Kenny Maciver, the former managing director of Lombard General Insurance, has joined Towergate Underwriting Group to spearhead its acquisition strategy.

MacIver had been managing director of Groupama after it acquired Lombard in May 1999, but left the position in November.

He will be joined on the Towergate board by Douglas Young, formerly managing director of BMS Associate's UK arm, BMS Clarke Limited. Douglas has also held positions at Lloyd's brokers, Jardine Thompson Graham and Nelson Hurst.

Towergate, led by former Economic Insurance underwriter Peter Cullum, claims to be in negotiation with 20 parties. It was most recently linked with student insurer Endsleigh, although both sides deny talks.

The company was launched in 1997 and blazed an 18-strong acquisition trail with the backing of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It deals predominantly in niche markets, and provides marketing, information technology and finance while allowing the broker to retain its brand identity.

Towergate's management worked as underwriters for Economic Insurance where they staged a management buyout in 1993 before selling to Hiscox in 1996.