'You get a less personal service at big brokers,' says Mungo

A team from Bluefin has left the company to form a London-based start-up specialising in property insurance.

Aquilla Insurance Brokers comprises Geoff Bradford, managing director of Layton Blackham before it was bought out by AXA and rebranded as Bluefin, and ex-colleagues Julian Mungo, Natasha Ward, Julie Parmenter and Claire Clifford.  

Mungo, managing director and a key figure in forming the boutique broker, which started trading towards the end of last year, said: “Big brokers have their place, but you see less of the personal service when you are part of a large organisation because you get swamped with issues outside your core focus.

“So the idea of setting up a small bespoke outfit was very appealing. The right opportunity came along and I grabbed it with both hands.”

The new team had all acted accordingly with their contractual obligations and there was no problem with Bluefin, he added.

The most well-known figure to join is Bradford, who has invested his own money in Aquilla, and was Layton Blackham’s managing director from 1995 to 2007.

He was appointed integration director in 2007, following the AXA takeover.  

Mungo led the property team at Bluefin before leaving at the start of 2009 to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions.  

Ward helped set up Layton Blackham’s overseas business, which was was eventually managed by Parmenter. Clifford spent 14 years working in the broker’s property division.

All three left Bluefin last year.  

Broking entrepreneur Justyn Bailey, who set up his own firm in the 1990s, also joins as a director and investor.  

Aquilla, which handles its claims in-house, has already placed £2m worth of business through a panel that includes Allianz, Aspen, Aviva, AXA, RSA and Zurich.

Mungo said the aim was to grow as much as possible in 2010 placing UK business. In the long-term, Aquilla has FSA approval to write global business.