Aon Baltic grows headcount to 300 with acquisition of Balto Link

16 January 2018 3 min. read

Global professional services firm Aon has purchased Balto Link, one of the Baltic’s larger insurance brokers. The acquisition is expected to be completed within the space of six months, after which Aon Baltic will have 300 employees. 

With 114 professionals, Aon Balticone is one of the largest insurance consultancy and broker companies operating in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, providing risk and insurance consulting solutions to clients across the region. The company belongs to the Aon Group, a global firm operating in 120 countries with around 50,000 employees. 

The company it acquired, Balto Link, is with 156 employees a larger operator in the market, specialising in providing services to corporate clients and e-commerce players. Similar to Aon Baltic, Balto Link has offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The company was founded in 2000 by two former Marsh & McLennan executives in Lithuania: Robertas Saltis and Jolita Palekaite.

Commenting on the deal, which is the largest acquisition deal in the Baltic brokerage business in recent years, Aon Baltic’s General Manager Žilvinas Petrauskas said; “Joining forces with Balto Link will create value and empower results for clients of both firms. Clients of Balto Link will benefit from the breadth and depth of Aon’s global presence and expertise across risk, retirement and health.”

Robertas Šaltis, Managing Director Baltics of Balto Link, added: “Joining Aon Baltic and becoming part of a global firm will enable us to provide enhanced solutions to our clients.”Aon Baltic grows headcount to 300 with acquisitions of Balto Link

The move comes at a time when the Lithuanian insurance market is undergoing change. Insurance brokers are seeing their bargaining positions deteriorate following consolidation among insurance companies, and as a result brokers are seeking means of gaining scale to recover lost terrain. Moreover, a new law has recently been passed which is set to “bring a lot of confusion to the market,” admitted Šaltis. By belonging to the group of market leaders, brokers have more leeway to compensate for setbacks through a more diversified portfolio.

The two leaders highlighted that they in addition foresee “strong business synergies” between the two firms, a factor also planned to bring opportunities and benefits to colleagues. Petrauskas: “We plan to continue to invest in technology, data analytics and people.” 

Following the closing of the transaction (financial value and terms have not been disclosed), Aon Baltic will have almost 300 employees across the Baltic states, reconfirming its market-leading position in the region. Petrauskas added that the company however continues to eye new growth opportunities: “We plan to grow our retail business across all the Baltic States and expand the online / e-commerce business in Latvia and Estonia.” 

Buyer Aon Baltic was advised by DLA Piper, one of the world's largest law firms, and Sorainen, a law firm with offices in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. Seller Balto Link was supported by in GLIMSTEDT, a law firm with offices in the Baltics and Sweden.