This is the fourth acquisition by the INNOVU Group in the past two years, having previously acquired Sheridan Insurances, Wexford Insurances (now INNOVU Insurance) in 2019 and Goggin Insurance Brokers earlier this year. The combined business will generate gross written premium of circa €63m in 2021.
Cullen Insurances was established in 1974 by Bill Cullen. The business has built a strong reputation nationally in the SME Corporate and personal space. As part of the transaction, Managing Director, Douglas Howell, and Director, Robert Ryan, will become shareholders in the enlarged INNOVU Group with Douglas also joining the Group’s Board.
With several other acquisitions under active consideration, INNOVU Group will continue to expand its insurance presence and service offering in Ireland, supported by private equity investment firm, MML Ireland.
Following this acquisition, INNOVU Group will employ over 130 insurance professionals nationwide.
Ronan Foley, CEO of INNOVU Group, commented:
“Our determined aim is for INNOVU to be the independent broker of choice in Ireland and I am delighted that Doug, Robert, and the team at Cullen Insurances, will be joining the Group to help us realise that goal. This acquisition represents an important strategic expansion of our presence in Munster and wider Irish market. It will create significant opportunities for our respective clients and staff as we continue to carefully develop our business through strategic led acquisitions backed by strong organic growth.
The insurance market is consolidating at pace and this presents real opportunities for smaller more traditional brokers with strong customer bases and proven track records of delivery, to partner with the INNOVU Group and to use our enhanced offering to grow in the coming years.
We are pleased with our strategic progress to date, with this deal representing our fourth since 2019. We continue to look for opportunities and will pursue acquisitions which we feel are a right fit for the Group while also ensuring we are growing organically. Our ambition is to generate €100m gross written premium by the end of 2022 as we solidify our position as a top-tier broker.”
Douglas Howell Managing Director of Cullen Insurances, said:
“We are delighted to join the INNOVU Group. They share our belief in delivering market leading and cost driven insurance solutions to clients. It is business as usual for our customers and they will continue to be supported by our excellent teams in Limerick and Newport, Co. Tipperary. We look forward, as part of the INNOVU Group, to building on and further enhancing our service and product offering to clients. On behalf of Robert, Bill and myself, l I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our staff and clients for their continued support. Exciting times are ahead for all of us.”
Shane Cooke, Investment Director at MML Ireland, said:
“MML Ireland is delighted to support INNOVU Group with this transaction. Cullen Insurance is a strong business with a proud heritage led by an experienced team and is a perfect strategic fit. We intend to invest further to support the overall business to help it accelerate its growth plans with further acquisitions planned in the near term.”
Brian Duncan, Associate Director at AIB Corporate Banking, said:
“AIB Corporate Banking is delighted to support MML Ireland and INNOVU through their recent acquisition of Cullen Insurances, and continues to support them as they expand their insurance presence and service offering in Ireland. AIB wishes the combined group continued success in the next chapter of their journey”