Insurer snaps up rival in £1.2m plan to create 30 jobs
A county Tyrone insurance broker has acquired a third-generation Newry company as part of a £1.2m investment.
Dickson of Omagh said its purchase of Sam McCullough Insurance Services was part of "ambitious expansion plans", which would help create 30 new jobs.
The insurance broker also announced its was opening a new head office and call centre in Omagh, moving from the centre of the town to larger premises on Dromore Road.
The business's five branches are in Cookstown, Dungannon and Newtownstewart, as well as Omagh and Newry.
The firm is spending a total of £1.2m on its head office expansion and its acquisition of Sam McCullough Insurance Services.
Managing director Ashley Dickson said his company's reputation had grown in recent years. "This reputation for personal care and looking after clients' interests has created a loyal customer base confident they're in good hands," he added.
And he insisted the new headquarters and the Newry acquisition demonstrated Dickson's commitment to the economy and the insurance profession in Northern Ireland.
"I am delighted that the growth of Dickson Insurance will create new career opportunities for insurance professionals in the Omagh and Newry areas," he said.
Dickson also upgraded its computer systems.
The firm, which now employs 50 people, was founded in 1992 and is 100% family-owned.
Dickson operates in a wide range of insurance sectors including private, motor, household, investment, property and in agricultural vehicles.
It has clients across Ireland, Great Britain and even as far away as Hong Kong .
Dickson's purchase of Sam McCullough in Newry is the third major corporate transaction in the sector in Northern Ireland so far this year. Last month, Abbey announced it was acquiring Open + Direct from Swinton Insurance Group in a multi-million pound deal. The transaction returned Open + Direct to Northern Ireland ownership for the first time in nearly 10 years. The move also created a new top insurance player in Northern Ireland with a total of 200,000 customers and 420 staff.
And in January, Ryan Speciality Group subsidiary Ryan Direct Group, which is based in Chicago, paid an undisclosed sum for Midas Underwriting in Newtownards. Midas Underwriting employs 51 people.
That transaction was the first big insurance deal for Northern Ireland in two years, since Liberty Insurance in Boston bought Hughes Insurance, also in Newtownards.
Number of staff that Dickson employs across Northern Ireland