The Folgate Partnership will develop an e-commerce proposition that is aimed at "blowing the opposition away".

Speaking in an exclusive Insurance Times interview, just a week after sealing a deal to buy Hill House Hammond Business off Aviva, Folgate chairman Peter Cullum said: "Look at how has blown away Barnes & Noble as the world's biggest bookseller.

"We want to develop an e-commerce proposition in 2005 or 2006 that will do the same."

Cullum said that the rivals he was aiming to beat were not just brokers. "Our rivals in this area are several, they're called Aviva, R&SA and AXA," he declared.

When asked about how this might affect relationships with companies that currently supply Folgate with capacity, Folgate chief executive Andy Homer said: "Insurers are not the only source of capital. There are reinsurers that stand behind the insurers."

Cullum said that Folgate was not interested in using its capital to underwrite risks.

"Although never say never, we would not underwrite. It gobbles up so much capital. I would rather use it in a more leveraged way," he said.

Folgate is set to develop a loss recovery service. Homer said: "We haven't built a loss adjusting business yet. This is another opportunity because loss adjusters are inefficient.

"They are based on the idea that there will be a big storm every few years that will pay for all their trainees.

"We are looking at an after-the-event loss recovery service. It doesn't have to be thrown into the price of a contract. It can be paid for on a deposit and pay-as-you-go basis, or within an insurance contract," said Homer.

"There are a few clients, even though we are not in the big end, who are prepared to take a big excess and they need help in managing that," he added.