Five acquired businesses will be brought into the restructure

Jelf Group is to complete a far-reaching restructure of its insurance broking business within the next six weeks, Insurance Times can reveal.

The ambitious plans will allow Jelf to compete with the likes of Oval and Giles by building its own national broking model.

Jelf will bring all of its existing broking operations together under one management team by the beginning of October, in a separately regulated entity known as Jelf Insurance Brokers. Broking businesses within the new division will be rebranded under the Jelf banner, but retain a reference to their identity in the company name.

Five businesses, four of which have been taken over by Jelf during the past three years, are involved in the restructure. They include Kent-based Argyll Insurance Services and West Midlands broker Clarke Roxburgh – both bought by Jelf in April 2008 – Manchester-based Manson Insurance Brokers, acquired in January 2008, and Bristol-based Lampier, acquired in August 2007. Jelf Professions, the group’s professional indemnity insurance business, is also part of the reshuffle.

The combined operation will have a turnover of around £45m, controlling more than £200m gross written premium and employing 650 staff.

Former Jelf Group commercial director Phil Barton, who was promoted to Jelf Insurance chief executive on 1 May, will head the new division. He will be supported by a new finance director and chief operating officer, both of whom are expected to be appointed within the next week. A board of directors is also being put in place.

Barton said the restructure was a “natural next step”. “The insurance arm is bringing back into its business the core operating functions. Previously they were effectively outsourced to the group,” he said. “Given insurance is two-thirds of the turnover of the group, there is value in having those capabilities within the insurance business. So what we wanted to do was create a powerful management board for what is the largest trading entity in the group.”

Barton added that the move would structure the business for growth and said the broker was “well placed” for acquisitions after is secured fresh private equity investment from Cap Z, which owns a 43% stake after buying out previous backer 3i earlier this year.

Subscriber Exclusive: Insurance Times talks exclusively to Jelf's Phil Barton.