What is making the headlines this week?

Grant

London-based Parabis Group has become the first private equity-backed firm to be granted an alternative business structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Chief executive Tim Oliver said he was pleased, but also frustrated at the time it has taken to secure the licence.

Retirement

Rural Insurance founder Lance Harvey will retire in September after 17 years at the Harrogate-based firm. He will not be replaced in his role as deputy chairman.

Breakthrough

Manchester-based Swinton has opened its first commercial office in Glasgow by acquiring Kirkintilloch Insurance Services, which has gross written premium of £1.75m. Steve Anderson will be commercial centre manager.

Sale

Direct Line Group will focus on an IPO after parent bank RBS ended talks with potential private equity buyers for the insurer. RBS is required to sell its stake in Direct Line Group by the end of 2014.

Deal

Zurich Insurance has won a deal to underwrite the ‘Par Excellence’ scheme for 600 UK golf clubs. Chartis had written the scheme for the past eight years.