Hub broker network to be complete by year end, says chief executive Homer

The Folgate Partnership will acquire six brokers by the end of the year, completing its network of "hub" brokers.

Folgate chief executive Andy Homer said three independent brokers would be bought by Christmas.

He confirmed that three more would be purchased from Folgate's sister company Towergate Underwriting Group.

He said: "Although things appear to have gone quiet, we're really just waiting for the lawyers."

"At the moment we've got 30 live negotiations going on, so it's not slow."

Homer refused to comment on the identity of the brokers. But he admitted that he had heard rumours he was to snap up Yorkshire's RBR Insurance Broking.

It has been speculated that Towergate brokers in London, Kent and Essex have been targeted, as Folgate already owns the Smithson Mason Group in Leeds, Willett & Ross in the North-East, Bervale Mead in the Home Countries and Duncan Pocock in Surrey.

Potential purchases include Towergate Stafford Knight in London, Canterbury Insurance Practice in Kent and several brokers in Essex, including Towergate Sharp Insurance Brokers.

Homer said Folgate would buy up to eight smaller brokers in 2003 to complete its network.

"We're now paying attention to acquiring the spokes, brokers with commission income of £1m to £2m and premium income of around £5m or £6m," he said.

Homer said the partnership used a wide range of insurers.