Who'd have thought? Lloyds TSB is the second biggest broker in Britain ahead of the mighty Marsh. Just two years ago the intermediary disclosed a brokerage of £353m. This went up nearly £100m last yea ...
Who'd have thought? Lloyds TSB is the second biggest broker in Britain ahead of the mighty Marsh. Just two years ago the intermediary disclosed a brokerage of £353m. This went up nearly £100m last year and up another £100m this year. It now stands at £535m.
Bancassurance is here to stay. That's the message. While Natwest stopped acting as a broker, following its takeover by Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax and HSBC continue to be major forces in the top ten and National Australia Insurance Services - which incorporates the broking arms of the Northern, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks - is knocking on the door of the top ten. With Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays coming in the top 20, banks have a combined fee and commission income of more than £2bn.
Another threat to brokers is the plan by the RAC to become a broker. Judging by the success of AA Insurance Services - number nine in our table - RAC insurance could break into the top 50 next year and is surely destined for a spot in the top 20.
Traditional high street brokers are fighting back. Hill House Hammond grew a little and maintained its position just outside the top ten, but Swinton leapfrogged it with the acquisition of Colonnade earlier this year. And Budget with its purchase of Dial Direct is also now just outside the top ten. Can Endsleigh, following its management buyout, keep up with its high street rivals and the banks? If it has a new strategy, chief executive Mike Alcock isn't giving much away (see page 20).
In commercial lines, JLT is growing nicely (see page 28). Further down the list, regional players such as Ward Evans, Layton Blackham and Bland Bankart are also moving in the right direction. But watch out for Folgate next year.
One interesting trend to emerge is that mergers and acquisitions have slowed down, in spite of big deals being done by Swinton, HHH and Folgate. Only a handful of top 200 brokers have changed hands in the first six months of this year. This compares to about 50 in 2000. It seems there is too much money to be made in the current market for anyone to give up. But with regulation looming and a softening of the market next year, it won't be long before chats turn into negotiations and finally deals.
Many thanks to all those who contributed their company details so that we could compile our Top 50. Apologies to anyone who missed out. If you think you should be in next year's list contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org