July 15, 2011

OMG. It’s all kicking off. Big time. What with Gallagher gobbling up Heath and CBGB reportedly likely to be snapped up by a big boy, Insurance Times this week predicted a veritable maelstrom of “midsummer merger” madness. The scope for high-octane punch-packing hyperbolic speculation is quite literally mind-boggling.

Towergate, Giles and Bluefin have been “waving their cheque books for many months,” Times reports. Will Gallagher stop at Heath? Would Marsh maybe like to buy somebody? Who might get bought in a “near-mythical transformational deal?” Oval, perhaps, or the aforementioned Giles, if they’re not too busy waving cheque books. The respective honchos of the latter two firms, Chris Giles and Pip Hodson, are believed by Times – in a metaphor that folds alarmingly back in upon itself – to be “open to an exit.”

And now “controversial” Joe Henderson, Times reports, has “fired the starting gun on a race for his business.” Propelled by his merciless “take-no-prisoners style,” Henderson Insurance Brokers has become a “thriving business” that would make a “tidy prize” for any national broker, Times’ editorial lead proclaims.

In an exclusive interview, the eyebrow raising, straight talking, no nonsense, from-the-hip shooting, 59 year old Lancastrian, confirmed that he is “in no rush to sell the business yet.”

“It’s never been on the agenda,” he told the paper. “I really don’t know who we would sell to even now.” But apparently he’s quite interested in finding another business of a similar size and culture to “create a coming together with a view to a sale or IPO three to five years down the line.”

“We’ve never been aggressive at all,” he attempts to reassure a clearly skeptical Insurance Times. “If you talk in terms of aggression, some of the people out there now are doing some very naughty tricks. We’ve just been honest and got on with it.”

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