Lloyd’s insurer plans to expand UK distribution capacity through broker partnerships.

Amlin could be set to make further investments in brokers following its purchase of a 19.9% stake in Lloyd’s broker Miles Smith for an undisclosed sum this week.

The Lloyd’s insurer said it would look to make targeted investments rather than employ a “broad brush” approach to acquisitions.

Amlin chief executive Charles Philipps said: “This investment forms part of Amlin’s ongoing strategy to broaden our UK distribution through selective partnerships with high quality brokers.”

Paul Chainey, chief executive of Miles Smith, said the negotiations with the insurer had been swift, and insisted the directors and staff would retain control of the business.

He said: “We have worked with Amlin for many years, mainly on commercial motor insurance, and we look forward to jointly developing other lines including SME property, as well as product enhancements for our existing clients.”

These would include improved cover and more competitive rates, he said. Miles Smith would also be able to provide a greater variety of products for customers, Chainey added.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Amlin said the investment would help “develop existing longstanding business relationships with selected UK retail and wholesale brokers, and thus expand and enhance the product range available to their clients”.

Amlin has a new office in Chicago which opens early next month.

The insurer said the move would allow it to write business which might not otherwise reach the London market.

Miles Smith controls approximately £100m of gross written premium, specialising in fleet, construction, property, leisure and entertainment.

Amlin’s 2008 gross written premium to 30 April totalled £524.2m and a renewal retention ratio of 86%.