Chief executive of broker Stuart Alexander, Stuart Reid has completed a leveraged buy-out of the business.

By raising debt from Fortis Bank, Reid has increased his stake in the company from 39% to 76%.

Reid said the deal, which took 10 months to complete, came about after his business partner, Alex Shead, moved to Australia 18 months ago.

He said the company had initially planned to establish an Australian subsidiary, but without a Lloyd's licence, such a move was not practical.

The deal was brokered in order to allow Shead to cut his stake, from 39% to 10%. Several minority shareholders owned the remaining 14%, Reid said.

He said the decision to raise bank debt rather than sell, merge or bring in a venture capital investor was taken in order to maintain the independence of Stuart Alexander.

"The marketplace suits a broker of our size very much in the next five to 10 years," Reid said. He added that with a venture capitalist, "the clock is always ticking".

Reid said he underestimated the time and effort involved in completing such a deal.

"I'm delighted to be back and doing something that I genuinely enjoy and I'm looking forward to playing a role in this rapidly changing market place."

It is understood that Shead has acquired a 50% stake in a Sydney-based broker.