Link up mooted following appointment of Barbara Bradshaw as chief executive

The IIB has opened the door to a merger with its larger rival, Biba, following the appointment of Barbara Bradshaw as chief executive.

Bradshaw was appointed at last week’s IIB board meeting, following the sudden death of her predecessor Andrew Paddick. The meeting also discussed the possible structure of a merged organisation, which would bring together the two representatives of UK brokers.

Bradshaw said the IIB, traditionally associated with independent regional brokers, still had a lot to offer, but admitted that a merger was a possibility.

She said: “We have to wait and see what happens this year with the mergers and acquisitions. If you get someone that is bought by a consolidator, it doesn’t always remain a member. And if the consolidator is already a member it is not going to want to pay higher fees. It is going to hit Biba as well, so let’s wait and see. There are a lot of irons in the fire right now.”

Negotiations would be likely to centre on how the two organisations would fit together, with the IIB keen to retain an identity, rather than be subsumed into the larger organisation.

IIB director Kedric Rhodes said the best way forward would be to set up a new body. He said: “In the past we have looked at a federation. I just think a new one is the only way. We would have to look at how we are going to do it and start from scratch.”

He added: “If [Biba] wants to talk sensibly about a new organisation and getting the strengths of both [bodies], we would talk.”

Bradshaw will be supported in her new role at the IIB by Ann Peel, head of technical services and former registrar of the Insurance Brokers Registration Council, who will be responsible for regulatory and technical insurance issues, and Barbara Johnston, administration manager.

Bradshaw also confirmed the appointment of Phil Thorpe, managing director of NW Brown Insurance Brokers, to the board of directors.

Eric Galbraith, chief executive of Biba, said the possibility of a merger had been raised in the past, but talks had not repoened since Paddick passed away last month.

“It has been on the agenda [in the past] but will no doubt be on the agenda in the future,” he said. “The IIB and Biba have an ongoing dialogue on a variety of things and it is a matter of finding the right time on this. There is room for us having one voice in the industry, and the idea makes sense.”


Based in Northamptonshire.
Under 1,000 members.
Membership based on number of employees.
Fees range from 126 to 1,260 pounds.
Members include Lucas Fettes and CBG.