Market speculation sparks interest in Lloyd’s broker from three rivals

Several brokers have been weighing up whether to bid for Lloyd's broker PYV, in the wake of a reduction in the group’s headcount.

Giles, Heath Lambert and one other London market broker are said to have run a slide rule over the Lloyd’s operator, although the interest has not led to a sale.

PYV director Nicholas Pointon had a directorship terminated this week, according to Companies House, although PYV declined to comment. His father, chairman Geoffrey, and brother, chief executive Neil Pointon, remain at the broker.

Insurance Times understands PYV's largest shareholder, Geoffrey, is prepared to listen to offers but would want an optimum price.

Giles chief executive Chris Giles still has a considerable war chest at his disposal. And Adrian Colosso’s Heath Lambert is keen to flex its muscles through acquisitions after thrashing out a deal with Santander for an £18m loan and £6m revolving credit facility.

Accounts for Pointon Group, released last month, show that broking subsidiary PYV Ltd’s pre-tax profit improved from £194,414 to £264,605 for the year ending 31 January 2010.

The group employed an average of 72 staff to the year ending 31 January 2010, down from 84 the previous year.

The company’s accounts say the broker’s professional indemnity business for independent financial advisers suffered from difficult conditions during the financial year, although its PI for solicitors fared well. “The PI business for independent financial advisers has continued to experience difficult conditions in the past year,” they say. “The market continued to soften, with consequent falls in rates as underwriters continued to commit capacity to the PI market despite an expected increase in claims frequency. As was the case last year, the PI business for solicitors continued to grow strongly. ”

When asked about the redundancies, Geoffrey said he would not normally discuss PYV’s commercial arrangements, but that he could make an announcement at a later date.

Giles and Heath Lambert declined to comment.