Open + Direct, the financial services division of Northern Ireland's Viridian Group, is looking to expand on the back of IT investment. The company has linked its nine-branch network with a system from Misys Financial Systems.

Paul Elliott, Open + Direct's managing director, said: “Open + Direct Insurance Services has grown very quickly and we are seeking to accelerate that growth through investment in the latest technology, which will lead to more jobs in our insurance business.”

Last year, Open + Direct acquired a number of insurance businesses, in-cluding Spratt Insurance, SG Cathcart & Co and WG O'Kane in Northern Ireland and West Midlands motor insurance broker Footman James.