Summary of the top five brokers plus download the Top 50 Brokers table

1) Aon

8 Devonshire Square

London EC2M 4PL

Tel: 020 7623 5500

Web: www.aon.com

  • Last year’s ranking 1
  • Brokerage (2008) £686,760
  • UK branches 29
  • UK employees 5,489
  • Chief officer Rob Brown, chief executive
  • Established 2001 following the merger of Aon’s businesses in the UK. (Parent firm, Aon Corporation, founded in 1982.)
  • History Aon Corporation was originally formed in 1982 after the merger of two Chicago-based insurance underwriting groups, Combined International Corporation and Ryan Insurance. Major UK acquisitions have included Nicholson Leslie, Bain Hogg, Alexander & Alexander Services Inc, Alexander Howden Group, Minet Group, Footman James and, most recently, Benfield Group.
  • Major shareholders Aon (UK) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aon Corporation
  • Main lines of business Risk consulting, insurance and reinsurance broking and human capital and management consulting.
  • Chief officer biography Rob Brown was appointed chief executive of Aon Limited in July 2009. He is also chief executive of Aon Corporate and Affinity, leading Aon’s retail broking activities for small to mid-sized UK companies. Prior to this, Brown was head of risk transfer for Aon Global. He previously worked primarily in underwriting for 17 years.

2) Marsh

Tower Place

London EC3R 5BU

Tel: 020 7357 1000

Web: www.marsh.co.uk

  • Last year’s ranking 2
  • Brokerage £472,900
  • UK branches 24
  • UK employees 2,200 (excluding Guy Carpenter)
  • Chief officer Martin South, chief executive
  • Established 1871
  • History Marsh was set up as an insurance broker and risk management adviser in 1871 by Henry Marsh. In 1903 Donald McLennan established a research standard for assessing risk after travelling across the US to inspect the operations of two railroad lines. Burrows, Marsh and McLennan was formed in Chicago, becoming the world’s largest insurance agency with annual premiums of £6m. Today, Marsh is a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm with more than 54,000 employees and an annual revenue exceeding £11bn.
  • Main lines of business Alternative risk transfer, brand and reputation risk, business continuity management, commodity price risk, competition and contractual risk, corporate governance, directors’ and officers’ liability, employee risks, enterprise risk management, fleet risk management, foreign exchange risk, IT risks, mergers and acquisitions, natural catastrophe, operational risk, pandemic diseases, pensions, physical security, PFI, product liability, professional liability, energy, marine, trade credit, real estate, construction and private client
  • Chief officer biography Martin South became chief executive of Marsh UK in February 2007. Before joining Marsh, he was chief executive of international businesses at Zurich Financial Services and a member of the group management board, responsible for Zurich’s operations outside North America and Europe.

3) Willis

The Willis Building

51 Lime Street

London EC3M 7DQ

United Kingdom

Tel: 020 3124 6000

Web: www.willis.com

  • Last year’s ranking 4
  • Brokerage (2008) £461,176
  • UK branches 28
  • UK employees 4,000
  • Chief Officer Grahame Millwater, president
  • Established 1828
  • History Willis’s origins lie in the founding of three firms: Henry Willis & Co, Faber Brothers, and Dumas & Wylie. In 1897, Willis, Faber & Co was formed, joined in 1928 by Dumas & Wylie to form Willis, Faber & Dumas. In 1998 the group’s shareholders accepted an offer from leveraged buy-out specialist Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts. The group, publicly quoted since 1976, reverted to a private company. In 1999, its operations came under the Willis Group umbrella. In 2001 Willis Group listed on the New York stock exchange.
  • Major shareholders Willis Group Holdings
  • Main lines of business Global insurance broking
  • Chief officer biography Grahame Millwater joined Willis in 1985. He was promoted to president in February, having been chief operating officer since November 2006. He was chief executive of Willis Re from February 2004 to June 2006 and was also chairman of Willis Re from September 2004 until July 2008.

4) Saga/AA Insurance Services

Fanum House

Basing View

Basingstoke RG21 4AE

Tel: 08705 44 88 66

Web: www.theaa.com

  • Last year’s ranking 3
  • Brokerage (2008) £450,000
  • UK branches (excluding Cardiff and Newcastle call centres) 0
  • UK employees 1,400
  • Chief officer Simon Douglas, product and actuarial director
  • Established 1967
  • History Launched in 1967 offering motor cover on the the high street, AA’s range and panel grew, UK call centres were established and online followed. It acquired broker Direct Choice and travel insurance specialist Drakefield in 2006/07. It is owned by Saga parent Acromas Holdings.
  • Major shareholders Acromas Holdings: shareholders are its employees and funds advised by Charterhouse Capital Partners, CVC Capital Partners and Permira Advisers.
  • Main lines of business General insurance: car, caravan, home, motorcycle, holiday home, life, pet, golf, van and business
  • Chief officer biography Simon Douglas qualified as an actuary in 1990 and spent 19 years at Standard Life, becoming managing director, marketing, in 2001. He joined Munich Re in 2006 and then the AA’s board in 2007.

5) JLT

6 Crutched Friars

London EC3N 2PH

Tel: 020 7528 4444

Web: www.jltgroup.com

  • Last year’s ranking 5
  • Brokerage (2008) £448,500
  • UK branches 17
  • UK employees 2,763
  • Chief officer Dominic Burke, group chief executive
  • Established 1997
  • History JLT is an established insurance and reinsurance broker, risk specialist and employee benefits consultant. It operates in more than 120 offices in 36 countries and employs more than 5,500 people.
  • Major shareholders Jardine Matheson, Silchester International Investors, Baille Gifford & Co, Legal & General, Black Rock, Sanderson Asset Management, Capital Group, AXA Financial and Fidelity Investments
  • Main lines of business Retail, specialist, wholesales, reinsurance, employee benefits, consulting, outsourcing and software services
  • Chief officer biography Dominic Burke joined in 2000 when his Burke Ford Group of companies became part of Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT). He is chairman of the group executive committee and was appointed a director and chief operating officer of Jardine Lloyd in 2005.

Download the Top 50 Table.