Buy & Build strategy leads to 80 acquisitions under Palatine’s ownership

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Buy & build

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Private medical and group risk insurance brokers focusing on the SME and private individual sectors.

The Company was founded by Kevin Amphlett in 2002 and had started to consolidate the PMI broker sector prior to Palatine’s investment undertaking ten acquisitions of smaller brokers. The business provided PMI advice to both SMEs and individuals and had over £70m of Annual Premium Income (“API”) and 40,000 policies across 35,000 clients at the time of investment.

Accelerated Buy & Build Opportunity

We invested in Chase Templeton in 2013 supporting the founder, Kevin Amphlett, who alongside a good operational team, was seeking to capitalise on further lucrative market consolidation in a highly fragmented sector. The team had successfully completed ten acquisitions of smaller brokers prior to Palatine’s investment, however the pace of its buy and build strategy had been constrained by having to rely on the founder to raise capital from a variety of sources on an ad-hoc basis.

We were impressed by the growth Chase Templeton had achieved historically and the ability the management team had demonstrated to implement a buy and build strategy and integrate the businesses they had acquired. Scaling the business was supported by its strong relationships with the major insurers who were in favour of further market consolidation.

It was clear to the founder that attracting professional investment through private equity was the most efficient way of fuelling his ambitious growth strategy. Due to our deep understanding of financial services and track record in buy and build, we were ideally suited to partner Chase Templeton. Partner Ed Fazakerley and Managing Partner Gary Tipper led the investment with Ed joining the board as a Non-executive Director.

Organic growth was also an important aspect of the future strategy through further investment in sales and marketing and developing IT systems to improve operational efficiencies and scalability.

Value Creation

Under our ownership Chase Templeton completed and successfully integrated 80 acquisitions, significantly strengthening its position as one of the leading players in the PMI broker market. We provided an additional £5m to part fund acquisitions and negotiated additional bank funding with HSBC to support growth enabling the management team to focus on driving the business.

With support from the founder, it was agreed at the time of the deal to bolster the management team allowing him to step into an Executive Chairman role. We introduced Warren Dickson as the new CEO, he had a long track record in the insurance sector and had previously worked in private equity backed businesses. His focus was to work alongside the Chairman to drive the buy and build strategy. Jamie McGivern joined as Finance Director who had previous industry and private equity experience, with his key priority being to further improve the management information systems to allow the business to scale successfully.

Through working closely with the management team, we outlined further operational improvements including streamling the due diligence process enabling acquisitions to be completed in an efficient manner and upgraded the scalability and functionality of IT systems through the development of enhanced compliance and operational reporting required to support rapid growth.

Alongside the focus on acquisitive growth an in-house call centre operation was developed to increase sales from existing channels, which enhanced product cross-selling strategies and customer service benefits.

Results during Palatine’s Ownership

Chase Templeton completed over 80 acquisitions which together with organic growth, enabled API to grow to over £150m and customer numbers increased to 117,000. Chase Templeton’s EBITDA grew from circa £2m to a run rate of £8m at the time of exit and the business became regarded as one of the leading PMI brokers in the sector.

There was significant interest in the business which was sold to Nevada Investments in June 2018 generating a 2.7x money multiple and a 30% IRR.

Palatine played an instrumental role in the extraordinary growth at Chase Templeton. With much valued support during their investment period we completed over 75 acquisitions, more than doubled our workforce and increased our annual premium income from GBP90m to GBP150m. Under Palatine’s ownership Chase Templeton firmly established itself as one of the UK’s leading private medical insurance specialists.

Warren Dickson
CEO Chase Templeton