Alan Kaufman 

US independent wholesaler Kaufman Financial Group is looking to add to mini-empire of London market operations.

Speaking to Insurance Times on his bi-annual visit to London, chief executive Alan Kaufmann said Lloyd’s was viewed globally as an excellent organisation that writes business on high quality paper.

And despite the trend of some brokers setting up local offices in countries, Kaufman believes the London market provides unparalleled access to global markets.

It means Kaufman will be looking to add to its acquisitions. The Detroit-based insurance group, owner of the largest US independent wholesaler Burns and Wilcox, snapped up London wholesale broker Chestefield in 2012 and completed a deal for marine and energy specialist Oval International in September last year.

It also founded niche underwriter Cranbrook Underwriting in 2012.

Kaufman is looking for business that provide specialist expertise.

Outlining some of the attractions of working with his group, which is debt-free and an independent insurance firm, Kaufman said: “We are a solid owner financially. There are companies that are wanted by private equity but their business plans are generally short term. They generally do not retain ownership for a long period of time and they will sell the company. You don’t know who your owners will be.

“We are different. People who are with us will be in a long term business plan.”

Meanwhile, Chesterfield managing director James Stevenson said Iran presented opportunities.

“We are looking at Iran now that the sanctions are being stopped there. Iran has 8% of the world’s oil and it has got more than 80 million people. It is going to be a very significant player in the market in the near future.”

Stevenson also said there were opportunities for Chesterfield to offer specialist advice in marine, energy and accident and health.