Howden, the international insurance broker, recently announced the signing of the acquisition of SPF Private Clients (“SPF”), subject to regulatory approval, extending its offering to the mortgage broking market while enhancing its existing general insurance and wealth management offering, including its high net worth and private client focused businesses.
This acquisition further underpins Howden’s commitment to invest in the UK economy and its 110 high street branches, currently branded as A-Plan, and to provide clients with better access to high-quality and personal advice. Last year, Howden announced its acquisition of Aston Lark, which combined with its existing UK business, will create a full-spectrum British broker with unrivalled reach and access. SPF will join Howden’s UK & Ireland business to further enhance its position as the leading independent insurance distributor in the region with Mark Harris remaining as CEO.
SPF was formed in 2011 after a management buyout and rebrand of Savills Private Finance, the financial arm of Savills plc, before Cabot Square Capital (“Cabot”) acquired a majority stake in the business in 2018. Today, SPF is a high-quality financial services intermediary specialising in residential and commercial mortgage broking, commercial real estate insurance, high net worth personal lines insurance, property title insurance, life assurance and associated wealth management consulting.
Mark Harris, CEO, SPF said: “SPF and Howden are highly complementary businesses that focus on providing the best solutions to our clients while always putting our people first. SPF will benefit from the significant opportunities that being part of Howden will deliver, with a big drive into offering our debt product lines across the group. We will carry on doing what we do best, ultimately enabling us to develop products to best serve our clients while allowing our talent to flourish.”
Carl Shuker, CEO, Howden UK & Ireland commented: “SPF is a stand-out business in its sector and is a strong addition to our Howden UK & Ireland business. Both businesses share cultures that are founded on entrepreneurialism and empowerment, and both are passionate about delivering the very best outcomes for our clients. With SPF, the recent acquisition of A-Plan and the upcoming completion of Aston Lark, Howden UK & Ireland will be a leading end-to-end insurance distributor capable of supporting all of our clients, whatever their insurance and mortgage needs, underpinned by market-leading digital and data capability.”
Chris Evans, Deputy CEO, Howden Broking Group added: “Howden and SPF have a long-established trading relationship, so SPF joining the Howden family is a natural next step in our partnership. Its unique qualities will greatly enhance our offering in the region by diversification into complementary product distribution that will further position us as a leader in our home market.”
Tarun Sharma, Partner, Cabot Square Capital, said: “It has been a privilege to partner with Mark Harris and the SPF team. Since we backed SPF in 2018, the business has strengthened its position as the leading UK property, insurance, and wealth intermediary for affluent and high net worth individuals, maintaining its differentiated relationship led approach whilst underpinned by significant technology investment. We are delighted with the outcome and are confident SPF will continue to thrive as part of Howden.”
Deloitte acted as Financial and Tax Due Diligence Advisor and RPC as Legal Advisor to Howden on this transaction. KPMG Corporate Finance acted as Advisor to SPF shareholders. HSF acted as Legal Advisor to Cabot and Taylor Wessing acted as Legal Advisor to management shareholders on this transaction.