Gallagher today announced that it has signed an agreement to purchase a minority (29.7%) stake in Czech-domiciled insurance broker Renomia a.s. (“Renomia”). The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the third quarter 2019.

Founded in 1993, headquartered in Prague and still family-run, Renomia is now the largest independent broker based in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, with full-scale broking operations in seven jurisdictions — Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Croatia as well as an extensive franchise network in the rest of the CEE region.

With insurance and risk management specialisms across more than 30 industry sectors, as well as expertise in devising and delivering employee benefit programmes, Renomia has achieved double digit growth over the past five years. This year-on-year growth has been achieved through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions under the direction of Renomia’s highly experienced leadership team which is led by Jirina Nepalova. The company has more than 1500 colleagues serving clients under the Renomia brand, via its franchise partner network.

The investment builds on and strengthens Renomia’s existing relationship with Gallagher, having been a trusted member of its worldwide network of strategic broker partners — the Gallagher Global Network — since 2004. The deal also strengthens Gallagher’s presence across continental Europe where it has invested strategically in recent years to create a specialty insurance broking platform offering bespoke risk solutions with considerable strengths in marine, construction, financial lines, aviation, trade credit, liability, energy and many other lines.

Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Renomia, Jirina Nepalova, commented: "Gallagher’s investment in Renomia will enable us to accelerate the growth in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and take the business to its next stage of evolution, building out an even broader range of capabilities, deeper industry expertise, an enhanced ability to service overseas clients and greater access to international markets. As one of the largest insurance brokers in the world, Gallagher offers us a strong international brand to partner with and an exciting opportunity to leverage the company’s global reach and team of colleagues who share our values and our commitment to putting our clients first.”

Vyvienne Wade, International division CEO at Gallagher, said: “Our international expansion story continues to be one of investing in economies where we can see a strong opportunity for growth, complementary to our specialisms, and where we find a strong local partner who is well aligned culturally and shares our client focus and ethics.

“Renomia fits that definition perfectly. It is an international company with a family business ethos, quality leadership team, clear vision for growth and focus on strong governance that mirror Gallagher’s own and results in unparalleled client service. There are clear synergies between Renomia’s core lines and our own industry specialties, creating an exciting opportunity for knowledge-sharing and further penetration within the CEE’s rapidly-developing markets. We very much look forward to working closely with Jirina and the team to grow our businesses together.”