Fee and commission income (2003): £171m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £7.8m

Address: Hercules House

29-39 The Broadway

Stanmore, Middlesex HA7 4DJ

Tel: 020 8420 7600

Fax: 020 8420 7660

Email: enquiries@hercules-group.co.uk

Website: www.hercules-group.co.uk
Year established: 1996

History: Hercules was created in 1996, when it was demerged from a property trading company, Safeland plc. It was originally the insurance intermediary for the Safeland Group, trading as Heritage Insurance Services. Since that time, it has grown as a service provider to both the commercial and residential property owning communities. The principal lines of business are in the property insurance consultancy and management markets.

In November 2000, Hercules acquired Deacon Insurance Services, a significant intermediary player in the UK's blocks of flats insurance market. The group acquired Cadogan Insurance Services, based in London, in May 2001.

In June 2004 Hercules began the process of merging its Deacon and Cadogan subsidiaries

In December 2002 Farr plc, the leading specialist insurance broker to the Housing Association (HA) market, joined the group. Based in Chelmsford, Farr concentrates only on the HA market. DOR (Northern), which also specialises in this market, became part of the group. This business was merged into Farr in 2004.

The group also has businesses in property management and consultancy (Dunlop Heywood Lorenz, Gross Fine, Wood Management, Simmonds) as well as property auctions (Harman Healy Commercial and Residential).

Major shareholders: Public company

Main lines of business: Property insurance, property consultancy, property management and property auctions.

Number of UK branches: Four insurance offices and seven property services locations.

Subsidiary companies: Farr plc

Cadogan Insurance Services Ltd

Dunlop Heywood Lorenz

Harman Healy Commercial Ltd

Harman Healy Residential Ltd

Simmonds & Partners Ltd

Michael Courcier & Partners Ltd

Gross Fine (Holdings) Ltd

Wood Management Ltd

Number of UK employees (average for 2003): 447

Chief officer: Robert Plumb, group chief executive

Biography: After qualifying with Ernst & Young, Robert Plumb joined a client company, Avco Financial Services. Having undertaken the roles of treasurer and chief financial officer, he became vice president of the group's UK insurance division and was responsible for marketing group consumer lending operations. He was appointed chief executive of the UK business in 1992 and became head of Europe as the group expanded into France, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Ireland.

In October 2000, following Avco's acquisition by the Associates Capital Corporation, he was recruited as chief executive and managing director of the Hercules group of companies. Since that time, revenues have grown from £20m to over £40m.