Firm is in discussions to help former Quinn customers find new providers

Lloyd’s broker Prime Professions has appointed Tim Smyth as chief executive.

Smyth has been interim chief executive since Tony Blyfield left in March this year.

The appointment comes as the professional indemnity specialist announced a 400% increase in operating profit from £129,453 to £648,066.

Profit after tax increased from £157,868 to £1,029,080, helped by favourable tax credits. Turnover was up 8% to £8,744,779, compared with £8,093,366 in 2009.

Thanks to the results and further investment from Prime Professions’ parent company, Primary Group, Smyth said Prime Professions was “well capitalised” with over £2.3m in shareholders’ funds available to support growth.

In addition to his role at Prime Professions, Smyth is a non-executive director of several of Primary Group’s investments. He has been a director of several Lloyd’s broking businesses.

Smyth said: “We are optimistic about the prospects for this financial year and we are aiming for growth in both turnover and profit.

“Although it is too early to predict the outlook for the full financial year, we enjoyed significant turnover growth during the first quarter. This has been driven largely by our financial services and international teams, and we anticipate further growth in all areas.”

He added that Prime Professions would continue to pursue an organic growth strategy, but would look to add individuals or small teams with a proven record of generating new business. “We are not, however, looking to make corporate acquisitions,” he said.

The firm is continuing to help policyholders find a replacement for troubled Irish insurer Quinn. “Although the outlook for Quinn remains unclear, it is likely that those solicitors currently insured by Quinn will need to make alternative arrangements for cover,” Smyth said. “We are in discussions with a number of providers at present.”

Blyfield set up Prime Professions with 23 other employees who left Alexander Forbes in 2005. Forbes, which was bought by Lockton International, subsequently took legal action relating to alleged breaches of restraint of trade agreements, which were denied. The matter was later settled.