Senior managers stay on to handle integration as insurer moves to become sole capacity provider

Fyfe Group chairman Mike Slack has left the business after the broker was acquired by Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) this week.

Slack, who owned 70% of the Fyfe Group, confirmed his departure following completion of the sale.

Five other senior managers of the group, including managing director Paul Inskip, will remain to handle the integration with R&SA.

Slack, a board member of the FSA and Biba, told Insurance Times that he would now focus on developing another business, Temporary Cover, which provides short-term cover for cars and vans.

R&SA said the acquisition of Fyfe complemented its drive towards niche sector expertise in the broker channel and would broaden its offering to the motor trade market.

Fyfe, whose brands include Motor Trade Solutions and Roadrunner Motor Trade, controls over £10m in annual premiums.

The acquisition price was not disclosed. The deal will see R&SA become the sole capacity provider for Fyfe’s book of business. It previously underwrote around 40% of the business.

Andrew Burke, R&SA’s strategic partnership director, said: “We’ve had a relationship with Fyfe for a number of years. It’s a great business with a track record of profitable growth. It broadens our motor trade capability. We have a big book at the higher end, but short on expertise in niche areas.

“This acquisition is perfectly aligned with our strategy of seeking bolt-on acquisitions that build distribution or complement our underwriting capability.”

An R&SA spokesman said there were no plans to cut staff and, in the short term, Fyfe Group’s trading brands would remain. But the insurer has not ruled out rolling Fyfe’s businesses into R&SA’s other divisions.

Burke said: “Fyfe has a direct and a wholesale business. The direct business could convert to More Th>n, while the wholesale business could become part of our broker division.”

Inskip added: “We are very pleased to become part of Royal & SunAlliance. Our new owner has presented the Fyfe team with a great opportunity to take the business forward to a new level and, in doing so, bring benefit to shareholders, staff, brokers and customers alike.”

The purchase is the latest bolt-on acquisition for Royal & SunAlliance. In November 2006, the insurer acquired professional indemnity specialist Martello Underwriting for £38.5m. The acquisition saw Martello chief executive Michael Wood quit over a disagreement on strategy.