The international division of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the Colombian retail insurance broker Guianza S.A. Corredores de Seguros (Guianza), subject to regulatory approval. The remaining shares will be owned by Gallagher’s local partners.
Established in 1992 and based in Bogotá, Guianza is an independent, family-owned retail insurance broker offering both commercial and personal lines, specializing in property and vehicle insurance with significant personal accident and life & health accounts.
The new retail operation will be led by Chief Executive Adolfo Urdaneta (above photo, right), who joined Guianza in July 2015. Urdaneta brings considerable local market experience, having formerly been Chief Commercial Officer at Aon Colombia. Once the necessary regulatory approvals are in place and the transaction completes, Guianza will trade under the Arthur J. Gallagher brand.
Carlos Rodriguez Angulo (above photo, left), CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher Colombia, added: “With the strength of the Gallagher global brand behind Guianza, we will be looking to invest in Colombia’s top insurance talent to drive an ambitious program of organic growth. Adolfo with his in-depth local knowledge, retail expertise and client focus will be the first of many key hires as we seek to develop our Colombian retail proposition.”
By creating a retail brokerage operation in Colombia, this transaction will enable Gallagher to offer Colombian customers a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions, following its completion last month of the deal with energy and construction specialist ARM Re.
Vyvienne Wade, International Commercial Director at Arthur J. Gallagher, said: “Our signing of this deal represents another important step in delivering on our strategic ambition in Latin America, where we continue to invest in creating a strong retail presence with on-the-ground expertise to complement our wholesale specialty expertise.
“Guianza has a great reputation, strong leadership and fantastic client and market relationships making it the obvious choice to partner with. It will prove an excellent commercial fit with our reinsurance operation whose construction and energy strengths are, in turn, symbiotic with our London-based Specialty operation — meaning we are ideally placed to support the Colombian economy and its own extensive program of infrastructure investment and development.”
Grahame Chilton, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher International, commented: “It’s great to see our strategic expansion into the dynamic economies of the Pacific Alliance continuing apace. We look forward to welcoming Adolfo and the team to our fast-expanding Latin American Gallagher family once the deal completes.”
Gallagher first entered Latin America in December 2012, when it formed an alliance with leading Mexican insurance broker Grupo CP (now rebranded INTERproteccion), to build its presence in the region.
It has since invested in and created operations in Chile, Peru and Colombia — first building reinsurance platforms and expertise before broadening its offering into retail brokerage.