Private insurance brokers Hyperion Insurance Group and R K Harrison Holdings (RKH) revealed yesterday that they were in exclusive merger discussions.
David Howden, currently chief executive at Hyperion, will take on the same role at the top of the combined group. RKH chief executive Paul Bridgwater is to step down. A spokesman for Hyperion said there would be no further departures from either firm.
Howden said: “Hyperion and RKH are two outstanding entrepreneurial success stories. The combined group will boast an extensive UK and international footprint, a formidable reputation and an extremely complementary business mix with enhanced and diverse service offerings and capabilities.”
The merged company will take on the Hyperion Insurance Group name, with underlying businesses, including Howden, Dual, RKH and Aqua, maintaining their brands. According to the firms, the deal would create “the largest independent, employee-owned insurance intermediary group in the world”, with projected annual revenues of up to £400m.
The combined group would be majority owned by employees in partnership with investor General Atlantic. Last year, Hyperion confirmed plans to float after General Atlantic bought a 30 per cent of the company’s shares. The firm yesterday declined to comment on whether the merger would impact on its prospective IPO.
RKH was previously owned by specialist insurer Hiscox, but completed a management buyout from the company in 1998.