Four ex-Oval employees are understood to have joined Berkeley Burke in Luton

Oval has begun legal action against four former employees who have quit the group’s Luton office to begin trading in the same town for a rival broker.

The rival broker is understood to be Leicester based Berkeley Burke, run by Andy Bedford.

In a statement Oval’s managing director for the Midlands, Peter Matthews, said that the four decided to leave its Luton office to join another broker and had taken a number of clients without the firm’s consent.

He said: “As a consequence we are in the process of commencing legal proceedings against all those parties involved.”

Oval’s Luton office is thought to employ around 20 staff. Matthews added: “Oval is merging its Broxbourne and Luton offices together in order to create a much stronger local presence and build a strong foothold in the area.

“The majority of Luton staff will be transferring over to new offices based in Broxbourne.”

Bedford refused to comment on the legal proceedings and would only issue a one line statement that read: “I can confirm that we have opened an office in Luton.”

It is understood the companies have a link as Andy Bedford left Bland Bankart in 2001 to join Berkeley Burke.

Oval subsequently acquired Bland Bankart in 2004.

Perkins Slade confirms Oval discussions

Oval’s interest in Birmingham broker Perkins Slade, revealed last week by Insurance Times, has been confirmed by the Midlands broker's chief executive David Slade.
Slade said: “We are in discussions with Oval about a coming together.”
It is believed Oval is currently in the process of due diligence and Slade added that there was currently no deadline for a completed deal.
Oval has made no secret of its intentions to double its revenues to £140m by the middle of this year. It has a war chest of £120m following an investment from insurer Allianz.