Future of broker is 'evolution not revolution', sasy chief executive

Swinton is aiming for evolutionary growth of its commercial lines business after admitting that the recent acquisition of Equity has taken a year to absorb, chief executive Peter Halpin said.

He confirmed the company’s target was to become a top 10 commercial lines broker by increasing the commercial business it underwrites to £150m by 2012.

But he said that the company, by far the biggest high street broker, was not planning another large acquisition on the scale of the 91-branch Equity network.

He said that the Manchester-based broker was seeking to achieve its targets through a combination of organic growth and purchases of small businesses with premium income of £2m-£5m.

“We are going to buy businesses that are the right fit. We are looking at evolution rather than revolution,” he said.

Halpin also said that the acquisition of Equity, with its big presence in Northern Ireland, provided Swinton with “a foot in the door” for expansion south of the Irish border.