Axa reveals the cost of Bluefin's sale to Marsh & McLennan

Oliver Gill
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The New Year Is Celebrated In London With A Firework Display
US insurance broker Marsh welcomed in the New Year by completing its purchase of Bluefin (Source: Getty)

Axa will take a €82m (£70m) hit from its £295m sale of UK small business insurance broker Bluefin to US giant Marsh & McLennan.

The sale, previously announced in November and referred to by Marsh's boss as "very much a post-Brexit deal", completed today.

The move by the French insurer followed the £395m sale of its SunLife business to non-life insurer Phoenix in May last year, just a month after selling its portfolio services division, Elevate, to Standard Life.

Bluefin, which employs 1,500 employees across 45 offices in the UK, will be combined with one of Marsh's subsidiaries, Jelf and its current chief executive, Phil Barton will take overall responsibility for the newly combined firms.

Read more: Marsh boss reveals impact of Brexit vote on Bluefin acquisition

“By bringing Jelf and Bluefin together, we will be creating one of the UK’s leading insurance brokers for mid-size and SME companies," said Mark Weil, Marsh's boss of UK operations.

When the sale was announced Weil rebuffed suggestions that the Brexit vote in June had adversely impacted Marsh's view of the transaction.

"No, not really. Obviously we were aware of it. We thought about it momentarily," he told City A.M. in November. "The really important thing is the quality of the firm you acquire rather than short-term considerations about how the economy will do next quarter or even next year."

Read more: Axa is ploughing on with the City's tallest tower as Brexit jitters clear

​Jelf is a relatively new acquisition by Marsh having been purchased in September 2015 in a deal worth £258m.

Marsh said the combined unit will serve over 250,000 clients in 80 locations. It also includes around 400 network broker members as well as a strong affinity and digital offering.

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