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In 2018, insurance broker firm, Grove and Dean acquired Peter Best Insurance. CBHC have completed the accounts and audit work on Peter Best Insurance (PBIS) since 2002 so of course we were there to offer our services and guidance when the opportunity for an acquisition emerged. We prepared the completion accounts. We also helped to ensure a fair price was paid for all parties.

After initially filling in as a makeshift Financial Controller for PBIS in the early days of acquisition, Tom, account manager has assisted Peter Best employees in getting up to speed. Now, Tom has stepped back and taken on a supportive role, reviewing financial work when needed. This is a great example of successful financial management between internal and external team members. Dynamic and balanced.

Why make an acquisition? There are many motives, from diversification, greater market share, or increased synergy. One thing is certain, a successful acquisition almost always aids growth. With that in mind, we asked Gordon Pratt, the Finance Director at Grove and Dean to tell us more.

The reasons for acquiring PBIS

Grove & Dean is an insurance broking group based in Essex with a strong presence in motor insurance. Given it’s respected brand, experienced staff, and also being Essex based, PBIS represented the ideal opportunity for Grove & Dean to expand further into the classic car market.

Our biggest challenges in making the acquisition

Operationally, there were challenges to overcome. We had to physically combine the two existing Maldon and Kelvedon offices to a single new location at the Braxted Park Estate. It was important to Grove & Dean to invest and create a good environment for the staff.

Significant investment in new IT infrastructure was also required to bring operational efficiencies to PBIS. It’s been a fairly time consuming and quite costly task but it has been worth the effort and expense.

Since CBHC were auditors at the time of acquisition, they were able to provide continuity and the extra resources required to successfully integrate PBIS into the Grove & Dean group.

A cultural shift

At the time of acquisition, many PBIS staff were concerned that Grove & Dean were going to upset the existing “family business” environment. This was a challenge until staff realised that Grove & Dean is also a “family business” – just with a larger family! All is now well and the experienced PBIS team have settled in.

The return on investment

After an initial 2 years of significant investment in new offices and systems, Grove & Dean are experiencing a more profitable PBIS. Overall, PBIS is growing and the future for the PBIS operation at the Braxted Park Estate is looking bright.

Our next business-growth steps

Grove & Dean prides itself in organic growth and would not normally look at acquisitions. However, should another similar opportunity come along which is a good fit to the existing business then a further acquisition may always be possible. Especially with the right support.

We have been appreciative of the support provided since the acquisition of PBIS. We recommend that other businesses consider CBHC Accountants and Business Advisors to meet their business needs.