Phil Barton, group commercial director, Jelf Group

Barton addressed his audience on the advantages for the consolidator, and suggested that "there are significant economies of scale to be had." He said that combined with the opportunity to access new markets, geographies and niche expertise it was "a winning combination."

Jelf's acquisition of Goss in March enabled them to move into the southeast of England for the first time, according to Barton. He continued to explain how external capital allows the company to continue on its acquisition trail.

"In our world, you grow or die; you continue to make acquisitions or you fall out of favour with your external backers. It is self perpetuating," Barton said.

On speaking with a number of companies Jelf has acquired, they identified six key consolidation benefits: increased purchasing power; access to a wider range of services; more client time; advantage of networking; enhanced insurer relations; and access to specialist support services.

Jelf has a clear consolidation process and a team in place to undertake the process. In addition Barton identified a handful of 'golden rules' to ensure that consolidation continues in the marketplace. These included IT integration and sensitivity to the broker's brand.