Pro Broker and HSBC Insurance combo will provide two-tier offering

Marsh will launch a multibillion-pound wholesale broking arm combining its Pro Broker network and the intermediary marketing division of HSBC Insurance Brokers, Insurance Times has learnt.

The new unit will also incorporate the 161-member Labyrinth Club, a network for small independent community brokers launched by HSBC over a year ago.

Marsh UK commercial practice head Julie Page is understood to be lined up to lead the new operation. She will be joined by Marsh Pro Broker leader Bruce Fertnig and HSBC Insurance Broker’s intermediary marketing division managing director Richard Harrison.

Marsh’s £135m acquisition of HSBC Insurance Brokers was announced in December and is set to be confirmed by the end of March. Marsh refused to comment on the integration of the two firms and denied that a new company – Marsh Brokers – registered at Companies House was related to this latest development.

HSBC’s intermediary marketing division is a wholesale distribution platform that has accounts with around 2,000 independent brokers, giving Marsh access to approximately £8.6bn of gross written premium, including the £420m GWP Labyrinth Club.

Harrison told Insurance Times that the tie-up with Marsh would allow it to expand the Labyrinth offering.

“I see it as an opportunity for us because quite clearly the [SME-focused] Pro Broker initiative will have schemes and markets that will complement our range and vice versa. Our network has focused on personal lines, where as Marsh has done more in the commercial arena,” Harrison said. “We want to get better in commercial and I see us creating some leverage with some of the insurers Marsh has got.”

He said that, combined under the same umbrella, Marsh and HSBC’s intermediary marketing division would give brokers access to a two-tier offering.