The broker network marketplace is a busy one, but chief executive Steve Burrows has plans for Cobra to stand out from the crowd

There will be plenty of changes at broking group Cobra once the deal to buy out shareholders and delist from the stock exchange are completed, according to its chief executive Steve Burrows.

Burrows is buying Cobra and delisting it from the Alternative Investment Market. He was in a relieved mood when talking to Insurance Times about his offer for the business and plans over the next 12 months. Taking the business private and sourcing new funding gives Burrows the license to make wholesale changes without having to answer to shareholders.

One of Burrows’ main focuses will be on transforming the Cobra Network – its 120-member group of independent brokers that have signed up for access to the broker’s products and services.

Burrows wants to instill a new culture of innovation within the business and offer its members something they can’t get anywhere else. “We want to completely improve and revamp the network, and look at how we can be head and shoulders above the competition,” was his battle cry.

But the task is easier said than done. The market for broker networks is already a crowded place, and if you’re not already making waves, the chances are you will sink before kick-starting the engine. Cobra has one of the longest-standing network offerings in the market, but this doesn’t mean it can rest on its laurels.

In his quest for growth, Burrows will have to come up with a game-changing plan. This could include streamlining its other wholesale operations, including Cobra Underwriting and Cobra London Markets, to achieve greater efficiencies in other areas, such as the network. Let’s wait and see.

Aviva shares get a boost

The markets have responded to John McFarlane’s anticipated turnaround plan at Aviva.

Shares in the insurer rose 2.8% to 282.7p in yesterday’s trading and the focus is now all on Thursday’s strategy presentation to investors where the closure or disposal of between 10 and 15 business has been mooted. However, there is still no word on how or if the UK business will be affected.