deal follows NFP’s acquisition of Malahide-based ReSure Corporate Brokers just last month. ReSure, which was established just over two years ago, generated gross written premiums valued at more than €24m in 2021.

NFP also acquired Irish brokers HMP in April 2020 and Aiken Insurance in August last year.

The move highlights the ongoing consolidation in the Irish insurance industry as small Irish brokers are snapped up by global players.

Last month, Kerry insurance firm Gallivan Murphy was bought for €100m by American firm Assured Partners while the private equity-backed owner of Chill Insurance, Third Rock, acquired Quote Devil.

NFP managing director for UK & Ireland Matt Pawley told the Irish Independent that Brexit was a contributing factor for NFP’s turn to Ireland.

“Ireland is proving to be one of the winners from Brexit in terms of inbound investment from the States and in terms of investment that would have normally gone into London,” he said.

He added that the company remains open to further Irish deals, especially in wealth management, as well as HR consultancies following a recent acquisition in the UK.

“We haven’t got a list of what we want but we are really interested in buying businesses that give us something new or something better than we already have,” he said.

Based in Dublin, Simon Shirley Advisors (SSA) advises companies and individuals on employee benefits and pensions. It had funds under advice of €180m at the end of last year. and multinational businesses on employee benefits and pensions. It also works with individual clients.

“I took the view that there’s a lot of change happening in the marketplace,” founder Simon Shirley told the Irish Independent. “There’s increased regulatory compliance, there’s a need to invest in technology and digital platforms. [The acquisition] is a chance to help NFP to develop their business in Ireland and Europe, as well as having their backing for resources and expertise,” he added.

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