Departure is offset by high-profile Admiral and Aviva arrivals

Operations director Max Carruthers is the latest Towergate staff member to head for the door, leaving to join former colleague Amanda Blanc.

Carruthers was well-respected within Towergate, and by its private equity backer Advent, so his loss will be a blow for the consolidator. He will become AXA and Bluefin’s chief operating officer, reporting to commercial chief Blanc.

Towergate has undergone a ‘top-level churn’ in the past year, losing a number of high-profile faces including deputy group chief exec-utive Blanc, Powerplace chief executive Matthew Reed and now Carruthers.

Those departures have been offset by the high-profile arrivals of Admiral chairman Alastair Lyons as chairman and former Aviva UK chief executive Mark Hodges replacing chief executive Andy Homer in the top job.

Widely respected Hodges will need to move quickly on his arrival in October to unite staff in their drive towards a flotation.

Advent bought a 45% stake in the business for £200m with conditions attached last year, but could double its investment on flotation.

Towergate’s EBITDA last year was £117m, and if the consolidator can pile on acquisitions to hit £150m within the next two years in time for flotation, it could achieve a market capitalisation of more than £1bn. It has a war chest for acquisitions and is expected to complete some deals soon.

Hodges’ biggest challenge will be getting the right team onboard for flotation and convincing investors amid a possible backdrop of a stagnant UK economy, a festering global sovereign debt crisis and a flurry of poorly performing initial public offerings.