Oval has confirmed that Allianz has taken a 10% stake in the company, putting an end to weeks of intense speculation.

The broker said that Allianz’s involvement would strengthen its ability to complete acquisitions, while allowing existing share-holders to make minor reductions in their holdings.

Oval chief executive Philip Hodson said: “Oval has always looked to the long term.

“This is supported by Caledonia and our other major shareholders which have all maintained significant stakes in the business.”

Chris Hanks, general manager of Allianz Commercial, stressed the move would not impact on Oval’s independence.

He said: “We will not be involved in the management of the Oval business in any way, and will not be taking any board or management roles.

“This is a pure investment in a business and a management team in whom we have a lot of confidence. Its client base and business model are very aligned to our own and we see this as a good partnership.”

Allianz already enjoys a close relationship with Oval through its SME book.

It is believed that other insurers could also be keen on purchasing a stake in the company.

Norwich Union has been linked with the broker.

Oval is the third broker in which Allianz has purchased a stake.

The insurer also owns part of Jelf and CBG – the latter in which the insurer upped its equity backing to 5.6% in June.