The Broker Network has unveiled ambitious plans to grab a 20% share of the "ultimate broker market" within six years.

Grant Ellis chief executive of Broker Network told Insurance Times that its aim was now to double in size to 500 new members within six years. Until now the Broker Network was looking to grow to 250 members.

It currently has more than 160.

If it achieves its aim, Ellis believes Broker Network will establish a broking powerhouse worth £750m in gross written premiums.

"We expect to have 200 members by the end of 2008 and continue to recruit between 50 and 60 new members a year," he said. "We believe that there is a real growth in appetite from brokers wanting to join networks.

"Expectations of performance are always more realistic in a soft market," he said. "So while we will still look to make acquisitions, we are shifting our emphasis to the network."

With consolidation within the broker market gathering pace, the Network is experiencing a "significant increase" in the number of firms wishing to join the group, he added.

"People are worried about the gap between the commissions being negotiated by the consolidators and what they can earn on their own," he said. "This is having a knock-on effect on the number of firms wanting to join a network."

In the six months ended 31 October 2006, Broker Network Holdings reported a 71% growth in profit before tax to £1.94m from £1.13m a year earlier.