Groupama UK has purchased a majority shareholding in independent insurance broker Lark Group Limited for an undisclosed sum. The change of ownership has received formal regulatory approval from the UK Financial Services Authority.

Lark is a significant player in the UK’s commercial and personal insurance sectors, and operates in a number of specialist niche markets, including the insurance of high net worth individuals. Lark controls in excess of GBP75 million in premiums.

Pierre Lefevre, chairman and chief executive at Groupama UK, said: This investment moves us towards the UK’s top 20 largest intermediary groups with approaching GBP60 million of brokerage and managing premiums of GBP220 million. Our involvement with Lark will complement our other retail businesses and will offer us a good balance and some strong foundations from which to build. Lark Group is a very professional, highly respected, independent insurance intermediary that has grown strongly in recent years and has some interesting development plans. We will be working closely with the current management to help them build their success.

While Lark will work co-operatively with the UK group’s other retail businesses, it will retain the Lark brand and continue to operate independently under the leadership of the existing team of executive directors. All of the UK group’s retail businesses operate entirely separately from Groupama Insurances, the group’s underwriting subsidiary.