Loss adjuster McLarens International and claims manager Maxson Young have announced plans to merge.

The merger will be completed by early next year with a common brand and management.

A spokesman said the merger would create increased business and the company should be looking to take on staff in 2003.

"The new name will be an amalgamation of the two existing names and we will draw value from the established brands," he said.

Maxson Young chairman and chief executive Vernon Chalfant said: "Our companies are united by shared values and philosophies.

"In simple terms, quality service is our product and quality people are our most important asset."

He said the combined expertise and resources of the two firms would allow the company to deliver the highest quality risk-management and claims services to clients around the globe through the strongest worldwide network.

"The world of insurance and risk management is experiencing sweeping changes and with change, come challenges," said McLarens International Group chief executive Peter Tinsley.

"By joining forces, we can help our clients meet those challenges and reach their full potential," he said.