Royal & SunAlliance has refused to clarify its strategy on how it will respond to any threat to distribution channels posed by AXA's acquisition strategy.
Insurance Times reported last week that R&SA was developing a strategy to respond to any loss of independence of the brokers bought by AXA.
Mike Lawton, director of regional brokers at R&SA said: "If AXA's acquisition strategy reaches a critical mass, we will be forced to do something. Our strategy will be heavily linked with supporting independent brokers in the market place."
He added: "We will continue to support AXA brokers and they will continue to support us. But as soon as they appear to be moving any business away to AXA, or worse, start to divert intellectual property to AXA, not only us, but the whole industry will act."
“If AXA's acquisition strategy reaches a critical mass, we will be forced to do something.
Mike Lawton, director of regional brokers at R&SA
A spokesman for R&SA declined to comment further on Lawton's statement.
One option for R&SA could be to invest in independent brokers. NU and Allianz Insurance acquired stakes in Jelf earlier this year.
But acquiring brokers has been ruled out. Chief executive Bridget McIntyre told Insurance Times earlier this year (News 15 March) that "buying distribution was not part of our strategy". However, McIntyre did not rule out further bolt-on acquisitions, such as the purchase of Martello.