Purchase takes commercial premium income to £30m

Personal lines giant Swinton has cemented its position in the SME market with the acquisition of Rockford Insurance Brokers.

Rockford, which will further expand Swinton’s presence in the North of England, is the company’s second com-mercial broker acquisition since April.

The purchase of the motor trade, education and medical sector specialist, is part of the company’s plans to expand its commercial division, after launching Swinton Business in 2004.

Swinton chief executive, Patrick Smith, told Insurance Times: “Our ambition over five years for the commercial business has increased. We are now looking to achieve premium income of in excess of £100m.

“Within that ambition, the purchase of Rockford [which has premium income of £15m] takes us to £30m of commercial premium income.”

Smith admitted that the company would continue to look at commercial insurance opportunities around the country following the acquisition of Rockford and Isle of Wight broker Vectis Insurance Services in April.

“We certainly would be happy to buy one or two more [commercial brokers] this year, but we will only buy if the opportunity comes in at the right price,” he said.

“[Buying Rockford] is a big step forward for us and takes us a decent step forward on the way towards our long term ambitions. It also helps to improve our skill set as a company.”

Smith said that by the end of the financial year the company would exceed its stated aim of achieving £650m in gross written premiums as well as going beyond an income plan of £200m.

Swinton Group’s five year plan is to be a £1bn premium income business.