Wholesale business offered to potential buyers.
Heath Lambert is understood to be looking for buyers as it prepares to split up and sell its non-retail operations, Insurance Times has learned.
A number of companies are said to have been approached by Heath Lambert representatives offering to sell the specialist wholesale operation, which includes FSJ, its London market division, for £20m.
The move has prompted speculation that the broker is restructuring its wholesale operations in order to make the remaining UK retail business an attractive sale target for the likes of Towergate.
One senior market source said: "It is generally known that Adrian Colosso [group chief executive] is looking to hive off and sell various parts of the company to different people.
"The school of thought in the market is that it could sell the whole of the business, which it tried to do last year with JLT. Second it could sell its wholesale operation to someone like Cooper Gay or another company with an international focus, and then sell the rest of it."
Heath Lambert strongly denied Towergate was being lined up as a buyer and insisted that its non-retail operations were still core to the business.
Towergate declined to comment.
“It is generally known that Adrian Colosso [group chief executive] is looking to hive off and sell various parts of the company to different people
Senior market source
But, according to an industry insider, Heath Lambert has set up a 'data room' – a quarantined area for documents to be viewed during the sale – specifically for Towergate representatives.
"Towergate is crawling around the UK retail business," another source confirmed. "If you look at what Colosso has sold in the last couple of years, then I don't see Heath Lambert existing in its present form in 2008."
Further speculation over the company's future comes as it announced a series of major management changes to its national, real estate and financial institutions and professional risks (FIPR) divisions.
The company said the changes marked a significant milestone in the achievement of the group's stated strategy of focusing on its UK retail operations and expanding its regional network.
Colosso, said: "We are clear about where the business is going. Our intention is to build on our successes, to maximise the skill we have, attract new talent and to enhance our ability to work more closely as a group to ensure we keep on winning and retaining more business."
Among the changes taking place is the appointment of Graham Barr to head up the group's national division, with Jim Herbert as head of sales.
In addition, Matthew Bates has been appointed manag-ing director for the real estate business. Alan Pratten, managing director of the major accounts group, will also head up FIPR.