Market conditions are ripe for a direct underwriter to storm the SME market, according to Ernst & Young.

E&Y financial services partner Michael Tripp said premiums in the past 12 months have been steady and the cost of doing business in the broker channel remains high.

Tripp will present E&Y's new SME research exclusively at the Insurance Times management briefing "Making Money from SMEs" in Birmingham on 10 March. See

www.insurancetimes. for details.