Welsh broker buys Lloyd’s firm and aviation specialist as it seeks to break into niche markets

Welsh broker Culver has said it will continue to make acquisitions despite issuing a profit warning last week.

The broker plans further growth following last week’s acquisitions of 100% of Lloyd’s broker LPH Pitman and 81% of specialist aviation broker AMS Corporate Risks.

Its move into the Lloyd’s market was predicted by Insurance Times in November.

The two acquisitions prompted a profit warning to the Stock Exchange last week. In a statement, the broker revealed that it is set to report a significant loss for the second half of 2007.

It pointed to the additional cost of the acquisitions as a reason for the loss and said the company also had to bear the cost of new staff before they started to generate revenue.

Culver chief executive David Sullivan said the broker wanted to continue to expand into Lloyd’s, the aviation market and other niche opportunities.

He said: “They are sectors that are growing. The aviation market is dominated by the big brokers and I can’t go after them and eat their lunch. What we can do is develop sectors where they are growing. We have an opportunity to go and steal a chunk of this market before the others can get out of bed.” He added that Culver was the only Welsh broker with a presence in Lloyd’s.

Culver paid an initial £134,346 in cash for both acquisitions with a further £38,443 payable within six weeks, both funded by banks. Sullivan also expected growth across the current business. “We would like to add business or people that give us something that we don’t already have,” he said.