Addition of Lloyd's outlet attracts inquiries from larger brokers, says Cobra

Commercial broking network Cobra is to target larger brokers as potential members.

This follows Cobra's acquisition of 40% of GAL, the Lloyd's wholesale broker previously owned by Griffiths and Armour.

Earlier this month, a management buy-out led by Brian Fuller and Andrew Graham acquired Griffiths and Armour (London) Ltd with Cobra taking the largest shareholding.

Cobra chairman Steve Burrows said the acquisition would give the network access to Lloyd's, allowing it to provide additional services to members.

The £20m-£30m worth of business that Cobra members currently place in Lloyd's will now be placed through GAL, which has joined the network.

Controlling premium in excess of £60m, GAL is the largest single member of Cobra.

"The addition of GAL completely changes the profile of the network," Burrows said.

"Cobra has seen a number of inquiries from brokers with a premium income of up to £50m.

"Access to the Lloyd's market will allow us to provide services for larger brokers who are now interested in joining the network."

Burrows said Cobra's gross written premium would increase from its current level of £200m to £270m with the addition of GAL. He said the network was on course to exceed its £300m target by the end of the year.

Burrows added that Cobra, which now has around 65 members, had ten potential new members going through due diligence, with an average of four new members joining each month.

GAL managing director Brian Fuller said the company's objective was to grow its current premiums from around £60m to £100m over the next two years, further boosting Cobra's premium income.

GAL will retain its offices in Fenchurch Street and will continue to offer wholesale broking as well as building and construction insurance services.