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Envest acquires stake in Perth brokerage

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Private insurance investment group Envest has taken a “meaningful” stake in Grange Insurance Solutions, a Perth-based broker, the business announced today.

The acquisition follows a string of recent investments made by the business to grow its presence in the insurance space. These include taking a majority stake in Wymark Insurance Brokers early this month and most recently the purchase of insurtech Evari’s underwriting portfolio.

Envest MD Greg Mullins says Grange will be the 13th business to join its Aviso Group broking network, taking its overall gross written premium to $400 million annually.

It also means the broking group now has more than 240 employees and 20 principals across 20 offices nationally.

“Envest has acquired a meaningful stake in Grange, with an option to move to a majority position,” Mr Mullins told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “Envest is very targeted in our acquisitions.

“We are always on the lookout for good businesses that care about their customers, have good people and are a good cultural fit for our group.”

He says most of Envest’s recent acquisitions have been made through existing relationships that have naturally progressed over time.

“Undoubtedly, there are businesses owners out there at the moment who are looking closely at their options and we’re open to speaking with them,” Mr Mullins said.

“Insurance is a resilient and essential industry, particularly in times of crisis, and we are committed to growing an innovative and dynamic network of insurance businesses.”

Aviso Group CEO Craig Robson told insuranceNEWS.com.au the business has performed “exceptionally well” in the past year, despite the pandemic disruption.

All companies in the group have grown their customer base and market presence, Mr Robson said.

“Like many other brokerages, our group is seeing some negative impacts from lockdowns on small to medium-sized retail business and we’ve been working closely with our customers to manage their insurance needs,” he said. “But we are also seeing growth in other businesses areas.”

He says Aviso will build on the work put in by the founders of Grange to establish the Perth business, which started in 2005 offering insurance placement, risk consultancy and claims management service to the corporate, SME business and rural sectors.

“We’re thrilled to have Grange join Aviso Group and feel privileged the founders of this business have entrusted us with the successful business they have built, as we continue to grow it into the future,” Mr Robson said.

“Grange will continue to be led by Dean Cook, Ken Cook and Stephen Guy, with co-founder, Don Leadbetter, taking this opportunity to step back to part-time work.”

Grange Director Dean Cook says the business was attracted to the Aviso Group model and Envest independence in a consolidating market which offers fewer and fewer alternatives.

“We have professional and personal relationships within the Group and were very comfortable with the direction and freedom offered,” he said.