Chief executive sees off rivals’ failed bids as division manager moves to Heath Lambert

Bluefin chief executive Stuart Reid has outlined his determination to hold on to the major accounts business acquired as part of the SBJ buy-out last year, following three failed bids from rival brokers.

Reid’s comments follow the departure of major accounts managing director Judy Baker to Heath Lambert – one of the rivals that tried to buy the business outright. It is believed that a deal had been agreed in principle, but hit the buffers.

Major accounts make up less than 3% of Bluefin’s overall portfolio, but Reid insisted it was “an integral part of the business”.

He said: “Three separate companies have approached us to buy what was the SBJ major accounts business. Each time we have turned it down. We are 100% committed to major accounts and it is not for sale.

“We wish Judy all the best at Heath Lambert,” Reid added.

Earlier this year, Lloyd’s broker SBJ Global Risks – once part of Bluefin – was acquired in a management buy-out because it did not fit the distribution strategy of AXA, Bluefin’s parent company.

Baker is set to join Heath Lambert next year, to head its large corporate division after 21 years at the former SBJ business. She will lead the company’s London major account team, which it hopes to boost with further appointments.

Heath Lambert chief executive Adrian Colosso said “heavy-hitter” Baker would help the broker grow its client base of FTSE 250 and multinational firms. “We are very, very lucky to have her,” he said. “She has an exemplary record in the industry.”

This year Heath has picked up a number of contracts including Thames Tideway and Trader Media, and the broker is also believed to be close to sealing deals with two major high street brands.

Baker said she was delighted to join Heath Lambert. “The corporate accounts arena is a challenging sector, but for the past 20 years I have thrived on the challenges it poses on a daily basis.”