Highway's retail division has acquired MRB Insurance Brokers, which trades as 1st Quote, propelling it into the UK top 12 general insurance intermediaries.

The acquisition, which cost Highway £6.6m plus performance-related payments, brings 60,000 policies to Highway Retail. The total number of policies now handled by the company is over 170,000.

The previous owner of Romford-based MRB, Martin Brown, remains on the MRB board as a non-executive director, while the remainder of the management team will continue to develop the business as part of Highway Retail.

Paul Cosh, managing director of Highway Retail, said he saw the acquisition as a huge leap towards becoming a top 10 intermediary. In a statement, he said: "We have a lot more growth planned for the future."

MRB generates personal lines business from on-page advertising and the internet.