After 14 months of waiting, The Folgate Partnership has finally taken part ownership of a broker.
The consolidator, which controls £750m of premium income, has acquired 35% of Kings Lynn-based Fenton Insurance Brokers. Fenton controls £6m of mainly commercial lines premium.
Folgate launched the plan to buy minority stakes in September 2003 under the name Folgate Broker Alliance. Folgate chief executive Andy Homer said that a number of talks started on the basis of minority stakes but graduated to full buy-outs.
"Now that we have this deal under our belt, it can act as a template for others," said Homer.
Fenton chairman Roger Loveday and managing director Ian Gutteridge will continue to lead the 20-strong team, Folgate said. Folgate Broker Alliance managing director David Wrathall will join Fenton's board.
"With the hard market rapidly becoming a distant memory, and the additional cost of compliance yet to hit the figures, broker values are likely to come under pressure in the medium term," Loveday said.
He added: "With Folgate a shareholder, and a multiple agreed for the eventual purchase of the rest of the shares, we are immensely excited about growth possibilities."