?Protectagroup has taken a significant step toward its £25m brokerage target by the end of next year with the acquisition of Hodge Insurance Brokers.

Hodge has a brokerage of £1.86m and controls £9m in premium, and is the first of three major acquisitions planned by Protectagroup.

Protectagroup chief executive, Paul Ragan, said: “This is our eleventh successful acquisition – and eleven times bigger than anything we have completed in the past.”

The company has plans to grow its commercial book to 45% of its total business.

Ragan said that two further buys – both of commercial brokers – would be concluded by the end of the year.

Last month the company appointed former Opus Holdings chief executive, Ian Brice, as chairman, and Welsh rugby legend, Ieuan Evans, as non-executive director.

Ragan said that the latest deal would strengthen Protectagroup’s position in the commercial property and high net worth markets, both of which are Hodge’s specialist areas.

The acquisition of Hodge also marks Protectagroup’s first foray into London and international business.