Core Insurance

Ardonagh announces acquisition of MDS Group

MDS Group | December 24, 2021

online insurance news
The Ardonagh Group today announces that it has agreed to acquire MDS Group, a leading insurance broker and risk management advisor across the Portuguese-speaking world and Europe.

Headquartered in Porto, Portugal, MDS has offices in Brazil, where it is the country's largest independent broker, as well as Angola, Mozambique, Spain, and Malta. It is the only Portuguese Lloyd's Broker.

MDS employs 900 colleagues and recorded revenue of €74.8 million (£65 million[1]) in the 12 months to 30 June 2021. MDS manages over €500 million in insurance premiums for 1.2 million private and corporate clients each year.

Ardonagh intends to fund the acquisition with a combination of equity and debt. MDS will be acquired by Ardonagh Overseas Investments Ltd and operate as part of Ardonagh Global Partners.

In addition to its core broking operations, spanning property & casualty, health, retail and wholesale, MDS operates Highdome PCC in Malta, offering sophisticated alternative solutions to the traditional insurance market including captive and reinsurance solutions to large clients. Completing MDS' offering is Risk Consulting Group (RCG), a multinational risk management consultancy.

MDS is also the founding member and a shareholder of Brokerslink, a network of brokers and speciality risk and consulting firms operating in 122 countries.

Upon completion, Ardonagh Global Partners will acquire 100% of the issued shares of MDS from its two shareholders, Sonae Group and IPLF Holding. The management team led by MDS Group Global CEO José Manuel Fonseca will remain with the business and continue to lead an expansive growth plan in all of the MDS territories.

"Having considered our future very carefully, we saw in The Ardonagh Group and its leadership a perfect match for our vision and growth ambitions. We are incredibly excited to be joining forces with a global independent group with Ardonagh's scale and dynamic culture. With access to Ardonagh's considerable resource and capital, we look forward to accelerating our organic and inorganic growth plans."

- José Manuel Fonseca

Ardonagh Global Partners was launched in January 2021 to invest in best-in-class businesses and management teams around the world and in turn support their growth ambitions.

It is a great privilege to partner with a distinguished and high-profile broking platform such as MDS. Jose Manuel together with his experienced and high calibre management team have developed a world class reputation for client service, innovation and professionalism, delivering outstanding service to their clients for over 30 years.

- Ardonagh Global Partners CEO Des O'Connor

The Ardonagh Group is the UK's largest independent insurance distribution platform and a top 20 broker globally. We are a collection of best-in-class entrepreneurial and specialist brands with a network of more 100 locations and a combined workforce of more than 8,000 people. Across our portfolio, we offer a highly diversified range of insurance-related products and services across the full insurance value chain in the UK, Ireland and broader international markets. From complex multinational corporations to individuals purchasing personal insurance policies, our understanding of the communities we serve, together with our scale and breadth, allows us to work with our insurer partners to deliver a broad range of product and risk solutions that meet customer needs. 

MDS Group
MDS is a multinational group doing business as an insurance and reinsurance broker and risk consultancy, with a presence in over 125 countries. MDS is a market leader in Portugal, one of the largest players in Brazil and Angola, and maintains a direct presence in Mozambique, Spain, Malta, and Switzerland. Through Brokerslink, a global brokerage firm founded by the group which relies on 21,000 insurance professionals, it addresses customers' needs across multiple geographies and sectors. The group includes MDS RE, a reinsurance specialist doing business in Europe, America and Africa, and RCG — Risk Consulting Group, a leading firm in risk analysis, loss control, business continuity plans and enterprise risk management. Through HighDome, a Protected Cell Company (PCC), MDS offers risk transfer solutions that function as an alternative to the traditional insurance market. MDS also works with benefits management and flexible benefits through the companies 838 Soluções (Brazil) and Coverflex (Portugal).


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It’s no secret that the global pandemic has upended everyone’s life. We know this anecdotally from our own experiences—more online shopping with curbside pickup orders, ordering takeout and delivery versus in-person dining, and changing media consumption. And let’s not forget remote working and learning. These experiences are more than simply anecdotal; McKinsey has written about the more specific effects of the pandemic on consumer behavior and needs. In short, they write: “behavior changes will reshape consumer decision journeys and companies will need to adapt fast.”

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