Link Insurance Services, the retail arm of RJ Kiln, is conducting a feasibility study into a management buy-out.

But executive board member Steve Tidd stressed that an MBO was just one of many possibilities under consideration, after Kiln said it needed to “secure the future of Link” in its strategic review last month.

“All the options are being looked at, including the possibility of an MBO, but it is far too early to say if we will pursue this,” said Tidd.

Link is expected to write £63m of premiums in 2001. The retail arm employs about 200 staff in its Maidstone offices.

The bulk of Link's book is motor insurance, but it also writes household, commercial and accident and health insurance.

Link's other directors are Nigel Hewson, Peter Goodright, Mike Bottle and Phil Squires.

Chairman Andrew Fleming-Williams had said earlier: “We want the best for the future of Link and we're very, very keen to involved all the staff in an open and communicative way. We don't want this done in secret.”