Broking group looking to enter marine and reinsurance markets

Broking consolidator Oval's next move will be to acquire a Lloyd's broker.

Chief executive Phillip Hodson said the group was interested in acquiring a Lloyd's operation, to give it an entry into the marine and reinsurance markets.

Hodson said its interest in these sectors fitted with its strategy of focusing on high margin business.

He said a Lloyd's operation would also help the group develop its existing professional indemnity and oil and energy businesses.

Hodson said the group was also in discussions with several small brokers in Yorkshire, which it planned to put together to form a larger business. Broking sources said Oval was targeting the Bradford area for its next round of consolidation.

He said that a decision was also imminent on the Oval IT platform. RP Hodson currently uses the insur-E.tam system, while Bland Bankart uses Acturis.

In the original plan for Oval, companies acquired were to continue to trade under their own brands.

But Hodson said businesses within the group would move to the Oval brand sooner rather than later.

Oval was formed in October last year with the acquisition of RP Hodson.

In April this year it acquired Bland Bankart.

The group now has total brokerage of £30m and a pre-tax profit in the order of £5m, Hodson said.