The Eastern Alliance is looking to smash the £100m premium income mark by the end of the year, according to chief executive Grant Taylor.

Central to this growth strategy is the creation of a new associate member category for smaller brokers.

The Eastern Alliance currently has a premium income of £90m from its seven primary members.

Taylor said the alliance was hoping to recruit more than 25 associate members by the end of 2004, and a further two or three primary members.

Associate member status is aimed at small brokers with over £750,000 . Unlike primary members, they would not be shareholders of The Eastern Alliance.

Taylor said: "The associate member proposition will be developed to ensure access to major markets at premier partner status level, along with access to our best practice solutions."

The associate member proposition is to be finalised at the beginning of 2004, said Taylor.