Perhaps this year’s Top 50 will be remembered as the moment when the Big Three finally became the Big Two

Recent acquisitions by Aon and Marsh have propelled the two multinationals into a league of their own. Meanwhile, Jardine Lloyd Thompson is snapping hard at third-placed Willis’s heels.

This year’s table also shows the consolidators continuing to creep up the rankings. HSBC’s absorption by Marsh has enabled both Bluefin and top 10 newcomer Oval to creep up the table a notch.

Based on this year’s findings, it’s been a good year for Lloyd’s brokers and not such a great time for commercial lines specialists. Somewhere in between, personal lines brokers have continued to defy predictions of their demise – broking traditionalists will be particularly heartened by the Top 50 entry of high-street chain A-Plan.

From Aon to A-Plan, this year’s Top 50 is a reminder of how diverse the UK broking sector remains.

David Blackman, deputy editor, Insurance Times.

Comparing notes

Everybody loves league tables. Investment bankers and private equity executives are happy to leave our offices with the most recent Top 50 in their briefcase. It makes them instant experts, giving them a high-level view of every significant player and an insight into industry trends.

We are assured of the supplement’s popularity in the industry too – it provides a ‘mine is bigger than yours’ pecking order. Smaller brokers tell us it is their ambition to break into the Top 50 because it will give them a higher profile.

Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed 14 new entrants. So what lessons can be learned from them? Two-thirds have a significant acquisition in their history; some have achieved strong organic growth; they do not operate in one particular sector.

What these newcomers have in common is that they do what they do well. Broking remains a people-based business and the people continue to matter.

Olly Laughton-Scott, managing director, IMAS.

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