Richard Elias to step down as chairman of Lloyd’s broker.

Lloyd’s broker Hyperion enjoyed a 15% growth in turnover to £39.2m in 2007, it revealed this week, although its operating profit dropped as a result of exceptional expenses.

The broker, which is backed by private equity house 3i, saw its operating profit drop from £5.9m to £5m, as a result of £1.5m of extraordinary expenses including staff incentives. Brokerage and commissions in the UK also dropped, from £14m to £12.6m.

The broker also announced that Richard Elias was stepping down as chairman.

Gross written premiums for the group reached £206.3m versus £193.2m the previous year, and broking income increased to £20.3m against £19.1m.

Elias, who formerly owned City-based broker Spear Gulland, which specialised in financial institutions’ crime insurance, joined forces with Hyperion chief executive David Howden in 1997. He said he would retire when his replacement was found.

“It has been an immensely rewarding experience to have worked and served alongside men of the calibre of David Howden, my fellow board members and my many other colleagues throughout the group,” he said. “I shall leave the board in the full confidence that the Hyperion Insurance Group is set to become one of the world leaders in the insurance industry.”

One of the Hyperion Group’s two underwriting agencies, CFC Underwriting, posted increases in revenue and profit of 30% and 22% respectively.

In the UK, it said the market has softened for all of its product lines over the past three years, but the overall market size had grown due to an increasing market penetration. Its gross premium income was £15.7m, an increase of over 17% on the previous year.

Hyperion’s other underwriting agency, Dual, increased gross written premiums by 11% to £70m. Its overall revenues increased by 29% to £15.8m. In the UK, it said rates in the financial lines market were at their lowest in 10 years. Gross written premium surpassed £40m, which is an increase of 16% on the previous year.

The Howden Broking Group recorded strong results with revenue increasing by over 10% from £19m to £21m.

Howden added that the group had concluded negotiations with 3i Growth Capital, which has become a significant minority investor. In addition to its initial investment of £28.3m, for which it acquired a 27% stake in the group, 3i had committed a further £25m for funding growth.

Howden said: “3i brings more than just capital to the group. Having had the good fortune to be backed by BP Marsh and Company since our formation 14 years ago, it was vital to us that any new investor should have the same long term view, as well as respect for the culture of the group.”