Loss of sports and leisure team will not affect profits, chief exec says

Kerry London is eyeing potential acquisitions after raising cash and renewing its banking facility.

This comes as the broker hit back over staff departures, claiming they would have no impact on the group’s profits.

Kerry’s cash boost follows a successful raising of equity capital through third parties to strengthen its balance sheet. The broker has also renegotiated its banking facility with Allied Irish Bank.

Chief executive Damian Kissane did not reveal how much the firm had raised, but said it would be scouring the market over the next three months. “We’ll have a flexible capital structure to allow us to raise capital as and when,” he said.

The £100m gross written premium London-based firm is keen on acquiring a Lloyd’s broker and other commercial businesses to complement its portfolio. “The businesses we have been looking at have been between a quarter and half our size,” Kissane said.

He added that the broker was looking to replace the five people who left its sport and leisure team last month, and that it would not affect its managing general agency agreement with Fortis. “Losing people from that team has just happened in the course of business,” he said.

Others to leave the business include former director Alan Roe, who has joined Touchstone Underwriting.

Kissane said the broker had reported its best first-half results yet. In the first half of 2010, turnover increased slightly to £9m, up from £8.9m in the same period last year. EBITDA was £1.4m against £800,000 in 2009.

The firm said a decline in large construction business income had been offset by rises in professional risk and large corporates.

In recent months, it has hired former Zurich SME development manager Paul Watson to head its wholesale distribution and underwriting business. Adam Fox is to lead the financial solutions arm.