Open GI today confirms the purchase of PowerPlace from Towergate for an undisclosed sum. All 48 staff currently employed by PowerPlace will move across into Open GI, including CEO Nick Giddings.
Towergate has signalled its long term support of PowerPlace by signing a 3 year deal with Open GI ensuring the continuation of various on-going agreements including the provision of commercial insurance quotations via aggregator sites.
Commenting on this sale, Mark Hodges, Group CEO, Towergate, said: "PowerPlace has been a fantastic enabler for the Towergate Group, giving us the opportunity to enter into new markets and to gain invaluable insight into the emergence of technology in broking. Over the past few years, PowerPlace has gained market share in terms of broker customers and increasing support from major insurers. However, in order to move to its next phase of growth, PowerPlace now requires the support and infrastructure that an IT solutions business like Open GI can and will offer.
"We believe that Open GI is the perfect home for PowerPlace. Chris and his team are well placed to continue to grow the business and to allocate appropriately skilled resources to the next phase of its development.
"Towergate Underwriting will continue to work closely with PowerPlace as part of a strategy to significantly grow e-traded business across multiple broker distribution channels.
We wish the team well and look forward to an on-going and close relationship."
Also commenting on the deal, Chris Guillaume, Group CEO, Open GI, said: "Towergate Group has done an excellent job establishing the PowerPlace business in the relatively new SME eCommerce space. We believe that the close integration of digital insurance products with technology will further benefit both brokers and insurers.
"Our aim is to provide brokers with a platform that augments their existing client services whilst giving our insurer partners a comprehensive distribution channel for the lower premium end of their product range. In order to maintain a competitive offering in a difficult SME trading environment the channel needs to remove frictional cost whilst maiintaining high service levels. We believe this is where PowerPlace will offer an unparalleled set of benefits to all parties.
"As the PowerPlace market is fully web-based it is available for all brokers to use and we think this is likely to become the standard way of trading for this style of insurance."