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Bowmark backs buy-out of Aston Scott Group

Bowmark Capital has backed the management buy-out of Aston Scott Group, a regional commercial insurance broking business specialising in the mid-sized corporate, SME and motor trade sectors, for an undisclosed sum. 

Aston Scott operates from 12 regional offices distributing insurance products on behalf of most of the leading UK insurers including AXA, Aviva, NIG, Allianz and RSA to around 33,000 customers. Founded in 1993, the company has grown through a successful buy-and-build strategy, having made 33 bolt-on acquisitions. It now has some 230 employees and focuses on providing complex policies which require a high level of service and deliver strong customer retention.
Bowmark is supporting a highly experienced management team, which includes the current CEO, Heidi Carslaw, and Group Resources Director, Sarah Locke.  In addition, Peter Blanc is joining the business as Executive Chairman.  Peter was previously CEO of the UK commercial business of American insurance brokers Arthur J. Gallagher.  Aston Scott’s founder, Andrew Scott, remains a significant shareholder and will focus on new acquisitions on a consultancy basis. 
The corporate and SME insurance broking market is highly fragmented with over 3,000 active regional brokers of which the smallest 2,500 distribute more than half of all policies.  With underwriters preferring to work with fewer, larger brokers who can deliver the benefits of broader product coverage and greater operational efficiency, there is a clear rationale for further consolidation of the distribution channel.
Blanc says: "Both Andrew Scott and I are delighted to have completed this transaction. I look forward to working with Heidi and Sarah and to building the Aston Scott business with the support and financial backing of Bowmark at a very exciting time in the development of the insurance broking industry."
Bowmark partner, David Torbet, says: "This market is set for continued consolidation and we have been looking for the right platform to execute a buy-and-build strategy.  We are delighted to have entered into partnership with Peter, Heidi and Sarah and the rest of the Aston Scott team and are looking forward to helping them deliver the next stage of growth."

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