Yorkshire broker RP Hodson has been sold into a new company, Oval, which has been established to consolidate the UK broking market.

RP Hodson chairman Phillip Hodson will become group chief executive of Oval, with former Aon director Antony Pinsent as chairman.

Lochie Spearman, formerly of Lloyd's broker Lochain Patrick, will be acquisitions director.

Oval's largest shareholder, with a 34% stake, is investment vehicle Caledonia, which will invest up to £15m in the company.

The other principal shareholders are Edinburgh-based investment bank Noble & Company, Hodson, Pinsent and Spearman, and Royal & SunAlliance, which has become a shareholder as a result of its 12.5% stake in RP Hodson.

The concept is understood to be the brainchild of Spearman and Ben Thomson, who is chief executive of Noble & Company's parent, Noble Group. He will be a non-executive director of Oval.

Pinsent said that while the company intended to become one of the UK's top ten broking brands, a future flotation was "not necessarily" part of its business plan.

In a strategy similar to that used by Folgate, Pinsent said that Oval would look to acquire companies with brokerage of at least £5m to form six or seven regional hubs, and would then buy smaller brokers which it could roll into each hub.

He said that Oval had access to about £30m for acquisitions and was currently "talking to a number of people".

But Pinsent said that the Oval strategy differed from that of Folgate as it was interested in larger commercial brokers that also had a financial services business attached.

The Oval model involves buying brokers outright, and paying for the acquisitions through a combination of cash and Oval shares.

Companies acquired will retain their management and continue to trade under their existing brands, while utilising groupwide benefits such as deals with insurers, IT support and help with FSA compliance.

A spokeswoman said that as Oval would be directly regulated by the FSA, its broking brands would avoid direct regulation.