LARK PRESS RELEASES
Lark announces the purchase of Insurance Risk Solutions Limited (IRS)
Lark is pleased to announce the purchase of Insurance Risk Solutions Limited (IRS). IRS is a leading independent regional commercial insurance broking and risk management group, whose origins trace back to the 1970’s. Based in Bury St. Edmunds it employs 25 people and was one of the first Chartered Insurance Brokers.
Following the acquisition Lark, which provides insurance broking services to a broad cross-section of corporate and personal clients, will have annual revenues of over £26 million and employ 325 staff in 7 offices across London, the South East and East Anglia.
Graham Lark, Chairman of Lark, said, “We are delighted to add IRS to our existing operations. It is a top quality broking business and an ideal fit with our strategic objective to be one of the leading independent brokers.
All of the existing IRS Executive Directors and the rest of their team will be joining Lark following the acquisition and will continue to service their clients from the office in Bury St. Edmunds as before. There is a strong cultural fit as they share our belief that there is considerable opportunity for insurance brokers who provide clients with highly professional advice and excellent service.
The acquisition will considerably strengthen our position in East Anglia, and will fit well with our existing office in Colchester which we’ve had since 2005.
We’ll be working with the IRS team to continue their growth through a combination of organic new business efforts, and the addition of high quality people when these opportunities arise.
Everyone at Lark is very much looking forward to working with them.”
Robert Beckett, Chairman of IRS commented that he is delighted to have found a perfect fit for IRS. Both firms share the same values of client service, professional standards and development of staff.
Lark enters 3 year insurance partnership with Law Society
Thursday 1 May, Lark and the Law Society launched their new 3 year insurance partnership, Lark will be providing their Elite motor insurance product (underwritten by Aviva) to the Law Society membership.
The Law Society was founded in 1825 and represents over 140,000 solicitors across England and Wales.
Lark was established in 1948 and has 6 office locations with over 300 staff. Recognised as one of the top 40 brokers in the UK the business prides itself on providing tailor made insurance solutions with outstanding customer service.
David Foster, MD of Private Clients at Lark commented on the new partnership, “We are very pleased and excited about this new partnership; we already have many law professionals as existing clients so it’s a sector we know well and will give us a fantastic opportunity to work with other Law Society members and assist with their insurance needs.”
The appointment of Charlotte Hardesty
Charlotte Hardesty will be joining Lark (Group) Limited in May, as Manager of the Farnborough Private Client Division where she will work closely with Divisional Director, Suzi Rackley.
Commenting on the appointment, Suzi said, “We are very much looking forward to Charlotte’s arrival. As part of her role, she will concentrate on the growth and development of a 13 strong team.”
Charlotte is previously from Toogood Insurance Brokers where she spent 11 years.
Lark continues solid progress following MBO
17 March 2014
Lark's first full year of results following the completion of the management buy out of Groupama’s majority shareholding in August 2012 saw increased turnover and EBITDA levels for the group despite the challenges faced by both the general insurance and financial service sectors.
The above comparisons are on a like for like basis.
Turnover has increased 3.6% to £24,523,000 and EBITDA 7.8% to £5,995,000.
Acquisitions made during the year contributed 1.5% to the increase in turnover and 1.6% to the increase in EBITDA with the remaining 2.1% and 6.2% resulting from organic growth.
The EBITDA margin improved by 0.9% to 24.4%.
Profit before tax of £3,259,000 follows a full year of interest and goodwill amortisation costs for the group.
Graham Lark, Chairman at Lark, says “We are pleased with the solid progress shown by our first full year of results following the management buy-out completed in August 2012. The business continues to benefit from the continuity brought by its long serving senior management and staff.
Although the trading environment remains highly competitive, we have managed to develop an increase in turnover via organic growth and this together with control over our cost base, contributed to the improvement in EBITDA.
We believe the business is well positioned to progress and will continue to focus on organic growth whilst considering selective strategic acquisitions when the right opportunities present themselves.”
Lark announces the acquisition of C R Goddard Insurance
17 December 2013
We have recently acquired a small book of business from C R Goddard Insurance, a broker based in East Sussex. This primarily consists of Private Client insurances, an Estate case and a handful of Commercial cases.
David Foster, Managing Director at Lark comments, “Although it's only a small acquisition, circa £40k of commission, it appears to be good quality business that has been well handled, with clients that are used to, and welcome, a personal service.”
“Company owner, Chris Goddard was a Sub Broker of ours who trusted our service well enough to sell his book to us. Chris will remain involved in settling the accounts and making the necessary introductions for the next year but, after which the business will be handled largely in our Maidstone office.
“Hayley Avis (Private Clients Division) and Eloise Morgan (Corporate Clients Division) have been working hard to ensure the transition to Lark is a smooth one for Chris's clients.”
