Given the amount of enthusiasm for insurance brokerage as an asset, it is often important for potential sellers to assess who might be the most viable acquirers. Management teams have a business to run and will benefit from knowing who they really need to meet.
There are many variables to consider, including where a private equity fund is in its fundraising cycle and perhaps whether trade buyers are considering other deals. It is vital to appoint advisers that truly have their finger on the pulse.
To achieve this, Macquarie has recognised the value of international collaboration between colleagues in the UK, USA, Australia, Benelux, Germany, France and Spain. "We collaborate across teams, regions and sectors. I've done a lot of deals with colleagues in the US, where we've had considerable deal flow between us, and also worked with our teams in Sydney, Australia," explains Allison. "I always say, we're a big firm, but it doesn't feel like a big firm in terms of the route map to get to colleagues." Having the balance sheet to offer debt finance is another important aspect of the Macquarie offering as shown in the recent financing for MRH Trowe in Germany.
Now that travel restrictions have been lifted, the teams visit each other and their respective clients regularly to ensure that priorities and opportunities are identified, and deals are effectively executed. “There’s no true replacement for building relationships face-to-face" Allison says. Last year, Macquarie advised Australia’s AUB Group on its £500 million acquisition of Lloyd’s wholesale broker Tysers from US-based Odyssey Investment Partners,9 a deal involving three countries. “We don't see deal activity subsiding. Buyers will be more selective so effective positioning of assets for sale is key, but overall the trend is for more deals, almost for acceleration in Europe as the US and UK consolidation trend spreads. Our ambition at Macquarie remains delivering strategic advice and, where appropriate, investing our balance sheet to achieve the most attractive outcomes for clients."