Insurance giant Parabis on verge of £90m merger with Greenwoods

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  • So yet another fine boutique firm which is rich in history, and full of quality, hot on the heels of Fishburns have decided to "merge" with a large comoditised Insurance factory.One must ask why? The cultures between the two, in terms of personnel , approach, quality and range of work are like night and day. Whist I accept that Insurers who have large procurement departments will want size and scale, purely to drive fees down, there remains significant space for those firms who service , captives, Lloyds, and London Market clients. These specialist Insurers do not want to be part of a factory, stuffed with paralegals, and claims handlers of questionable quality. These are sophisticated Insurers, with sophisticated Insureds, writing sophisticated and complex risks. This in turn requires a proper appreciation and nuanced knowledge of their market, and also lawyers to acknowledge them as a special client, delivering first class, bespoke legal and commercial advice, on behalf of their Insured's'. As a former claims director of specialist Lloyd's underwriter, I would shudder to think my work was being "lumped" in to a firm with a churn them and burn them mentality to claims. Who is next!? Lets hope excellent firms like, Robin Simon and Elborne Mitchell, DON'T feel the need to be pressurized in to these "mergers" by larger players like Parabis, and DWF. There remains a market for specialist quality Insurance boutiques. Discuss!?

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  • This "news" story of the impending merger is as old as the bible! It marks as just about the worst kept secret in the market and beyond. Another poster elsewhere on this site alluded to the advanced discussions, nearly 5 months ago. Whilst it has been a long time in being negotiated, the only thing to surprise me is that Greenwoods managed to agree terms at all. A sad day fro Greenwoods.

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  • I have no idea whether there will remain a market for small boutique insurance firms but , if there is a market, then it will be increasingly difficult to compete. I am intrigued by the suggestion that it is impossible for a law firm to offer both commodity type services and more specialised ones. This outlook illustrates a narrow strategic view. The inability to secure a wide range of services from a single legal provider is frustrating for corporate customers. The accountancy industry recognised this fact some years ago. I am not privy to the Parabis strategy, but I would expect the Greenwoods value to diminish rapidly if, the quality of the services currently offered, deteriorates. The challenge for Parabis is to ensure that merger complements their existing offering. Taking the people along on the forthcoming change journey is, in my view, a more significant challenge than convincing customers on the merits of the merger.

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  • A great day for both firms, creating a ballsy powerhouse the law industry has been crying out for.

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