Lark announces the appointment of Andrew Cousins
28 October 2013
Lark (Group) Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Cousins as the Managing Director of our corporate Employee Benefits business, Lark Life & Pensions.
Andrew joined Lark on 1st October 2013, and will take full responsibility for this area of the business including the development of plans for future growth. Andrew spent 13 years at Argent Personal Financial Managers, and was Joint Managing Director for 9 years prior to the successful trade sale of the company in 2012.
The Employee Benefits division is already a very successful part of Lark, and there are still substantial opportunities for further growth. Services include corporate pension schemes, Life Insurance, Income Protection and Critical Illness, as well as a tailored personal pension service for individuals planning for retirement.
Stephen Lark, Group MD, said "Andrew is a great addition to the senior management team at Lark, and we are looking forward to working with him to develop our Employee Benefits business."
Lark announces the promotion of Rob Keene to Associate Director
18 October 2013
Lark (Group) Limited is pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Keene ACII to the new role of Associate Director within the Commercial Division. Reporting directly to Main Board, he will be responsible for succession planning and the development of the Group's emerging talent programme. He will also have responsibility for the Corporate training programme and the Corporate results of the firm's Maidstone, Colchester & Farnborough offices.
Mark Woodward, Commercial MD, said “I have worked with Rob for 22 years during which time he has consistently shown loyalty, enthusiasm and a professional intelligence that make him an ideal person to help develop Lark Group and the excellent people we have within the business.”
Lark announces the purchase of the Duke Pension Services Limited ('Duke')
1 May 2013
Following the acquisition Lark, which provides insurance broking services to a broad cross-section of corporate and personal clients, will have annual revenues of around £24.3 million and employ around 300 staff in 6 offices across London and the South East of England.
'Duke' currently has annual revenue in the region of £160,000, and is made up of some excellent corporate employee benefits clients, and so will be a great addition to the Lark Life & Pensions division. It is Lark's first acquisition since the MBO from Groupama was completed in August 2012.
Jason Duke will be joining the Lark Life & Pensions team as part of the deal.
Lark Chairman, Graham Lark, said "We're very pleased that Jason Duke chose Lark as the best party to complete this deal with. We share the same approach in providing a highly personal service, and we very much look forward to working with Jason and his clients."
Lark completes management buyout from Groupama
6 August 2012
Lark is pleased to announce that its management have today successfully completed the acquisition of Groupama’s majority shareholding in the business for an undisclosed sum.
As a result Lark is once again an independent broker controlled by its senior management.
Graham Lark, Chairman, said “I am absolutely delighted we have managed to complete this transaction. Once Groupama announced their desire to sell we knew the only outcome likely to satisfy our aspirations for the business would be a management buy out. While I would like to thank Groupama for all their support over the last five years and wish them well for the future we are now looking forward to life as an independent broker once again. We are hugely fortunate to have such a long-serving and hard working team and I would like to thank them all for their patience during the last few uncertain months.
I would also like to thank our backers Hiscox for supporting us as a minority investor in the buy out and Lloyds TSB Bank for providing debt finance. With the transaction now behind us I have every confidence that Lark will continue to thrive and grow in the challenging times ahead.”
Lark announces the purchase of Cadogan Hanover Park
1 September 2011
Lark is pleased to announce the purchase of the Cadogan Hanover Park business from Barbon Insurance Group Limited.
Following the acquisition Lark, which provides insurance broking services to a broad cross-section of corporate and personal clients, will have annual revenues of around £23 million and employ around 280 staff in 6 offices across London and the South East.
Graham Lark, Chief Executive of Lark, said “We are delighted to add Cadogan Hanover Park to our existing operations. It is a top quality broking business and an ideal fit with our strategic objective to become one of the leading independent brokers in the South East.
All the management and staff will be joining Lark following the acquisition and will continue to service their clients from the office in Croydon as before. There is a strong cultural fit as they share our belief that there is considerable opportunity for insurance brokers who provide clients with sound advice and excellent service. Everyone at Lark is very much looking forward to working with them.”
Nick Sharp, Group Managing Director of Barbon, said “I am genuinely delighted that such a great new home has been secured for staff and clients in Cadogan Hanover Park alike. Lark Group has expertise and a strong long standing reputation for quality and service which will be complimented by the arrival of the CHP team. I wish both parties every success in the future and would record my thanks to the CHP team for their commitment and delivery over the years.”
Lark announces the appointment of Julie Whitehead to its Management Board
11 July 2011
Lark announces the appointment of Julie Whitehead to its Main Board.
Julie's key responsibilities will be for Major Corporate and Commercial Claims teams.
Mark Woodward, Managing Director of Commercial said “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to fill such a key role with a person of Julie's calibre. Julie has worked at Lark Group for over ten years and her understanding of our business gives us an exciting opportunity to develop and enhance the service we already provide for our Corporate customers.”