The Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs is set to acquire Aston Lark, a UK-based insurance broker, from the mid-market private equity firm Bowmark Capital.

Aston Lark

Image: Goldman Sachs to acquire Aston Lark. Photo: Courtesy of Aston Lark.

Aston Lark was formed from the merger of Aston Scott and Lark in September 2017. The company focuses on commercial insurance, private client insurance and employee benefit advice. It operates from 27 regional offices, serving more than 100,000 customers and placing in excess of £350m of annual premium.

In May 2015, Bowmark originally invested in Aston Scott, supporting a management buy-in team led by Group CEO Peter Blanc.

The deal will be closed after securing regulatory approvals from the UK’s watch dog Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Central Bank of Ireland.

Upon closing of the transaction, Aston Lark said that there will be no change in its senior management. Furthermore, it will continue its focus in growing the business, including looking after the clients and protecting their interests.

Aston Lark Group CEO Peter Blanc said: “We’re delighted to be able to announce that we’ve now exchanged contracts with Goldman Sachs.

“When this deal completes it will secure our independence for the foreseeable future to enable us to continue acquiring like-minded brokers and employee benefits advisors to create the UK’s most trusted Chartered Insurance Broker.

“We’re extremely proud of the business that we’ve built, and all of our management team are very excited about what the future holds. Our ambitions for the business can now be realised over the coming months and years and I’ll be talking to brokers that want to share in this journey.

“I’d also like to express my thanks to Bowmark Capital who have been a wonderfully supportive investor over the last four years.”

Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division financial services investing head Michele Titi-Cappelli said: “We have been impressed by what Peter Blanc and the Aston Lark team have achieved, and we are excited to be supporting the company’s growth ambitions both organically and via acquisitions.”

On the transaction, Bowmark Capital was advised by Livingstone Partners and Macquarie Capital.