Also in the news this week ...

Combined staff face axe

The entire 325 staff at the UK offices of ACE-owned Combined Insurance face redundancy and new business is being closed. A further 400 independent sales agents will be affected by the restructuring at Combined Insurance, which sells accident and health insurance cover. A spokesman for Combined Insurance said the company was no longer open to new business, but it would continue to serve its existing policyholders. Ace bought US-based Combined Insurance from Aon in 2008 for £1.6bn. It has 300,000 policies in force across the UK, handled by staff in Kingston, Surrey, and Wilmslow, Cheshire.

Broker networks hit 50

The 1Answer and Purple broker networks have both broken through the 50-member mark. 1Answer has signed Stockport-based C&C Insurance Brokers, start-up broker Rockwood, and Trafford-based Sale Insurance Services. Meanwhile, Purple has signed up Sheffield-based Fletcher Smith Insurances.

UKGI signs Ataraxia deal

UKGI has signed an exclusive deal to provide support to Ataraxia brokers. UKGI will offer compliance support, and help with due diligence and succession planning. Ataraxia was started last year by Stuart Randall, the former chief executive of Brokerbility. Randall aims to buy brokers but let them stay on in their business until they are comfortable making a departure.

UKGI managing director Mark Wood said that Ataraxia’s broad proposition to acquire provincial commercial lines brokers sat perfectly with UKGI’s own business model.