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26 March 2017

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Venbrook targets wholesale expansion after fundraise

David Bull 21 October 2016

Venbrook Group is set to strategically grow in the wholesale space after closing a $42mn debt capital raise from New York Life subsidiary Madison Capital Funding.

The independent Los Angeles, California-based broker used a portion of the proceeds from the funding to buy New Jersey-based wholesaler Brooks Insurance Group, the company said today (20 October).

And Venbrook president and CEO Jason Turner told The Insurance Insider that the firm sees "huge opportunities" for consolidation in the wholesale space.

These could include buying books of business or wholly-owned operations that would allow "further growth and expansion of products and services", he said.

Prior to the Brooks acquisition, the company managed a handful of MGA programs in the wholesale sector, including two nationwide programs in transportation and real estate.

"The acquisition of Brooks gave us the platform to incorporate a traditional broking platform in the wholesale space with a significant presence in the northeast.

"This allows us to take that platform and move the business model west of the Mississippi, into the west coast predominantly, and into some stronger and larger markets," Turner explained.

The executive said the wholesale and E&S sector is attractive as the firm is beginning to see critical mass in certain lines of business and industry.

"We can build scale in this environment and, in the end, better policies," he suggested.

Venbrook also sees opportunities to consolidate and build out its platform in the program and MGA/MGU space.

Turner said the firm identifies opportunities in property, medical malpractice, real estate and professional liability areas "favouring better acquisitions, scalability and higher margin".

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