Broker Berry Birch & Noble (BBN) is set to expand after its parent company raised £20m to help fund acquisitions.

Finance services group Berkeley Berry Birch's share placing poured £16.2m into the group's expansion fighting fund.

The bulk of the rest will pay for IT upgrades.

It is already in acquisition talks with six firms of IFAs, which are likely to include significant insurance broking components.

A large commercial broker from the North of England is believed to be among the businesses being targeted.

One of the IFAs has a turnover of more than £10m, one more than £5m and four turn over up to £5m.

Group deputy chief executive Stephen Ingledew said that any insurance broking interests acquired would be merged into Kent-based Berry Birch & Noble.

Its commissions increased to £3.4m from £2m over the 28 months to the end of March.

BBN chief executive Paul Harrison said that the broker's personal lines business was expected to bring in up to £2.4m of commission this year, accounting for about two thirds of its business.

It has a strong affinity focus, selling to the employees of groups including BP and Diageo.

Ingledew forecast that regulation would drive further consolidation in the financial services sector and that the group would seek profitable brokers to add to its business.

He ruled out buying up brokers who were keen to retire.