Groupama-backed broker has ambitious plans

Bollington, the commercial broker part-owned by insurer Groupama, has outlined plans to expand its wholesale arm by 50% next year.

The Manchester-based broker is positioning itself as a niche and affinity business heavyweight.

It is rebranding FM Green, a wholesale and scheme specialist that it acquired in 2006, as Bollington Wholesale.

The changes will also affect Compucar, which Bollington acquired last January. The online brand will be expanded to provide wholesale access to non-motor Bollington products, with segments branded under the “Compu” banner – for example, Compucare. The overall operation will be called Compuquote.

Bollington has recruited additional staff, including Stephen Bottoms, who has joined as business development manager from Aon. The changes will be overseen by Chris Patterson, managing director of Bollington’s wholesale operations, who joined from Aviva Financial Services in September. At the time, group chairman Paul Moors hailed his appointment as a “real coup” for the wholesale company.

Patterson said the developments would give brokers online access to a much wider range of products.

“The two-pronged approach of simplifying access for brokers to a wider range of niche wholesale products while at the same time adding new ones will, we expect, help the account to grow by 50% in 2009,” he said.

Bollington has expanded organically and through acquisition over the past two years. Groupama took a majority stake in the business in 2007, although it still operates as an independent broker. The remaining shares in the company are owned by Moors, Joe Wall and Stephen Wall.