Management consultancy targets London claims processing firms

US management consultancy Navigant Consulting is in talks to acquire claims processing companies.

The firm's UK subsidiary, Navigant Consulting UK is planning 10% - 15% growth this year.

"We are on the acquisition trail," said UK managing director Timothy Woods. "We can visualise acquiring small teams of people and a business in total. We are in conversation with a couple of different clients at the moment in the London Market."

The UK subsidiary has been working in Lloyd's and the Company Market since October 1998 when it took over London Market Claims Services on an outsourced basis. It now employs 50 people in the UK.

Woods said: "We want to grow into different markets, new syndicates and companies. I would be surprised to see less than 10 %- 15% growth for 2002."

Navigant Consulting UK is hoping to employ about ten new insurance and claims practitioners and project manager consultants by the end of the year.

Woods predicted the claims sector would grow, particularly for asbestos.

"The US has always been hugely litigious and shows no signs of stopping," he said. "Bodily injury cases and other cases in the courts in the UK show it is definitely on the increase, which will have an impact on the insurance market."

He added that more Lloyd's syndicates and insurance companies would now cease underwriting either because of "not being able to see a clear way forward" or through a shortage of capacity. "Some of the teams will find an opportunity to break away and start up small entities as the cycle changes," he said.