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Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Steadfast merges three SA brokers

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Steadfast is combining three well-known SA brokerage names into a new business, as the network continues to encourage regional mergers.

The merger brings Steadfast Brecknock together with Newmarket Grandwest and IC Frith and Associates to create Surewise. Newmarket and IC Frith had previously joined forces through Steadfast, but were still trading under separate names.

Surewise will operate from Hindmarsh Square and Flinders Street offices in Adelaide’s central business district.

New CEO Peter Blanco was previously approached by Steadfast in 2017 to manage a hub created by the merger of MFP, VFP and Brecknock. Earlier he co-founded SA broker De Conno & Blanco.

Newmarket Grandwest MD Erin Bernhardt becomes COO of Surewise and IC Frith’s John Marini has been named Executive Director.

The combined business handles about $60 million in gross written premium and has a team of 50 people.

Mr Blanco says joining forces under one brand makes good business sense and positions the business for future growth, innovation and development.

“It is a Steadfast strategy that they merge the local hubs when the conditions and the timing is right” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “With the changing landscape it pays to be one big strong brokerage, rather than a little brokerage.”

Mr Blanco says the firms offer complementary specialty areas, can tap into each other’s strengths, and the combined group will provide clients with greater depth of expertise, capability and support.

Staff will also benefit from new learning, development and career opportunities, he says.

Mr Blanco says the brokerages use the same systems and have a consistent culture, paving the way for a smooth transition.

Surewise will mainly service corporate and SME markets, operating Australia-wide and with a strong local footprint and regional presence.

Insurance areas include business, industrial special risks, public liability, professional indemnity, commercial property, equine, strata, trade, cranes, transport and logistics, aged care, education, marine and funeral directors. Surewise also has a large domestic portfolio.