Fee and commission income (2003): £169m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £576,000

Address: 80 Leadenhall Street

London EC3A 3HA

Tel: 020 7648 5400

Fax: 020 7648 5439

Email: name@opuscompany.com

Website: www.opuscompany.com
Year established: 1998

History: Opus was formed in 1998 to effect a management buy-out of the UK branch insurance broking business of Heath Group plc, now part of the Heath Lambert insurance broking group.

The majority of the equity funding for the buy-out came from Bridgepoint Capital Ltd, a leading private equity investor, which remains the principal investor, with a holding of 72%. Opus management holds the remaining equity.

The group's principal activities are insurance broking, employee benefit and personal financial planning consultancy and health and safety management services. It employs 250 staff at 10 locations (Aberdeen, Bolton, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hertford, London, Maidstone, Norwich, Southend and Swansea).

The Opus business is made up of five trading divisions: personal cover - personal lines insurance, located at Southend; businesscare - smaller commercial lines insurance, located at Bolton; corporate risk - medium to large commercial lines insurance, at all locations except Southend; health and safety - the provision of health and safety management systems and consultancy, located at Cardiff; consulting - employee benefit and personal financial planning, at all locations except Glasgow and Norwich.

Major shareholders: Bridgepoint Capital Ltd (72%), Opus management (26%) and Royal Bank of Scotland (2%).

Main lines of business: Commercial lines, personal lines, employee benefit and health and safety management services.

Number of UK branches: 10

Subsidiary companies: Opus Insurance Services Ltd;

Opus London Market Ltd;

The Opus Consulting Group Ltd;

Opus Health and Safety Ltd.

Number of UK employees (average for 2002): 251

Chief officer: Ian Brice, chief executive

Biography: Ian Brice began his career in 1961 at the Federated Employers Insurance Co, where he held the position of a junior clerk. He moved to Iron Trades Insurance Co in 1962, where he worked as a trainee claims inspector.

From 1964 to 1975 Brice worked at London Assurance/Sun Alliance, where he held the position of agency inspector (composite).

He then moved to Bryan Worrall & Co (Cardiff), joining as an account executive/broker and in 1977 was made a director, becoming managing director in 1982.

He joined the CE Heath Group in 1990 following the acquisition of B&C Insurance and was subsequently appointed a director of Heath UK.

In 1991, when Heath UK was regionalised, he was appointed managing director of Heath, Wales, with responsibility for Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

In April 1994, Brice was appointed regional managing director of the South West division, with responsibility for branches in Birmingham, Reading Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea (the Newport office having merged with Cardiff).

In September 1994, he was appointed a director of Heath UK Holdings.

He moved to Opus in 1998 as managing director of general insurance, before being appointed chief executive in March 2000.