Preferential will continue to operate as a standalone

The Collinson Group, owner of travel intermediary Columbus Direct, has bought Preferential Insurance Group for an undisclosed sum.

Preferential chief executive Steve Nickerson said there would be no changes at the company and it would continue to operate as a standalone.

Preferential owns Optimum Underwriting, a managing general agency with capacity provided by Groupama.

The group also owns Preferential Direct, which sells travel products online, and Preferential Insurance Services, an intermediary with clients including Co-Operative and British Airways.

Nickerson said the deal was a “natural fit” and would enable the two groups to “put people skills together”.

The Collinson Group has more than 500 staff working in the travel industry providing insurance, software and loyalty programmes.