Fee and commission income (2003): £954m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £15.1m

Address: 6 Great Marlborough Street


Tel: 0161 233 4733

Email: peter.halpin@swinton.co.uk

Website: www.swinton.co.uk
Year established: 1957

History: Swinton was founded in 1957 by Ken Scowcroft. It was bought in 1992 by Sun Alliance. It was sold to its current owners, MMA, in 2001.

Swinton is a national high street broker. It expanded strongly in the 1970s and 1980s until it had over 750 branches, which were a mixture of franchises and owned branches. During a difficult period in the 1990s, the franchise operation was closed and branch numbers reduced to 260.

Following expansion over the past few years, both organically and through acquisition, Swinton is now the largest high street broker, with 328 branches, and it manages 1.3 million policies. It also trades under a number of established brands, including Colonnade, Walmsleys, Fairfield and Safeguard.

Major shareholders: MMA Holdings

Main lines of business: Personal lines, small commercial

Number of UK employees (average for 2003): 1,800

Chief officer: Patrick Smith

Biography: Patrick worked for Norwich Union for 28 years, initially as an actuary, and was responsible for building businesses across all areas of life, healthcare and general insurance. He launched Norwich Union Healthcare and Norwich Union Direct and was chairman of Hill House Hammond.

In 2000, Smith launched its4me, an internet intermediary, one of the few survivors of the dotcom bubble. He is currently Swinton's executive chairman.