On April 19th, it was announced that the Australian Steadfast Group would take over a 60% majority in Hamburg-based UnisonSteadfast AG. With this, the original co-founder, Mr. Mercier, has finally given up his independence, but wants to continue to lead the organization.
In 2005, Unisonbrokers AG was founded, which from then on defined independence as the top priority and motto of its annual conference. Not only did they want to forge a new global broker alliance, but also to be perceived as one of the largest brokers in the world and successor to the independent and at the time well-known UNISON network. In the years 2005-2017, the company was able to attract the interest over a number of brokers at home and abroad with this business approach. Some of the larger brokers in Germany were even offered to act as strategic investors. However, only a handful of brokers (e.g. Lampe & Schwartze, Schunck, etc.) made use of this offer. With the entry of the Australian Steadfast Group at Unisonbrokers and the renaming to UnisonSteadfast AG, however, the gradual sell-off of the company began in 2017.
The Steadfast Group describes itself as the largest insurance broker network and largest underwriting agency group in Australia and New Zealand. The company is also publicly listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and anyone can purchase shares for a current price of EUR 2.62 per share plus order fees. With the investment in Unisonbrokers, the Steadfast Group probably hopes to be able to export its business model to the European continent and other countries. Germany, but also many other markets, do not necessarily obey the logic that premiums and brokerage fees can be sustainably influenced by artificially generated variables. This is proven by the many medium-sized TRC members who, despite their independence and medium-sized characteristics, have not only retained their well-known customers for years, but also continuously win new multinational customers together with the risk carriers selected by them based on quality and price criteria only.
The future will show which convictions and strategies are suitable to assert themselves over the long term in the globally hardening markets. TRC is convinced that the independence of a company is an indispensable value in order to find solutions on an equal footing and in the best partnership with both customers and insurers, from which all parties benefit in the long term.
The so-called ‘INDEPENDENCE Day’ organized annually by UnisonSteadfast and which is popular with international brokers and insurers alike has inevitably to be renamed now!?
Christoph Baltsch – Chairman/CEO TRUST RISK CONTROL AG – April 23rd 2021