Broker alliance Unitas has named ex-Northern Star managing director Les Jackson as its first chief executive.

Jackson, who was with Sun Alliance before it merged with Royal Insurance, took up his new role from January 1.

Unitas has been operating since December 1997. It represents eight broking firms across the UK, enabling them to offer potential customers a national presence.

The eight broking firms are Bland Bankart, TL Dallass, John Eke and Partners, Alec Finch & Co, Perkins Slade, Bruce Stevenson, The Sutton Group, and Tiser Group UK. Together, they bring a combined premium income of over £100 million, operating mainly as commercial lines brokers.

Jackson said his remit as Unitas' first managing director will simply be to "provide focus to the alliance, identify marketing opportunities and exploit them".

He said: "David Slade of Perkins Slade has taken Unitas through its development phase during which time it experienced significant growth. The group got together at the end of last year to review what it had achieved and came to the view that the time was right to be more aggressive in pursuing opportunities and decided to create a central office."