Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG), has completed the purchase of HLG Holdings Ltd (the Heath Lambert Group), for a net purchase price of £97 million ($158 million). Heath Lambert is headquartered in London and has 16 offices throughout the UK.

The company indicated that the “acquisition will add Heath Lambert’s recognized strengths in retail, commercial, personal lines and employee benefits – including a number of prestigious clients – to AJG’s London market and international presence.” A.J. Gallagher International has 20 offices in 11 different countries around the world. The combined group will employ more than 1800 professionals.

Heath Lambert is one of the UK’s oldest independent brokers, dating back to its founding in 1877. It specializes in corporate and commercial insurances, Fine Art, Specie, Real Estate, Major Construction, Affinity, Public Sector and Employee Benefits Consulting expertise.

Adrian Colosso, who currently heads the company, will continue to oversee Retail operations in the UK, reporting to David Ross, CEO of Arthur J. Gallagher International.

The deal is the second  major transaction between British and U.S. brokers in less than a year, following the completion of the combination of London-based Cooper Gay with the U.S. Swett & Crawford in July 2010.

Ross commented: “This is a tremendous strategic and cultural fit for AJG. The acquisition firmly cements Gallagher’s standing as one of the leading players in the UK marketplace. I am extremely excited about the wealth of new opportunities that will present themselves now that we have such a broad platform to work from.”

Colosso added: “Heath Lambert complements AJG with a strong, well-respected and customer-focused retail operation that aims to deliver continued success focused on, primarily, UK-based businesses and individuals.”

The combined firms will become the fifth largest UK broker, after Aon, Marsh, Willis and Jardine Lloyd Thompson.

Source: Heath Lambert