Marsh is developing an electronic 'quote and buy' system in a bid to grow its sports and entertainment practice, the broker has revealed.

The company, which recently announced the launch of a personal accident, contingency and entertainment (Pace) practice, said it was looking at ways to increase the amount of small and medium-sized risks that it can handle.

The practice places insurance for tournaments and events and professional sports players.

Lennox Batten, team leader of Marsh's Pace practice, said the broker was in the process of developing an electronic trading platform that would allow clients to buy cover directly.

Batten told Insurance Times that the system would initially be used for smaller risks paying brokerage of under £5,000. "We are looking at an internal launch in the third quarter. We need to get the support of underwriters," he said.

Batten said that the system was likely to be based around the Acturis system that Marsh currently uses.

He added that Marsh would be looking at ways to expand the system for the medium sized risks paying brokerage up to £25,000 where possible.

Batten denied the move was in response to increased competition from rival brokers. In recent weeks JLT and Heath Lambert have targeted the sector.

Premium Credit's buy-out funding plan

Premium Credit is looking to expand its acquisition funding service as part of its bid to increase revenues to £3bn by the end of the year.

The UK's largest premium finance provider, began offering acquisition loans of up to £1m to existing broker clients at the end of last year. To date, it has provided more than 20 loans, not only for acquisitions but also management buy-outs.

Christian Jackson, Premium Credit's national sales manager, said the company was now looking to extend the service beyond its existing client base.

He said this could include offering it to Biba members, as an extension of its preferred supplier status for Biba, and also to members of the broker networks that it has relationships with such as the Broker Network and the Willis Commercial Network.

He also said the company would be looking to offer loans to brokers for purposes other than acquisition.

"We are looking at offering more funding lines. We already offer loans for systems purchases and there will be other things over the next six to eight months. We want to get into the wider funding market."