Broker Clear Group Buys UK Credit Insurance Specialist Rycroft Associates

June 14, 2024

The Clear Group, the London-based independent broker, announced it has acquired the book and assets of credit insurance broker Rycroft Associates LLP and its sister company and appointed representative, Inspire Credit Management Ltd., a delegated authority specialist.

The company was purchased from Rycroft owners Karl Toogood, Steven Hallworth and Steve Parsons. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Lichfield, Rycroft supports UK & Europe businesses to obtain competitive trade credit insurance products. In doing so, the business has helped many UK firms continue to trade, by protecting them against bad debts and invoice credit risk, said Clear Group in a statement.

Inspire Credit is a delegated authority specialist and an appointed representative for Rycroft. It offers trade credit insurance, specifically for UK SME customers, which Clear Group describes as a unique facility in the market. Inspire is backed by its long-term capacity partner Atradius, an Amsterdam-based trade credit re/insurer.

Clear Group noted that the number of insurance payouts to help businesses survive bad debts rose by 23% in the first half of 2023, a five-year high, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The Rycroft business comprises a team of seven trade credit experts led by director Steve Parsons. The team will work closely with Clear’s UK, Ireland and Europe retail businesses to bring credit solutions to the broker’s commercial customer base. Rycroft currently controls £6.6 million (US$8.4 million) in gross written premiums (GWP).

This latest deal brings greater depth to a specialism which closely complements Clear’s core commercial offering – one which is particularly relevant in today’s economic landscape – with UK insolvencies at a 30-year peak, Clear Group said.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Rycroft team to Clear. Steve and his team bring a wealth of experience and knowledge of the credit insurance market, which adds tremendous strength to a specialist vertical as we continue to build and enhance our offering to our commercial customer base,” commented Mike Edgeley, group CEO of the Clear Group. “Our deal with Rycroft exemplifies our continued strategy to support and invest in like-minded brokers with real sector expertise.”

Source: The Clear Group