Fee and commission income (2003): £459m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £8.3m

Address: Furness House

52 Leadenhall Street

London EC3A 2EB

Tel: 020 7480 7322

Fax: 020 7481 4695

Email: coglondon@


Website: www.coopergay.com

History: Cooper Gay was founded in 1965. It is wholly owned by the working directors of the company.

It has a growing number of subsidiaries, currently employing more than 400 people worldwide and working closely with other associate companies. Clients include most of the multinational insurers and a number of Fortune 500 companies.

James Steele (Insurance) became part of the group in 1971, having its origins in the 19th century. It handles predominantly UK business, primarily focused on the yacht and boat-building sectors.

Chief officer: Toby Esser, group chief executive

Biography: Esser has more than 20 years' experience in global insurance and reinsurance. His career started in 1983 when he joined Cooper Gay & Co. He transferred to New York in 1988 and was instrumental in setting up Cooper Gay Steele, a licensed reinsurance intermediary that handles all classes of reinsurance, specialising in large industrial property risks.

Returning to London in 1991, he was involved in the rapid growth of the non-marine division of the Lloyd's broker and in the strategic development of further overseas subsidiaries, including offices in Singapore, Canada and Mexico.

Appointed managing director in 1997, he then assumed the role of group chief executive in May 2001, following the retirement of Michael Jones.

Major shareholders: All shares are owned by the working directors.

Main lines of business: Reinsurance (wholesale and speciality).

Number of UK branches: 2

Number of employees (2003): 430.