Essex broker RG Ford has hit out at the major consolidators, claiming their spending power is preventing medium-sized brokers from making acquisitions.

RG Ford managing director Giles Ford said the big money paid by large groups, such as Towergate and Oval, was pricing them out of the market.

He said: “What we are finding is the big boys of the world are hiking up the prices and are making it uneconomical for us. That is why it has gone a bit quiet on our front.

“They can afford to pay over the top to get market share. We have to do a deal that can make us money within a four-year period.

“If we were going to buy at that price, it would not make any money within eight years, so there is no point in doing it really.”

RG Ford, which controls gross written premiums of £7.5m, is targeting acquisitions of around £3m GWP in size.

In May last year it acquired Michael Andrew and Baddow, an Essex broker with GWP of £2m.

Ford predicted sale prices would continue to rise. He said: “There are going to be a lot more mergers in the next four or five months. Is the medium sized broker going to be able to afford it?”

RG Ford is aiming to achieve £10m GWP in size within two years.