Boss of one of the largest independent wholesalers in the world says retailers are ‘asking more questions’

Retailers are increasingly scrutinising their wholesale counterparts amid growing concerns over solvency, says Alan Kauffman, chief executive of Kaufman Financial Group.

Kaufman, owner of Burns and Wilcox, one of the largest wholesalers in the United States, said the wholesale sector at large was being asked more questions.

He said: “We send out financial statements to a greater number of retail brokers.

“More and more large retail brokers are asking for financial information. They are questioning who they are sending money to. Insurance companies have also done that.”

In an exclusive interview with Insurance Times and GR, Kaufman said his company was in strong financial shape and he was keen to make more acquisitions.

Kaufman snapped up Lloyd’s broker Chesterfield just over two years ago, and Alan Kaufman said he had been impressed with the business the broker has traded.

“We are interested in expanding our global presence, our clients, retail brokers, are demanding more of a global presence to handle risk,” he said.

Kaufman said Lloyd’s paper was highly-regarded across the world, especially since it had improved technology.

“The London market and Lloyd’s has got its act together with technology which means better service to existing claims.”

Detroit-based Kaufman said his annual business trip to London was a good chance to follow up on relationships with brokers and syndicates, and ‘look them in the eye’.