Investigation unit sold
Cunningham Lindsey has bought Miller Fisher's special investigation division and is handling its run-off business as an agent of receiver Deloitte & Touche.

Client r ...

Investigation unit sold
Cunningham Lindsey has bought Miller Fisher's special investigation division and is handling its run-off business as an agent of receiver Deloitte & Touche.

Client relationships director Kevin Larman said the loss adjuster had paid an undisclosed sum for the division, and had taken on the run-off work for its retained value.

Miller Fisher's Manchester-based investigation division handled more than 8,000 claims a year in the motor and creditor markets, with a small amount of property investigation.

Larman said it would meld perfectly with Cunningham Lindsey's own investigation division, which dealt mainly in property, but was looking to expand its motor and creditor capability.

Miller Fisher's 35 staff will join Cunningham Lindsey's 120 existing investigation staff, headed by special investigations director Mike Boon.

There will be no interruption to business for the existing clients.

Cunningham Lindsey has also agreed to run off Miller Fisher's loss adjusting work in progress.

Larman said Miller Fisher's top clients such as Lloyds TSB, Fortis and Norwich Union had supported the transfer.

About 8,000 files have been delivered to Cunningham Lindsey's national service centre in Cardiff and a 24-hour phone line installed to advise Miller Fisher's clients.

Irish MBO
Miller Fisher's Irish arm, Miller Farrell, has been bought out by its management, which includes Miller Fisher chief executive Malcolm Hughes.

The Bank of Scotland backed the buy-out by Hughes and Miller Farrell managing director John McGee. They bought the entire share capital of the Miller Farrell Group, which was unaffected by the troubles of its UK parent and was not included in last week's receivership.

Rubicon grabs business `jewels'
The receivers had barely been called in when competitor Rubicon pounced to snap up Miller Fisher's business solutions division and motor vehicle inspection business.

Rubicon joint chief executive Bradley Brandon-Cross leapt into action as the operation went into administrative receivership on 4 July, working into the night and the following weekend to seal a deal.

On the following Wednesday he did not get to bed until 5.30am but the eventual prize for his labours was, in his view, the jewels in the Miller Fisher crown.

As a result of the rush Brandon-Scott ended up not knowing even how many staff he had acquired.

He told Insurance Times: "We just said we'd have everything in the building. The receivers have been laying people off left, right and centre. I think there's about 70 people here, but I don't know definitely. At one time they had 150 or so.

"Some of these people we will be contacting, to ask them to come back. Our vision for the business is that we intend to grow it."

Brandon-Cross already knew many of Miller Fisher's key staff and had thought it could be a "good fit" for Rubicon, which grew from three people at its inception in 2001 to about 230 before the Miller Fisher deal.

Rubicon gives consultancy advice on insurance marketing and strategy as well as outsourcing and underwriting services.

Porton buys international arm
Miller International Loss Adjusters managing director Ian Porton has bought the business from Miller Fisher's receiver Deloitte & Touche for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase comprises the issued capital of the companies in Caracas, Salzburg, Singapore and Hong Kong and the business assets in the UK and Dubai. The Bank of Scotland financed the buy-out.

It is claimed that Miller's international business has been consistently successful, despite its well-publicised troubles. Porton, who has been the company's managing director since its start-up four years ago, said he had the backing of the management team and staff.

"There was no hesitation in deciding it was profitable, it was just a matter of ensuring the team were up for it. Some of us have been working together for 20 years and there was a real passion to stay together," he said.