Insurance brokerage: Adélaïde wants to more than double its size

To build a major insurance broking group that is European-wide, family-owned, and independent. You can find out more about the ambitions of the Adélaïde Group in Les Echos.


The Breton family-owned group chaired by Jacques Verlingue wants to more than double its size in four years.


Adélaïde wants to take a giant leap. As it has laid out in its new strategic plan, the family-owned insurance broking group based in Quimper hopes to more than double its size by the end of 2022, its Chairman Jacques Verlingue has announced to Les Echos. Its target by that horizon is 500 million euros in turnover, as against about 200 million euros today.


Accelerating internationally
The change in size sought by Adélaïde will primarily go hand in hand with an acceleration in its development in Europe. The Group wants to take the share of international business in its turnover from its current figure of 30% to 50% by 2022. The speed of this development has recently been ramped up at Verlingue, who signed a deal for a second acquisition in the United Kingdom this summer. Also present in Switzerland, the broker is on the lookout for opportunities in Germany and in Italy. “We have also laid the foundations for international development at Génération“, which already has a subsidiary in Lisbon.


To advance simultaneously on both the acquisition and the transformation fronts, we are going to take on debt, whereas we currently have none“, confides the Chairman. While investment funds are showing a lot of appetite for brokerage, the Breton group, founded 85 years ago by Jacques Verlingue’s grandfather, is strongly attached to its “family-owned and independent” status. The holding company Adélaïde is currently fully owned by Jacques Verlingue’s children, two of whom work with him. He has been in the driving seat since 1994, and he is now preparing his son, Benjamin, aged 31, to take over from him “a few years from now“.


An “independent and family-owned” broker
We are on the right track“, says the Chairman. The flagship of the Group, and the ninth largest French broker with a turnover of 147 million euros last year, Verlingue, who is specialised in covering companies for corporate risks and in providing supplementary social protection for their staff, should, once again, record two-figure growth in 2018. It retains 97% of its clients every year, which is “much higher than the customer retention rate of the market“, according to Jacques Verlingue.


The broker’s activity of managing healthcare spending cover and life insurance cover
Génération (60 million euros in earnings) also boasts two-figure growth.
As for Coverlife, the broker that was launched in 2014 for distributing health and life insurance, for private individuals, it is “on track“. That subsidiary should become profitable in 2019, and reach a turnover of 10 million euros.


Laurent Thévenin – Les Echos