PIB Group expands into Italy acquiring Area Brokers Industria

February 2 2023

Milan, 2 February  2023 – An agreement was signed today for the entry of ABI – Area Brokers Industria S.p.A., one of the top 20 brokers on the Italian market, into PIB Group, an independent insurance intermediary based in the United Kingdom with over 2.2 billion euros in gross premiums (GWP) brokered, revenues exceeding 3 50 million and 3,300 employees. 

Founded in 1997, ABI offers consulting services and a wide range of insurance products to over 70 thousand customers, from Italian SMEs to large international groups with strong economic interests all over the world in the most diverse sectors: banking and finance, industry, transport, technology and telecommunications, construction, automotive, art, health, public utility services,  sports and entertainment. The company, led by brothers Lorenzo Riccardi (CEO) and Marco Riccardi (CTO), controlling shareholders, counts on a  rapidly growing network of distributors and will close 2022 with 9.5 million in revenues

The transaction, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals, involves the acquisition of 100% of ABI by PIB Group. ABI will have a new international look  and will continue to  operate with its own brand, under the guidance of Lorenzo and Marco Riccardi who will maintain, together with their management team, current roles and responsibilities  in the company to implement the ambitious development plan already started in recent years, with the aim of making ABI a point of reference in Italy for new aggregations  and further extend its share of business across borders.

This first investment in Italy with ABI represents for PIB Group – a dynamic and diversified English broker flanked by the two world's leading private equity operators Apax Funds and The Carlyle Group – an important milestone, in line with the Group's strategy which envisages a geographical expansion to create a specialized and diversified pan-European operator,  leader in insurance distribution. With the entry of ABI into the Group, PIB's direct presence reaches ten countries in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.

Lorenzo Riccardi, CEO of ABI, commented: "We are proud of this new step that we are taking in Italy and in Europe with PIB. The financial strength, technicalskills and underwriting capabilities combine perfectly both from a temporal and operational point of view with ABI's robust growth path. Our technological DNA, strong management team and ongoing organic growth will be further enhanced with this integration thanks to the international declination of the business, the increase in our hiring capacity and the solid operational machine of PIB, with a positive impact on all our customers, partners and employees". "Thanks to the union of PIB and ABI, which guarantees continuity and further impetus also to the acquisition plan already in place" - continued Riccardi -  "we think we can make a fundamental contribution to the growth and stability of our sector in Italy, in a historical and economic phase in which critical dimensions, synergies from integration, specialized skills and hiring capacity represent the key to the sustainability of the business over time".

Onno Janssen, CEO of PIB Group Europe, commented: "I could not imagine a better way to start 2023 than to welcome ABI's colleagues to the PIB Group. We are happy to start with them, under the confirmed guidance of Lorenzo and Marco, our development in the Italian insurance brokerage market. With our investment, we want to give a further boost to the ambitious growth plan of ABI already in place andto acquire other high-profile brokers in Italy as well as developing ABI's business abroad. For its part, ABI will allow us to further improve our international proposition and offer a new level of value-added services to customers".

ABI has proven to be particularly flexible and proactive in the adoption of the best emerging technologies, in a scenario in which insurance companies and intermediaries need an ever greater level of connection. The in-house development of the innovative Athena platform  allows ABI an extremely efficient management of its insurance offer and the possibility of offering different services, from B2B to B2C, to many third-party applications.

In a highly fragmented insurance brokerage market in Italy, the transaction allows PIB to present itself, thanks to the strategic integration with ABI, as an attractive opportunity for consolidation. ABI's leadership team has been able to build over the years a wide professional network and a strong reputation on the market, which will be a driving force to reach many other national brokers of different sizes for potential further acquisitions and synergies.

Going forward, PIB's portfolio will continue its rapid growth in 2023. With the addition of Italy, PIB's presence reaches ten countries including the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands. PIB already has other countries in its targets to expand further in Europe in the coming months.

In the context of the transaction, the seller was assisted, for the legal part, by Carnelutti Law Firm with a team led by partner Filippo Grillo and associate Arrigo Gattai and for the financial part  by EY and AlphaOmega, while the buyer was assisted by Norton Rose, with Salvatore Ianniti and Claudio Di Falco.