Broker will continue to trade under HomeLet, Letsure and Rentshield brands

Specialist landlords and tenants insurance broker Barbon is planning to merge its three regulated companies into one firm by the end of this year.

Barbon will continue to trade under its three brands: HomeLet, Letsure and Rentshield.

The move follows a period of change at the broker that began when acquisitive broking group Arthur J Gallagher bought its property and commercial business in May 2013.

It also follows Barbon’s takeover by Texan private equity firm TPG on 20 January 2014. The company was previously owned by a consortium of  banks, including Lloyds, HSBC and HBOS.

Chief executive Martin Totty told Insurance Times: “We don’t need three separate companies with three separate reporting requirements. That is no longer necessary.

“We will simplify the corporate structure but we will still go to market under three brands because we believe that gives us some flexibility in the way that we position the Barbon business to its market.”

He added: “I expect we will get to that point, subject to regulatory approval, on or about the end of this calendar year.”

HomeLet, Letsure and Rentshield were originally run as separate companies, each with its own set of support functions.

After Gallagher bought the property and commercial business, Barbon restructured, shedding its Croydon head office and moving the three legal entities to shared central support functions.

The restructuring resulted in the loss of 58 jobs and has also hit the company’s financial performance. Barbon Holdings posted a loss before tax of £2.8m in 2013, £1m worse than the £1.8m it reported in 2012.

This was partly because of the restructuring costs and partly because Barbon went through most of the year with a structure originally designed for a much larger company.

But Totty expects financial performance to improve in 2014. He said: “When the 2014 numbers are posted you will see a materially different reported number to the one you have seen in 2013.”

Subscribers can read more about the new-look Barbon’s plans here