Caroline Jordan at the capital conference

The challenges of raising capital were outlined by new start-up Oxygen in a joint presentation from chief executive Nigel Barton and its head of agency operation, Sian Fisher.

Oxygen, a London market insurance intermediary company, was launched in 2004, using both equity and insurance risk capital.

Barton said lenders were receptive to the Oxygen model because there was no legacy and the people behind it were highly experienced.

He said Oxygen focused on 'angel equity', or finance from wealthy individuals, describing investors as being "very supportive". But he added that raising capital took around 15%-20% of his time while the company was being established.

He said investors wanted to see "skin in the game" meaning those running the business had to put in some of their own money.

He added there had been challenging times since, in the first six months, neither he nor Fisher took salaries.

It is understood they invested around £100,000 each into the business, and while it is being built up are now paying themselves salaries of around £120,000 each - which Barton described as well below market average.

Fisher said there was hunger from regional brokers to access the London market and that Oxygen could facilitate this.

She said the lessons learned from raising insurance risk capital were that "track record can be less important than personal relationships" and that "decision making was fragmented and took time - the barriers to entry are high".