Travel risk management firm iJet International has acquired competitor red24, which is based in London and has additional offices in New York, Munich, Singapore, Hong Kong and Cape Town, South Africa. Red24 had acquired Risq Worldwide in July, and iJet also bought WorldAware in May.
IJet's latest acquisition adds more than 100 full-time staff, bringing the total to more than 300. "We're pretty much going to be keeping everybody," said iJet CEO Bruce McIndoe. "We're going to be focusing them heavily on the insurance market, so we need that personnel to continue to service that market." The combined firm's major hubs will be in London, Singapore and Washington, D.C., and the company will have 800 direct enterprise clients. It also will gain "tens of thousands" of indirect clients from the 50 insurance companies that include red24 as part of their policies.
While 80 percent of the companies' services are similar, McIndoe said red24 adds kidnap for ransom and extortion, product safety and recall, and corporate investigations to iJet's portfolio. Red24's Cape Town office also is of interest, McIndoe said. "A lot of our clients are working and expanding into Africa, so we want to be there to support them."
The acquisition is part of iJet's long-term strategy to grow, organically and through acquisitions, for equity firm LLR Partners, which acquired iJet in 2013. However, McIndoe said iJet has no schedule for making acquisitions. Instead, it looks for companies that can enhance their operations by having more clients or can bring iJet new services, capabilities and technologies. "We're constantly looking in geographies where we're operating in Asia/Pacific, EMEA and the Americas," he said.
Companies also are becoming more aware of the need to manage risk. "Our data is clear, McIndoe said. "The frequency and severity of incidents have been increasing year over year. It is the most dangerous time, and next year will be even more dangerous."