Tony Lawrence to head up Imperium Insurance, which will serve brokers that are overlooked by bigger firms

red ribbon cutting

Lloyd’s broker Direct Insurance Group has launched a new MGA and hired Towergate Underwriting sales and marketing director Tony Lawrence to run it.

The new MGA, called Imperium Insurance, plans to write £50m of gross written premium in five years.

Lawrence will join the MGA on 1 December as managing director and the new venture will launch in January 2015.

Direct Insurance chief executive David Bearman told Insurance Times that Imperium is the culmination of two years’ work and is designed to help brokers that are overlooked by large insurers and MGAs get products to market quickly.

He said: “There are so many brokers screaming for solutions and being overlooked. We can put solutions in very quickly.”

He added that under Imperium’s model brokers can be fully up and running with products in six to eight weeks. He said: “The big carriers and MGAs can’t react that quickly.”

Imperium will essentially act as an e-trading support structure and product source for agencies and books of business. From launch it will have two in-house agencies: Isure, which offers online insurance to very small to medium sized businesses (VSMEs), and Lincoln Underwriting, which provides cover for residential apartment  blocks of up to £100m in any one location.

Imperium is also in discussions with third party agents to allow them to use Imperium’s technology and capacity to launch products.

For more difficult-to-place risks, brokers will have access to Direct’s Lloyd’s division, Direct Insurance London Market (DILM).