The Clear Group receives backing from ECI

People at a board table

ECI is pleased to announced our investment in The Clear Group (“Clear”), an award-winning independent insurance broker with over 30,000 clients and handling over £100m of premiums. It is focused on the UK corporate and SME market and has a strong expertise in niche insurance verticals including property and construction.

Since inception in 2001, Clear has expanded through a combination of organic growth and the successful completion and integration of 23 acquisitions. Its focus has been on creating sustainable value, and it has differentiated itself as an acquirer by adopting a consultative approach to change and engaging all key stakeholders including management, employees and insurers through the process.

Today the business employs over 200 people and is led by co-founders Howard Lickens, CEO, and Gary O’Donnell, Deputy CEO across five offices in London (HQ), Maidstone, Cranleigh, Leamington Spa and Spalding.

Clear has been seeking a partner to support its continued growth. The investment from ECI will enable Clear to retain its independence, culture and values and provide additional funding to allow the business to execute its acquisition-led strategy in a market that has over 2,000 independent brokers. Clear will continue to be led by Howard and Gary in conjunction with the current Chairman Paul Druckman. Clear will also remain a key member of the Brokerbility Group.

Howard Lickens, CEO of Clear, said:

We have made no secret that we needed more money to support our acquisition plans for the next stage of our growth and have spent the last 6 months or more working towards securing the right finance. This deal signals confidence both in our business and in the long-term direction of the market sector in which we operate. It’s a real endorsement that ECI has seen the value in our company and are keen to back us as we put the next phase of our strategy into action.

Howard Lickens

CEO of Clear

Paul McCreadie at ECI Partners commented:

Clear operates in a very large and stable market and is a business with a strong reputation. It has deep knowledge of product specialisms and has long-standing relationships with insurers and customers. Clear has a successful track record pursuing sustainable acquisitions which have been well integrated into the core business and we want to continue this strategy. We are really pleased to partner with Howard, Gary and their team as they advance to the next stage of growth.

Paul McCreadie

ECI Partners

About the author

Paul McCreadie

"I have been a member of ECI’s Investment Team since 2008, working with management teams from our initial investment all the way through to when we sell our stake. That means I get to meet great founders and management teams and support them to successfully deliver their vision."

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