Galbraith began by saying that the industry needed to attract new talent through cross fertilisation with other sectors if it was to remain innovative and fit for purpose.

He said: "If we are not careful, broking could become the business equivalent of an aristocratic family that is starting to suffer from in-breeding."

He predicted that insurance was not going to get any easier in the next six years. If anything, it was going to get more challenging.

Those challenges would come from the internet and customers' access to and usage of it.

Galbraith said it would be up to brokers and intermediaries to be at the forefront of that change.

But, the growth of the multi distribution approach would, he believed, leave brokers occupying an ever-diminishing middle ground.

In response, over the next six years, brokers would have to not just see themselves simply as distribution channels, but as dynamic financial services organisations in their own right.

"As long as brokers are tolerant of multi distribution channel insurers, more underwriters will move to this model of distribution," he warned.