Ashtons assist WM Brokers in sale to Global Risk Partners Limited

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Our highly rated Business Client Group is delighted to have advised the shareholders and management team of Woodward Markwell Insurance Brokers on the sale of its general insurance business (now known as WM Brokers) to Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP).

The Ashtons team was led by Craig Fiddaman (Corporate & Commercial) and supported by other colleagues from within Ashtons’ Business Client Group.

Woodward Markwell Insurance Brokers are Ipswich-based insurance brokers and financial advisers who have been underwriting insurance to the East Anglian marketplace for over 40 years. Today, WM Brokers has 32 staff and is headed up by David McGowan, Toni Vincent-Panich and Julie Dyer.

GRP was formed in 2013 and, after a period of rapid growth, is one of the top independent insurance intermediaries in the UK, managing over £1.8 billion of premiums. Their acquisition of WM Brokers Ltd is their 100th purchase. They are part of Brown & Brown, the global insurance brokerage firm who employ more than 14,500 people across more than 450 worldwide locations.

Craig comments: “It was a pleasure to work alongside and advise the Woodward Markwell shareholders and management team, and we wish everyone at WM Brokers every success for the future. Becoming part of the GRP group will hopefully provide WM Brokers with a fantastic environment to continue to innovate and grow in an ever-changing sector”.

WM Brokers will continue to be guided by the leadership of David, Toni and Julie – and save for transitioning over to GRP’s systems and processes, there will otherwise be no changes to the company’s staff, office location or client service.

David McGowan, Managing Director of WM Brokers said: “Craig and the team put a lot of work into this deal to get it across the line. It was a complex transaction and we greatly appreciated the technical expertise and commercial experience of the team from Ashtons. In addition to this, it was great to deal with people who were so personable and able to remove many of the usual formalities – we really felt that they were on our side”.

The Business Client Group at Ashtons Legal assist and advise a large number of businesses of all sizes and across all industries, with a particular focus on privately owned businesses. The sale of WM Brokers is the second sale of an insurance company the team has dealt with in recent years, the previous being the sale of Ryan Insurance Brokers in Ipswich to Seventeen Group in 2021.

David McGowan & Toni Vincent-Panich at WM Brokers


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