​Gallagher Employee Benefits targets acquisitions

Gallagher Employee Benefits is looking to buy employee benefits consultancies and IFA firms following the sale of its DB pension administration and actuarial service in March.

The firm’s American parent, consultancy giant Arthur J Gallagher, sees growth potential in the UK and acquisitions of businesses operating in the DC pension consulting, auto-enrolment and risk and health benefits sectors are anticipated.
The firm, which bought Heath Lambert in 2011, has also recruits HSBC’s Alan Redwood as new business development director. Redwood’s previous roles include senior corporate manager at Bradford & Bingley and sales director for HSBC Actuaries and Consultants Limited (HACL).
Gallagher Employee Benefits chief executive Tim Johnson says: “From what we are seeing, Ernst & Young’s prediction in 2010 of around 33 per cent of advisers leaving the industry by 2015, looks set to come true. This significant reduction in advisers will cause a skills vacuum and serious capacity issues as employers try and comply with auto-enrolment legislation and look to the industry to provide support and advice.
“The UK offers considerable consolidation opportunities and as RDR bites we expect the number of investment opportunities to increase.
“We have finished consolidating our acquisition of Heath Lambert Consulting and are now actively looking for new acquisition opportunities in the employee benefits and IFA sectors. We see the UK as a key growth area and expect a number of advisers to be looking for a larger partner as they continue to suffer from lack of cash flow and readily available capital as traditional commission streams dry up.”