Chief exec Esser has 'high hopes' for the operation as the group posts 29% increase in turnover

Cooper Gay chief executive Toby Esser says the firm’s managing general agency (MGA) arm, Oliva, is now writing business.

Esser said the MGA, which was registered in May last year, had been running for a few months. He said: “MGAs take a lot longer than a typical broker to reach maturity, and it’s only a few months into operation, but we have high hopes for it.”

Esser was speaking as Cooper Gay posted group revenue for 2009, up from £77.9m in 2008 to £100.5m last year. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 8% to £19.9m.

Esser said: “The group saw a substantial increase in top-line revenue and reached the important £100m milestone. Despite heavy investment affecting margins, EBITDA also expanded.”

He said the deal with Giles for broking business FSJ should be complete within a month. The sale would have only a small effect on 2010 results, as FSJ represented about 1% of turnover.