Ten employees move to broker as Aon gets close to completing £900m takeover.

Cooper Gay has snapped up Benfield’s aerospace team just before the broker is taken over by Aon.

The10 former Benfield employees will use their expertise and client portfolio to help establish Cooper Gay as a market leader in broking and risk advisory for the aerospace sector.

Benfield received an “undisclosed sum” for the team.

Aon, which is close to completing a £900m takeover of Benfield, refused to comment on the transaction.

Toby Esser, Cooper Gay’s group chief executive, said negotiations with Benfield were “very amicable. The deal was done with Benfield and payment was to them. It was in very good spirits.

“It was a very acceptable deal to Cooper Gay, and even better for Benfield. It is much better than us fighting over business disputes.”

Esser said the deal fitted in with his company’s strategy of strengthening its wholesale broking operations.

Jim Summers, UK chief executive of Cooper Gay, said he was “delighted” to welcome Benfield’s experienced team.

“The transaction adds significant resource to our London aerospace division following our acquisition of the London Heath Lambert aerospace team earlier this year.”

Stephen Barton, managing director of the marine and aerospace division, said: “I am excited by the additional expertise that John Howes, David Sales and their colleagues bring to our aerospace division alongside the existing team.

“I am also looking forward to offering our new clients the excellent service standards that Cooper Gay can provide.”

Earlier this year, the broker agreed a £31.6m debt financing facility with National Australia Bank in London to support its acquisition strategy.

Cooper Gay said it was “currently involved with a number of further acquisition opportunities”.