Staff restrictions expire on start-up professional indemnity broker

Professional indemnity (PI) broker Prime Professions is free to target rival Lockton's clients, after restrictions on former Lockton staff working at Prime Professions expired.

Twenty staff have jumped ship from Alexander Forbes Professions, prior to its sale to Lockton in 2006 to join their former managing director Tony Blyfield at Prime Professions.

This resulted in Forbes slapping restrictions on ex-employees preventing them from approaching old clients.

The last of those restrictions ran out at the end of November 2006 leaving Prime Professions in a position to compete on a level playing field for the first time since it was created in October 2005.

"It has been like driving a car with the handbrake on," Prime Professions chief executive Tony Blyfield told Insurance Times.

He is convinced that the team that has been built is now in a position to take a good chunk of the

PI market citing 40% as a "medium-term" target.

And now the gloves are off, Blyfield is in fighting mood. He said: "When you look at the senior people here they have had more top 100 solicitor PI clients than anyone else in the market. Better than Marsh, Aon - anyone."

One of the results of the restrictions has been that, although Prime Professions was set up in October 2005, the first client didn't come on board until March 2006, so it has yet to have its first renewal year of business.

But things are now changing. Three weeks ago Prime Professions won a property consultancy firm, GVA Grimley, which is an old client of Blyfield's dating back to 1992.

Prime Profesions is part of the Primary Group.