Virtual insurer The Folgate Partnership bought Stockton-on-Tees-based broker Peel Thompson Fletcher.

Peel Thompson Fletcher controls £9.5m of mainly commercial business.

Current bosses Gordon Thompson and Eddie Fletcher will continue to lead their staff of 18.

The business will be merged with fellow Folgate-owned broker, Willett and Ross, which is based nearby.

The acquisition further strengthen's Folgate's northern operation, which added Cowburn Insurance Brokers and Devonshire Wilson and Co in April this year. It is the group's twentieth acquisition. Folgate executive chairman Peter Cullum said: "It is a quality business with an excellent client base. It will provide an excellent fit with Willett and Ross, giving us a dominant local market presence."