Ardonagh Group promotes Conor Brennan to lead Ardonagh Europe

26 July 2021

The Ardonagh Group (‘Ardonagh’ or the ‘Group’), today announces the creation of Ardonagh Europe as it prepares to take its buy-and-build model to Europe. 

Ardonagh Europe will be headquartered in Dublin and led by Conor Brennan, who will also continue to hold the position of Arachas CEO.

Ardonagh Europe will form part of the Ardonagh International segment and operate alongside Ardonagh Global Partners, led by Des O’Connor, which is focused on the rest of the world.

Conor has been the CEO of Arachas Corporate Brokers, Ireland’s largest and fastest growing specialist corporate broker, since May 2018. Prior to Arachas he held a number of roles at Zurich including head of UK general insurance and CEO of general insurance in Ireland.

The team is strengthened by the additional appointments of Maria Cospito as Chief Commercial Officer for Ardonagh Europe, and Colin O’Reilly as Chief Acquisitions Officer.

Maria was most recently head of Navigators & General at Zurich Insurance Company Ltd while Colin  joins from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the €9 billion Irish sovereign wealth fund, where he held the role of Senior Investment Manager.

John McCarthy, in addition to his current role as CFO of Arachas, will assume the role of CFO for Ardonagh Europe.

Arachas joined Ardonagh in 2020 and has gone on to make a number of acquisitions including Hooper Dolan and fintech Orange Bear. Earlier this month it announced the opening of the Ardonagh Global Data and Risk Management Centre in Mullingar, Ireland, and the creation of 60 data science and analysis roles.

Under Conor’s leadership Ardonagh Europe will replicate Arachas’s model across Europe, acquiring platform businesses and then building organically and through bolt-on acquisitions.

Businesses that join Ardonagh Europe will benefit from access to Ardonagh’s commercial capabilities, funding and management expertise as part of a Top 20 Global Broker which places over $10bn in Gross Written Premiums.

In the first quarter of 2021, the Ardonagh Group increased income by 24.8% to £199.7 million and Adjusted EBITDA by 52% to £66.3 million due to a combination of acquisitions and continued organic growth. The Group expects further substantial growth and investment into international markets, including Ardonagh Europe, over the next 12 months and beyond. Ardonagh will complete the $500m acquisition of Ed Broking Group and Besso Insurance in 2021.

David Ross, Chief Executive of Ardonagh Group, commented: “The launch today of Ardonagh Europe signals our continued focus on increasing our global footprint. We have spent the last twelve months building a meaningful pipeline in geographies which present us with significant complementary opportunities.

“Almost a year to the day since we acquired Arachas, we are poised to execute on our campaign in Europe, with Conor and his newly formed team perfectly positioned to establish themselves as the partner of choice for extraordinary businesses.”

Conor Brennan, Chief Executive of Arachas and of Ardonagh Europe, said: “Ardonagh has a special culture and a unique strategy to acquire and invest in brokerages, MGAs, and strategically significant service providers while retaining and empowering leaders. We have established a strong pipeline of acquisitions; making them a reality is a dream job.”


Notes to Editors


The Ardonagh Group is the UK’s largest independent insurance distribution platform and a top 20 broker globally. We are a collection of best-in-class entrepreneurial and specialist brands with a network of more than 100 locations and a combined workforce of more than 7,000 people. Across our portfolio, we offer a highly diversified range of insurance-related products and services across the full insurance value chain in the UK, Ireland and broader international markets. From complex multinational corporations to individuals purchasing personal insurance policies, our understanding of the communities we serve, together with our scale and breadth, allows us to work with our insurer partners to deliver a broad range of product and risk solutions that meet customer needs.