Jelf Group's share price hit an all-time high of 175p on Monday as the AIM-listed broker announced a major push into the Welsh market.

The move has been underpinned by the acquisition of Swansea based Brian D Thomas Insurance Services.

The acquisition gives Jelf three further bases in Wales: Thomas & Byrne Associates in Swansea, Thomas Byrne & Walsh Associates in Cardiff and Bridgend-based Jarvis & Byrne Associates. The broker already has one office in Cardiff.

Controlling £9m in gross written premiums, the acquisition pushes Jelf Group's controlled GWP to more than £85m for general insurance and £50m for private health.

Jelf Group chief executive Alex Alway told Insurance Times: "Our combined operations in Wales gives us control of £20m GWP. Our ambition is to double that.

"In our private healthcare we are targeting £10m GWP."

He added: "We expect to be employing up to 100 people in our Wales operations."

It is understood the group will announce a series of acquisitions in forthcoming months.

Les Brewin has been appointed as distribution development manager to set up potential deals.

Earlier this year, the broker acquired Reading-based Goss Group in a deal worth more than £10m.